9 national parks and monuments Teddy Roosevelt saved from turning into parking lots.

Teddy Roosevelt once said, "It is not what we have that will make us a great nation; it is the way in which we use it."

Roosevelt was an avid sportsman, outdoorsman, and hunter. He was an explorer and roughrider. While he really loved shooting things, he also saw the very real potential humans had to exhaust nature's resources.

When he became president in 1901, he wanted to use his power to protect the wild places he loved. And oh boy, he did. He quickly established his legacy as one of our nation's great conservationists, and while in office, he used his powers to create or add to six national parks and 18 national monuments.


Monuments like the Grand Canyon, which Roosevelt implored people not to mar with development.

Photo by Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images.

Before Roosevelt, the Grand Canyon was open territory. It was Roosevelt's designation as a game preserve that started its protection.

"I hope you will not have a building of any kind, not a summer cottage, a hotel or anything else, to mar the wonderful grandeur, the sublimity, the great loneliness and beauty of the canyon. Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it," Roosevelt said.

We can understand that sentiment. I mean, would Mesa Verde National Park really be improved by a parking lot?

Photo via the National Park Service.

I think most Oregonians would agree that Crater Lake National Park is pretty great as it is.

Photo via the National Park Service.

Roosevelt understood South Dakota's Wind Cave National Park doesn't need humans to make it great. It was always great.

Photo via the National Park Service.

The bison in North Dakota's Sullys Hill are doing fine, thank you very much.

Photo via the National Park Service.

The park is now part of Sullys Hill National Game Preserve.

You don't need a fast-food restaurant to enjoy Chickasaw National Recreation Area.

Photo via the National Park Service.

Roosevelt created Platt National Park, which later became part of Chickasaw.

Roosevelt also added a ton of land to the world-famous Yosemite National Park.

Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images.

A camping trip with John Muir convinced Roosevelt to place the entire valley under federal protection. Of the park itself, Roosevelt said, "It was like lying in a great solemn cathedral, far vaster and more beautiful than any built by the hand of man."

We also have Roosevelt to thank for a cellphone-tower-less Devil's Tower National Monument in Wyoming.

Photo via the National Park Service.

And Arizona's amazing Petrified Forest, which currently has no football stadiums in it (and should probably stay that way).

Photo via the National Park Service.

The petrified forest started as a monument, but is now a national park of its own. In fact, during his tenure, Roosevelt was responsible for protecting approximately 230 million acres of America's wild places, more than any other president until Barack Obama.  

Preserving our national heritage isn't a partisan issue; it's something nearly all Americans agree on.

A 2012 poll found that 95% of Americans want the government to protect the parks for future generations. However, the current administration has made a few decisions — such as making it easier to sell off park lands or ignoring climate change, which may endanger many of the parks — that put them at odds with Roosevelt's legacy.

More than 100 years ago, Roosevelt recognized that we had an obligation to protect our wild spaces and preserve our nation and planet for future generations.

"We have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune," said Roosevelt. His legacy is there, if the current government will only embrace it.

Heroes
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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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