On January 11, 1908, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt made the massive Grand Canyon in northwestern Arizona a national monument, declaring “You cannot improve upon it.” Roosevelt, an avid hunter and naturalist, loved the American west. He made environmental conservation a priority during his presidency.
The Grand Canyon is a gorge created by tectonic uplift of the Colorado Plateau. The Colorado River cut through the canyon’s striking red rock as the area was uplifted by geologic forces deep underground. Over the past 17 million years, the flow of the river’s water has carved the canyon to a depth of more than 1,829 meters (6,000 feet), and is still eroding the rock today. Roosevelt’s declaration of the area as a national monument ensured that more than 323,748 hectares (800,000 acres) of canyonland would remain untouched by human development. This means that future generations might enjoy it as he did.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry avid Adjective
deep, narrow valley with steep sides.
Encyclopedic Entry: canyon carve Verb
to cut or slice through.
management of a natural resource to prevent exploitation, destruction, or neglect.
Encyclopedic Entry: conservation development Noun
construction or preparation of land for housing, industry, or agriculture.
act in which earth is worn away, often by water, wind, or ice.
Encyclopedic Entry: erosion geologic Adjective
having to do with the physical formations of the Earth.
deep, narrow valley with steep sides, usually smaller than a canyon.
Encyclopedic Entry: gorge Grand Canyon Noun
large gorge made by the Colorado River in the U.S. state of Arizona.
national monument Noun
federal land set aside to protect objects of scientific and historical interest.
person who studies the natural history or natural development of organisms and the environment.
large region that is higher than the surrounding area and relatively flat.
Encyclopedic Entry: plateau priority Noun
something having more importance than others.
tectonic uplift Noun
movement of plates beneath the Earth's surface that causes one part of the landscape to rise higher than the surrounding area.
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt Noun
(18581919) 26th president of the United States.