TIME oregon

Oil Ship Leaves Portland After Police Force Greenpeace Protesters Off Bridge

Protesters had been attempting to block an icebreaking vessel from leaving Portland to go to the Arctic for oil drilling

An controversial oil ship managed to sail past a group of Greenpeace protesters hanging from a bridge in Portland after police and Coast Guard officers forced the activists from the area.

The protesters had gathered to block a Royal Dutch Shell icebreaking vessel from leaving the area to head to a oil drilling site in the Arctic. Environmental activists had suspended themselves from the St. Johns bridge and formed a line of kayaks along the Willamette River in an effort to block the ship from leaving the city, but the ship, named Fennica, managed to slip through a gap in the dangling protesters just before 6:00 p.m. Pacific time.

For about six hours, according to local outlets, there was relative quiet. But Thursday afternoon, the Coast Guard and local officials began insisting that the protesters move.

According to OregonLive, which hosted a liveblog of the protest, officials at one point attempted to grab kayakers—called “kayaktivists” by organizers”—using boat hooks. Some of the activists who had situated themselves in slings underneath the bridge left voluntarily, but others were still dangling from it at about 6 p.m. local time.

Earlier on Thursday, activists were involved in a standoff with the vessel and the Coast Guard during which they temporarily blocked the ship from leaving dock. According to Oregon Public Broadcasting, protesters cheered and declared victor when the vessel turned around. A judge on Thursday fined Greenpeace USA $2,500 for every hour that protesters blocked the vessel from passing through.

TIME Environment

Judge Fines Greenpeace $2,500 per Hour For Shell Protest

13 protesters repelled off a bridge to block a Shell icebreaker ship from leaving

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A federal judge in Alaska on Thursday ordered Greenpeace USA to pay a fine of $2,500 for every hour that protesters dangle from a bridge in Oregon and block a Royal Dutch Shell icebreaker from leaving for oil drilling in the Arctic.

There was no sign that the protesters were going to abandon the blockade in Portland after the ruling in Anchorage by U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason that Greenpeace is in civil contempt.

Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard said the activists will stay in place for now.

“We are confronted with a huge decision, one we cannot make alone,” she said in a statement. “Right now we’re asking the activists what they think we should do next.”

Gleason in May granted Shell’s request that activists protesting Shell’s Arctic drilling plans be ordered to stay away from company vessels and beyond buffer zones.

Earlier in the day, the Shell oil icebreaker Fennica retreated when activists dangling from the St. Johns Bridgeover the Willamette River refused to leave and to let the vessel pass.

Protesters on the bridge and kayakers on the river have been blocking the icebreaker from heading to the Arctic for a drill operation.

The Fennica arrived in Portland for repairs last week. The vessel was damaged earlier this month in the Aleutian Islands when it struck an underwater obstruction, tearing a gash in its hull.

It resumed its journey to the Arctic early Thursday before stopping in the face of 13 dangling activists linked by ropes. The ship turned around and inched its way back to dry dock, delighting people gathered on shore in the city known for environmentalism.

The U.S. Coast Guard warned the danglers that they were breaking the law but took no action. Petty Officer 1st Class George Degener did not elaborate.

He also said the agency had not told the icebreaker to turn around.

“I don’t know what led the master and the pilot on board to come to that decision,” he said.

The icebreaker is a key part of Shell’s exploration and spill-response plan off Alaska’s northwest coast. It protects Shell’s fleet from ice and carries equipment that can stop the flow of oil that gushes from wells.

Environmentalists hope to delay the ship long enough for winter weather to prevent Shell from drilling until 2016. By that time, they hope the Obama administration has a change of heart on the issue.

At the court hearing in Anchorage, Judge Gleason said the hourly fine against Greenpeace would increase over the next few days unless the blockade is lifted. It would jump to $5,000 an hour on Friday, $7,500 an hour on Saturday, and $10,000 an hour on Sunday.

“They need to be off the ropes,” she said.

The St. Johns Bridge is at a key location on the Fennica’s route from Portland to the Arctic. The ship’s journey will take it beneath the bridge, down the Willamette to the Columbia River which leads to the Pacific Ocean.

Portland police closed the bridge to traffic during the standoff. It was reopened shortly after the icebreaker reversed course.

The activists say they have water and food for the long haul. They also have their phones to stay in the social-media loop.

“The Fennica is headed back to its dock where it belongs — not the Arctic! #ShellNo,” tweeted Dan Cannon, a Greenpeace activist dangling from the bridge.

___

Joling reported from Anchorage, Alaska.

Video provided by Adam Simmons

TIME animals

Here Are Famous People Posing With Animals They’ve Killed

The recent killing of the beloved Cecil the Lion by Minnesota dentist Walter James Palmer has ignited outrage across the world. Game hunting has a long history, and people from all walks of life have long been known to kill large animals, sometimes illegally, and then pose with their bodies. Here are eight well-known people with their kills, stretching back over a century

TIME cities

These 9 U.S. Cities Are Running Out of Water

These areas that have been under persistent, serious drought conditions over the first half of 2015

The nine cities with the worst drought conditions in the country are all located in California, which is now entering its fourth consecutive year of drought as demand for water is at an all-time high. The long-term drought has already had dire consequences for the state’s agriculture sector, municipal water systems, the environment, and all other water consumers.

Based on data provided by the U.S. Drought Monitor, a collaboration between academic and government organizations, 24/7 Wall St. identified nine large U.S. urban areas that have been under persistent, serious drought conditions over the first six months of this year. The Drought Monitor classifies drought by five levels of intensity: from D0, described as abnormally dry, to D4, described as exceptional drought. Last year, 100% of California was under at least severe drought conditions, or D2, for the first time since Drought Monitor began collecting data. It was also the first time that exceptional drought — the highest level — had been recorded in the state. This year, 100% of three urban areas in the state are in a state of exceptional drought. And 100% of all nine areas reviewed are in at least extreme drought, or D3.

Click here to see the 9 cities with the worst drought.

According to Brad Rippey, a meteorologist with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), California has a Mediterranean climate in which the vast majority of precipitation falls during the six month period from October through March. In fact, more than 80% of California’s rainfall is during the cold months. As a result, “it’s very difficult to get significant changes in the drought picture during the warm season,” Rippey said. He added that even when it rains during the summer, evaporation due to high temperatures largely offsets any accumulation.

A considerable portion of California’s environmental, agricultural, and municipal water needs depends on 161 reservoirs, which are typically replenished during the winter months. As of May 31, the state’s reservoirs added less than 6.5 million acre-feet of water over the winter, 78% of the typical recharge of about 8.2 million acre-feet. A single acre-foot contains more than 325,000 gallons of water. This was the fourth consecutive year that reservoir recharge failed to breach the historical average.

Normally, current reservoir levels are high enough to buffer against drought. However, “after four years of drought, reservoir holdings are perilously low,” said Rippey. Current total storage levels are at about 17.2 million acre-feet. The typical annual withdrawal is around 8 million acre-feet, which means total storage may fall below 10 million acre-feet by the end of the summer. This also means there is little room for error if the state enters a fifth year of drought.

In addition to surface water, groundwater is a major water source for the state, particularly during periods of drought. According to a recent U.C. Davis analysis of the California drought from 2012 through 2014, groundwater may replace as much as 75% of surface water lost to dry conditions this year. As Rippey explained, however, the problem is that the amount of groundwater is unknown. “The monitoring system for groundwater is not nearly as robust as the surface water monitoring system,” Rippey said.

City and state officials have reacted to the long-term drought by imposing various water restrictions. According to the California Department of Water Resources, California declared a statewide emergency during the 2007-2009 California drought — the first in U.S. history. California declared another such emergency during the 2012-2014 drought, and statewide precipitation was the driest three-year period on record. In an attempt to curb water use, statewide regulations impose penalties for exceeding water consumption budgets. Using water on lawns, for car washes, or to clean driveways is banned or restricted in each of the nine cities.

There are also economic consequences. The U.C. Davis study estimated a loss of at least 410,000 acres of farmland due to water shortages in California’s Central Valley, one of the nation’s most important agricultural zones and the location of most of the cities running out of water. An estimated $800 million was lost in farm revenue last year. That total does not include $447 million in extra pumping costs sustained by the Central Valley. Researchers at U.C. Davis estimated a total statewide revenue loss of $2.2 billion, and more than 17,000 jobs lost in 2014 due to drought.

The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the USDA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 24/7 Wall St. identified the nine urban areas with populations of 75,000 or more where the highest percentages of the land area was in a state of exceptional drought in the first six months of 2015. All data are as of the week ending June 2.

These are the nine cities running out of water.

  • 9. Bakersfield, CA

    > Exceptional drought coverage (first half of 2015):72.8%
    > Extreme drought coverage (first half of 2015): 100%
    > Population: 523,994

    Over the first half of this year, nearly 73% of Bakersfield was in a state of exceptional drought, the ninth largest percentage compared with all large U.S. urban areas. The possible impacts of exceptional drought include widespread crop failures and reservoir and stream depletions, which can result in water emergencies. The drought in Bakersfield has improved somewhat from the same period last year, when nearly 90% of the area was in a state of exceptional drought — the highest in the nation at that time. Like many other areas in California, however, Bakersfield has suffered through more than four years of drought, and any improvement is likely negligible. The Isabella Reservoir on the Kern River is one of the larger reservoirs in the state with a capacity of 568,000 acre-feet. The reservoir has supplied water to Bakersfield since 1953. Today, Isabella’s water level is at less than 8% of its full capacity after falling dramatically each summer since 2011.

    ALSO READ: The Best and Worst States to Be Unemployed

  • 8. Sacramento, CA

    > Exceptional drought coverage (first half of 2015): 78.3%
    > Extreme drought coverage (first half of 2015): 100%
    > Population: 1,723,634

    Sacramento is the most populous city running out of water, with 1.72 million residents. The city is located just north of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, a major source of water not just for Sacramento residents but for a great deal of California. The delta also helps provide water to millions of acres of California farmland. The Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers supply nearly 80 California reservoirs. With the ongoing drought, current storage levels are well below historical averages. On average over the first half of this year, exceptional drought covered more than 78% of Sacramento. The remaining area is far from drought-free, as 100% of Sacramento was in a state of extreme drought over that period — like every other city on this list.

  • 7. Chico, CA

    > Exceptional drought coverage (first half of 2015): 85.3%
    > Extreme drought coverage (first half of 2015): 100%
    > Population: 98,176

    Starting in June this year, new state legislation requires Chico residents to consume 32% less water than they did in 2013. Water bills now include water budgeting information and penalizes residents with higher fees based on how much consumption exceeds the recommended amount. The new rule may be a challenge for some residents, as Chico had among the highest per capita daily water consumption in the state in 2013, according to the ChicoER, a local news outlet. According to The Weather Channel, in April of this year a jet stream shift brought rain and snow to parts of Northern California where Chico is located, a welcome relief to the area’s long-running dry spell. Despite the short-term relief, Chico still suffers from drought — an average of more than 85% of the city was in a state of exceptional drought over the first half of this year.

  • 6. Lancaster-Palmdale, CA

    > Exceptional drought coverage (first half of 2015): 87.9%
    > Extreme drought coverage (first half of 2015): 100%
    > Population: 341,219

    Compared to the first half of last year, drought conditions in Lancaster-Palmdale are worse this year. Last year, nearly 80% of the city was in extreme drought and just 10% in exceptional drought. This year, 100% of the city was classified as being in a state of extreme drought and nearly 88% in exceptional drought. Many Lancaster-Palmdale residents, particularly those in the Palmdale Water District, receive their water from the district’s water wells, the Littlerock Dam, or — like many Californians — the California Aqueduct. The Colorado River Basin is also a major water source for the region, including Las Vegas to the northeast of Lancaster-Palmdale and Los Angeles to the southwest. Rippey explained that with only three or four wet years in over a decade, the Colorado River Basin region has endured a staggering near 15-year drought. The river, which used to flow into the ocean, now ends in Mexico. Like every other city suffering the most from drought, Lancaster-Palmdale residents are subject to various water restrictions.

  • 5. Yuba City, CA

    > Exceptional drought coverage (first half of 2015): 95.4%
    > Extreme drought coverage (first half of 2015): 100%
    > Population: 116,719

    Yuba City is located on the Feather River, which runs south through Sacramento. The river begins at Lake Oroville, the site of the Oroville Dam and the source of the California Aqueduct — also known as the State Water Project (SWP). The dam’s water levels reached a record low in November 2014. While water levels have increased considerably since then, they remain at a fraction of the reservoir’s capacity. More than 95% of Yuba City was in a state of exceptional drought over the first six months of the year, making it one of only five urban areas to have exceptional drought covering more than 90% of their land area. Like other areas suffering the most from drought, the proportion of Yuba’s workforce employed in agricultural jobs is several times greater than the national proportion. The drought has had considerable economic consequences in the region. Agricultural employment dropped 30.3% from 2012 through 2013, versus the nearly 2% nationwide growth.

    ALSO READ: The Poorest Town in Each State

    For the rest of the list, please go to 24/7WallStreet.com

    More from 24/7 Wall Street:

TIME Environment

Scientists Stumble Across Extinct Volcanoes Off Australia Coast

newly discovered volcanic peaks
CSIRO A map of the newly discovered volcanic peaks off Sydney, showing their depth relative to the surface.

The four volcanoes are 50 million years old and were found accidentally

Researchers in Australia went searching for miniature lobsters and found 2,000-foot volcanoes instead.

Marine biologists were mapping the sea floor searching for the nursery grounds of larval lobsters when they came upon four extinct volcanoes 150 miles off the coast of Sydney, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. Volcano expert Richard Arculus of the Australian National University told the Sydney Morning Herald that the volcanoes, the largest of which is 5,000 feet across and over 2,000 feet tall, are at least 50 million years old.

“It’s ironic that we’re about to get the first close-up pictures of Pluto but we had no idea about these beautiful volcanoes just off the coast of Sydney,” said Iain Suthers, a marine biologist at the University of New South Wales who led the expedition.

[Sydney Morning Herald]

TIME celebrities

Tom Selleck Reaches Settlement Over Claims He Stole Water

Actor Tom Selleck attends the PowerWomen 2013 awards at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York, NY on Nov. 14, 2013.
Anthony Behar—Sipa USA Actor Tom Selleck attends the PowerWomen 2013 awards at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York, NY on Nov. 14, 2013.

The Blue Bloods actor and his wife allegedly stole water from hydrant to use on ranch

Actor Tom Selleck has reached an agreement with the California water district that accused the Blue Bloods star of pilfering water.

Officials from the Calleguas Municipal Water District filed a complaint against Selleck and his wife on Monday, saying the actor had illegally taken water from hydrant outside of their district for use on their ranch. According to KTLA, the couple is accused of stealing water on multiple occasions, dating back to 2013. On Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reports, the two parties reached a settlement.

The details, however, are unclear. The settlement will remain confidential until after district water board meeting next Wednesday where it will have to be approved. The Calleguas district resource manager told the Times they’re “happy’ about the settlement.

“It’s good news,” he said.

[LA Times]

TIME

Tom Selleck Lands Himself in Drought-Shaming Suit

Tom Selleck Water Shaming
Stephen Lovekin—Getty Images Actor Tom Selleck attends the PowerWomen 2013 awards on November 14, 2013 in New York City.

The Blue Bloods star needed water for his avocado farm

#droughtshaming: A social phenomenon whereby California residents give their lavishly-living neighbors flack in times of drought for not keeping their water consumption down.

Magnum P.I. star Tom Selleck: #droughtshaming’s newest target.

The mustachioed actor, most recently known for his role as New York Police Commissioner and Reagan-family patriarch in the CBS show Blue Bloods, is the subject of a complaint filed Monday in Ventura County after he allegedly ordered truckloads of water to be filled up at a fire hydrant in Thousand Oaks, and driven to his ranch, in a nearby water district, upwards of 12 times over recent years, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Selleck, who owns a 60-acre ranch in Westlake Village with his wife, Jillie—complete with horses, dogs, and an avocado ranch—allegedly refused to stop indulging in the hydrant flow despite having received cease-and-desist letters from the Calleguas Municipal Water District in November 2013. The district, which filed the complaint, has spent almost $22,000 on a private investigator to record Selleck’s alleged behavior since then. In addition to seeking compensation for legal costs, the district is asking for a ban against Selleck taking water from the area.

Selleck hasn’t commented publicly.

California is now in its fourth year of an unprecedented drought. In January 2014, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency. Earlier this summer, he introduced strict conservation measures for hotels, restaurants, and lawns, including a rule limiting lawn watering to two days a week. According to the State Water Board, outdoor irrigation makes up nearly half of water consumption in California’s residential communities.

TIME celebrities

Pamela Anderson Wants Vladimir Putin to Save the Whales

Pamela Anderson
Paul A. Hebert—Invision/AP Pamela Anderson in June 2015.

"Your decision could put an end to the needless slaughter of endangered whales by Iceland," she writes

What do Pamela Anderson and Vladimir Putin have in common? Try a love of the outdoors: The Canadian-American actress and longtime animal rights activist is calling on the Russian president and fellow animal-lover to take action against the whale meat trade.

Over the weekend Anderson wrote an open letter to Putin asking him to block passage of the Winter Bay, a ship reportedly containing 1,700 tons of fin whale that’s meat en route to Japan from Iceland—two of three countries in the world where whaling is still legal, Quartz reports.

The ship is in violation of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which has already prevented Winter Bay from passing through the Panama or Suez canals, according to the Sea Shepard Conservation Society. The Russian Federation is a CITES signatory, which means Putin has the power to block the Winter Bay from going through Russian territory via the Bearing Strait should he hear Anderson’s plea.

Here’s her full letter from July 5, via Quartz:

Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich,

I believe that we both share a mutual love for animals and a deep respect for nature and for this reason I would like to make a personal request to you, on behalf of endangered fin whales. At this moment there is a ship in Tromsø, Norway, called the Winter Bay. It is carrying a cargo of 1,700 tons of fin whale meat. These whales were killed illegally in violation of the International Whaling Commission’s moratorium on commercial whaling. It is also illegal to kill fin whales and to engage in the trade of endangered species. The Winter Bay was unable to transit the Suez Canal or the Panama Canal or to transit via Europe or Africa for fear of being stopped by the appropriate authorities. The Winter Bay intends to transit through Russian waters with assistance of Russian icebreakers to deliver this illegal cargo to Japan. President Putin, you can stop this illegal transit by forbidding this vessel from carrying a cargo of endangered fin whale meat through Russian waters to Japan. I would like to respectfully ask you to consider investigating this shipment and to do what you can to prevent it from transiting to Japan an illegal cargo. Your decision could put an end to the needless slaughter of endangered whales by Iceland. Thank you Mr. President for your consideration of my request.

Yours Sincerely,
Pamela Anderson

TIME Environment

Private-Island Owners Fret About Climate Change

Necker Island
Getty Images Necker Island

"We have 11 islands here and we'd like to keep it that way," David Copperfield says

No man is an island when it comes to climate change — even if he owns one.

Famed illusionist David Copperfield is among the few handfuls of A-list celebrities and billionaire businessmen who own private islands around the world. But he’s also part of an even more exclusive club: Island owners who say they are concerned about climate change and are making efforts to address its impacts.

“It’s something I’m extremely concerned about,” Copperfield, who owns Musha Cay and the Islands of Copperfield Bay, a private island resort off Great Exuma in the Bahamas, told NBC News. “We have 11 islands here and we’d like to keep it that way…”

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME History

The Christian Roots of Modern Environmentalism

Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt.
Time Life Pictures—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt.

Zocalo Public Square is a not-for-profit Ideas Exchange that blends live events and humanities journalism.

Presbyterianism inspired Teddy Roosevelt's conservationist zeal

Like only a handful of presidents, Theodore Roosevelt lives in our memory and popular culture. He is the bespectacled face gazing from Mount Rushmore, the namesake for the teddy bear, and the advice-giving Rough Rider, played by Robin Williams in the movie Night at the Museum. We remember him, too, as the trust buster who broke up monopolies, the avid outdoorsman and conservationist who preserved parks, forests, and wildlife, and the politician who crusaded for a “fair deal,” a just and equitable society that works for everyone.

Yet Roosevelt’s colorful life and accomplishments distract us from an essential part of him: the profoundly moralistic worldview that fired his progressive zeal. Some recent biographers go so far as to overlook this element of his character completely, but Roosevelt’s friends and colleagues recognized in him, in the words of one friend, “the greatest preacher of righteousness in modern times. Deeply religious beneath the surface, he made right living seem the natural thing, and there was no man beyond the reach of his preaching and example.” As Senator Henry Cabot Lodge mused, “The blood of some ancestral Scotch Covenanter or of some Dutch Reformed preacher facing the tyranny of Philip of Spain was in his veins, and with his large opportunities and his vast audiences he was always ready to appeal for justice and righteousness.”

Lodge astutely singled out the Calvinist traditions in Roosevelt’s ancestry: the Dutch Reformed Church on his father’s side and the Scottish Presbyterian Church (whose Covenanters fought the tyranny of England’s Charles I) on his mother’s, not to mention his own upbringing in New York’s Madison Square Presbyterian Church. How significant Roosevelt’s religious origins were really struck home to me when I realized how many national leaders of the Progressive Era shared them. I had been looking at the denominational origins of major American environmentalists and already knew how dominant people raised Presbyterian, often with ministers in the family, were during its rise. Still, when I turned to progressivism I was unprepared for the extent to which Presbyterians ran the show. Non-Presbyterian presidents held office a mere eight-and-a-half years between 1885 and 1921. Of those born in the church, —Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson—two, Cleveland and Wilson, were sons of ministers. Only two Presidents before Cleveland were raised Presbyterian, and none after Wilson has been.

I wondered what all this Presbyterianism could mean for progressivism, a movement that included people of all faiths, and what this religious strain in politics meant for crusades that these days might be typically colored strictly “red” or “blue.”

Progressives grew up in an era in which big money corrupted politics, large corporations dominated the economy, and environmental crises threatened the natural world – forces that might rouse the ire of those on the “blue” side of the spectrum today. But the situation was a call to arms for those who were steeped in the Calvinist demand for a righteous society, a kind of moralizing that might be more considered on the “red” side of the current spectrum.

At this time in history, though, it was the progressives who were the evangelicals out to spread righteousness in the nation. Censorious Presbyterians attacked greed and avarice with a special vengeance, as the sins that prompted Eve to reach for the forbidden fruit and exile us all from the Garden.

I realized how easily Presbyterian evangelical righteousness translated from church pulpits to political podiums. This church imbued Roosevelt and his fellow progressive leaders with the moral courage to take on the concentrated wealth that corrupted American democracy and dominated the economy. When in 1901 Roosevelt found himself with “such a bully pulpit,” in his famous phrase, no wonder that he impressed people as a preacher of righteousness.

This same moral courage was necessary to drive American environmentalism. Calvinist churches fostered a particularly strong interest in nature and natural history; John Calvin himself regarded nature as a place where God drew nearest and communicated himself and he spoke of the natural world as the theater of his glory. To many Calvinists, nature study had an aura of sanctity as a moral occupation for men, women, and children alike. God, they said, gave natural resources to humans to use for the common good, but not sinfully to waste or turn to greedy or selfish purposes.

Under Harrison, Cleveland, Roosevelt, and Wilson, national government made dramatic strides in conservation. They expanded National Parks from one to two dozen, organized the Park Service, created millions of acres of National Forests, established the Forest Service, and named and promulgated conservation. They had essential assistance from their Secretaries of Interior (parks) and Agriculture (forests), who during the heyday of conservation between 1889 and 1946 were Presbyterians in three years out of four. For Wilson, a Southerner little interested in conservation, Interior Secretary Franklin Lane was prime instigator of major parks expansion and organization.

Roosevelt was the unexcelled exemplar of this passion for nature and moralism about its use. As a boy, he created a zoo in his home and learned taxidermy to preserve specimens. At Harvard, he originally intended to study natural history. After he chose a career in politics, he was an unusually knowledgeable ornithologist and published books on natural history, hunting, and his wilderness adventures. Aptly, as vice president, Roosevelt was climbing Mount Marcy in the Adirondacks when he learned William McKinley had died and he was now president.

Roosevelt believed government must protect nature and natural resources against the rapacious forces of self-interested avarice. “Conservation is a great moral issue,” he asserted. “I believe that the natural resources must be used for the benefit of all our people, and not monopolized for the benefit of the few.” As president, he added five National Parks, created the first 18 National Monuments, quadrupled the acreage of National Forests, established the first 51 bird refuges and four game refuges, oversaw the first irrigation projects and several major dams, and made the new term “conservation” the cornerstone of his political agenda.

After he died in 1919, Roosevelt inspired many to carry on with his work. One was the fervent progressive Harold Ickes, who said of the moment he learned of Roosevelt’s death, “something went out of my life that has never been replaced.” Unsurprisingly, Ickes was a Presbyterian who once intended to go into the ministry. One friend even called him “furiously righteous.” Among his many acts as Secretary of Interior in the administration of Roosevelt’s cousin Franklin, he desegregated the National Parks and added the first four parks intended to remain as undeveloped wilderness: Everglades, Olympic, Kings Canyon, and Isle Royale. His career was a fitting capstone to the great era of progressive Presbyterianism.

Mark Stoll is an associate professor at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. He is the author most recently of Inherit the Holy Mountain: Religion and the Rise of American Environmentalism.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

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