In honor of the men (so far) who have governmed this country, and given us this day off, here are some environmentally-friendly accomplishments/activities of our past Presidents...
James Monroe—fifth president, 1758-1831 Monroe loved the outdoors so much, he was the first president to be inaugurated… outdoors.
Theodore Roosevelt—twenty-sixth president, 1901-1909 PETA predecessor Theodore Roosevelt was an avid birder and kept a “small zoo” in his room at Harvard, “consisting of lobsters, snakes, and a huge tortoise.” Perhaps inspired by his reptilian roommates, Roosevelt went on to establish 194 million acres of national forests and parks as well as the first National Bird Preserve. He also established the Forest Service. And a few other trifles like, um, the Grand Canyon National Monument and 17 other national monuments. Often hailed as the conservation president, Teddy was also the first to take a public ride in an electric car.
Woodrow Wilson—twenty-eighth president, 1913-1921 During World War I, Wilson decided he should save money on lawn-upkeep at the White House. His green solution was to bring a flock of sheep in to graze the presidential lawn. Money raised from their wool went to bolster the Red Cross war efforts. He also outlawed dumping anthracite coal and its refuse into streams and established mining regulations on federal lands.
Richard Nixon—thirty-seventh president, 1969-1974 Started the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) -- everybody's gotta get something right. He signed the Endangered Species Act into law, created the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the 1970 Clean Air Act, the 1972 Clean Water Act, and the 1973 Endangered Species Act.
Bill Clinton—forty-second president, 1993-2001 He created 17 new national monuments (4.6 million acres in total), took a whack at ratifying Kyoto, and declared road building illegal in 60 million acres of national forest.
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