If you ever have occasion to speak to the public, here’s a quick tip: Try to avoid coming to the stage after one of the greatest presidents of the 20th century.
It sounds unlikely, but it happened to me Friday, when I spoke after Teddy Roosevelt at the Centennial Celebration of the National Elk Refuge in Jackson, Wyoming.
Well, OK. It wasn’t exactly THE Teddy Roosevelt, but the impersonator sure looked and sounded like the old Rough Rider himself. And I’m sure “TR” would have been pleased and amazed at the growth and success of the National Wildlife Refuge System he founded more than a century ago.
The National Elk Refuge, established in 1912 to protect winter habitat vital to the Jackson elk herd, was among the first refuges created after Roosevelt left office. It signified that the Refuge System was not simply the passion of a single president, but an enduring linchpin for North American conservation.