Conservation refers to the act of consciously and efficiently using land and natural resources. President Theodore Roosevelt helped popularize the new term “conservation” and generate a new movement by setting aside 230 million acres to be conserved in national forests, national parks, and bird reservations between 1901-1909. Since then, the conservation movement has continued to grow and expand its mission to include restoring endangered species, removing toxins from the environment, and ensuring our nation’s natural resources are passed on to future generations.

This website documents the rich history of conservation in the United States. The Conservation History Timeline offers an interactive journey into that important history, beginning in 20,000 B.C. and stretching into the modern era. The Conservation Heroes page pulls highlights from that timeline to present multimedia biographies of several icons of the American conservation movement. We hope that these materials both educate and inspire the reader to learn more about the conservation history of the United States.