Role Model for a Conservationist: John D. Rockefeller's Relationship to Nature

by Dyana Furmansky

Jan 1, 2013
The visitor center at Grand Teton National Park's Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve displays a large photograph of the Preserve's namesake, posing with his brothers Nelson A. and John D. 3rd and their father, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. In the photo, taken in 1924, during the family's first trip to the Teton Mountains, Laurance Rockefeller is fourteen years old. Before he died in 2004 at the age of 94, Laurance bequeathed 1,106 acres of what had been part of the Rockefeller family's private JY Ranch, located inside the national park, to the National Park Service, for the establishment of the preserve. It opened to the public in 2008. An intriguing quote -- attributed to Laurance -- accompanies the photo just described: "Father, as his father had done for him, took us on these trips, not only for the thrill that young boys would get from such journeys, but also to inspire in us a portion of his own deep love for wilderness beauty and his interest in protecting it." The nonchalance of the phrase, "as his father had done for him" may come as a surprise.
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