SAT Subject US History Practice Question 973: Answer and Explanation
54. Which of the following statements is true in regard to President Theodore Roosevelt's environmental polices?
A. Roosevelt rejected the notion of conservation because he allowed the "good trusts" to develop some areas in national parks for business purposes.
B. Roosevelt rejected any attempts at government protection of wilderness areas, arguing instead that market forces should determine land use.
C. Roosevelt appointed the pro-business James Watt as Secretary of the Interior, angering many environmentalists, such as John Muir.
D. Roosevelt worked closely with the head of the U.S. Forest Service, Gifford Pinchot, to set aside land for national parks, national monuments, and wildlife refuges.
E. While Roosevelt was an avid outdoorsman, he believed that any action on behalf of the environment should be taken at the state level.
Correct Answer: D
President Theodore Roosevelt was aggressive in setting aside tracts of land for recreation as well as for "responsible" use by industry-a strategy he called "conservation." He took a middle path between the wholesale despoliation of the environment by industrialists and loggers and those who argued for "preservation," that is preserving nature in its pristine state. He and Gifford Pinchot sought to manage the country's natural resources in a scientific, rational way. Roosevelt embraced the idea of conservation (A); he rejected the idea of preservation. He moved away from a laissez-faire approach to the environment (B). The appointment of James Watt (C) as Secretary of the Interior angered environmentalists during the Reagan administration, not during the Roosevelt administration. Roosevelt was eager to use the power of the federal government (E) in a number of fields, including conservation.