On May 15, 1908, first conference of U.S. governors issued a declaration in support of environmental conservation. The declaration was inspired by President Theodore Roosevelt and signed by the governors of all U.S. states and territories. The declaration focused on conserving natural resources: “We look upon these resources as a heritage to be made use of in establishing and promoting the comfort, prosperity, and happiness of the American People, but not to be wasted, deteriorated, or needlessly destroyed.”Some of the natural resources addressed by the Conference of Governors included rivers and other freshwater sources, forests, arable land, and mineral wealth. The conference was especially concerned about the long-term impacts of soil erosion, and prioritized the importance of increasing farmland. Some of the methods supported by the 1908 conference—draining wetlands and irrigating deserts—have since been questioned by environmentalists.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry arable Adjective
land used for, or capable of, producing crops or raising livestock.
management of a natural resource to prevent exploitation, destruction, or neglect.
Encyclopedic Entry: conservation desert Noun
area of land that receives no more than 25 centimeters (10 inches) of precipitation a year.
Encyclopedic Entry: desert erosion Noun
act in which earth is worn away, often by water, wind, or ice.
Encyclopedic Entry: erosion forest Noun
ecosystem filled with trees and underbrush.
having to do with a habitat or ecosystem of a lake, river, or spring.
elected or appointed leader of a state or area.
cultural or family background.
inorganic material that has a characteristic chemical composition and specific crystal structure.
something having more importance than others.
available supply of materials, goods, or services. Resources can be natural or human.
top layer of the Earth's surface where plants can grow.
area of land covered by shallow water or saturated by water.
Encyclopedic Entry: wetland