In 2011, we visited Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota during mid-September. On several occasions, we were face-to-face with herds of Bison that call the park home. We spent several hours at Prairie Dog Towns. The grass was dry, the river low.
This year, we visited in early August and arrived the day after they had torrential rains. The park had mud slides, and the river was very high, a bit over its banks.
The Prairie Dogs were still active, though not as close to the road as three years ago. There were too many people frequenting the park for the comfort of the animals. We saw few Bison and no elk this time. But the vegetation was incredibly green. The park was blanketed in a green color, which made the color in the painted hillsides stand out. This place is a wonderful land.
We are grateful for the far-sighted Theodore Roosevelt to protect this and so many other natural lands from repeated destruction by commercial interests, like the grazing of cattle in the late 1800s here and the timber harvests of northern Minnesota and Wisconsin in the early 1900s. When the dollar rules, people get stupid.
Conservation groups help keep industry under control. Rarely do we see political leaders make a stand such as Roosevelt’s repeated sanctioning of public lands. Many parks could bear his name. Only this one does.