It’s not often Iowans get to chat with a dead president, but it happened this week in Dubuque, more or less. This year is the 100th anniversary of the National Wildlife Refuge system, founded by the 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt. An actor who’s done extensive research on “T-R” and who bears an amazing resemblance to the “father of conservation” appeared in character as the former chief executive. Keith McGough, as Roosevelt, was asked what he was thinking a century ago when he started the refuge system with one small island in Florida.Even then, McGough says the precious resources were starting to dwindle as the U.S. was “over-loved and over-paved.” He says in the past century, the United States’ National Wildlife Refuge has grown tremendously, and now includes the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in central Iowa near Prairie City. McGough, as Roosevelt, says he’s very proud to see how his initial experiment has grown into preserving some of America’s natural beauty for future generations. The real Teddy Roosevelt -did- spend some time in Iowa. McGough is a Pennsylvania native who uses numerous props, music and tapes in his recreation of Teddy Roosevelt. He gave his presentation this week at the Dubuque City Library.
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