Happy Presidents’ Day and a Bipartisan plea for more Mount Roosevelts

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17 February 2014
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A handful of hikers admire Mount Washington from North Twin Mountain in New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest.

Today is the day we honor our presidents. I remember when we had two separate holidays in February for specific presidents—one for Lincoln’s birthday and one for Washington’s. But somewhere down the road of watering down holidays to make them just three day weekends and excuses to go shopping, we amalgamated those two days into a generic holiday that now honors all 43 (unless you count Grover twice) of our presidents. So, I guess now we get to raise a glass for some of our not so great presidents-ones like-well, I’ll let your own knowledge of history and partisan leanings dictate who you think should those should be.

But one name that I wouldn’t mind seeing more honoring for is Roosevelt. And yes, I mean both of them which is my cleaver way of appealing to bipartisan sensibilities; but also because both Franklin and Theodore were truly two of our greatest presidents. And both of them were big champions of our environment and public lands. And since I am about parks, forests, and public lands, I propose that we begin naming more mountains after Roosevelt—either one!


Mount Roosevelt reflects beautifully in Snow Lake in Washington’s Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

We have many Mount Washingtons and we should; honoring our first and one of our greatest presidents. My home state of New Hampshire has a Presidential Range with 6,288-foot Mount Washington, highest peak in the Northeast being the most prominent. There’s also a Mount Adams, Jefferson, Jackson, Monroe, Madison, Pierce (who? New Hampshire native son and 14th president), Eisenhower (winner of the first NH primary) and even a Mount Reagan. But, no Roosevelt.
Vermont has a Presidential Range too, and while not as famous as NH’s, it does have a Mount Roosevelt! Tennessee has a Mount Roosevelt too, and so does South Dakota. And Washington has a Mount Roosevelt, although it’s not a distinct peak and it’s often mistaken for an adjacent peak. But hey—it’s a Mount Roosevelt and I’ll take it! So how about it if we can have a few prominent Mount Roosevelts out there.

Perhaps some of our generic but prominent peaks like Green, Goat, Blue, etc., mountains would make prime candidates for some Mount Roosevelts. It’s great that Teddy at least as his face on Mount Rushmore. But let’s get his and his cousin’s name on more peaks. What do you think?

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