Although born of wealth and privilege, Gifford Pinchot (1865-1946) dedicated his life to public service — advocating for the sustainable management of natural resources. He championed the establishment of the National Forests and the U.S. Forest Service, where he served as its first chief under President Theodore Roosevelt. Pinchot believed in the democratization of national resources, and fought to ensure that a few powerful individuals could not monopolize these resources for their own financial gain. To him, natural wealth belonged to the nation as a whole, and therefore should provide "the greatest good to the greatest number of people for the long run." SEEKING THE GREATEST GOOD chronicles the legacy of Pinchot's "practical conservation" philosophy, and celebrates its relevance in helping to understand and solve today's conservation challenges. Supplemented by archival materials and awe-inspiring nature photography, SEEKING THE GREATEST GOOD interweaves events in U.S. environmental history with Pinchot's life story and career achievements. The documentary also profiles those responsible for shaping Pinchot's principles and perspectives, including his parents, Mary and James; George Perkins Marsh and his landmark 1865 book, Man and Nature;and fellow progressives John Muir and George Bird Grinnell.
"Seeking the Greatest Good" airs on Monday, March 18th at 9:00 p.m.