Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 28

WILDLIFE CONSERVATION
MILESTONES

NatioNal Wild
turkey FederatioN

1901: Newly elected President Theodore Roosevelt starts pushing to
conserve wildlife, ultimately tripling
the size of protected forests and
creating the U.S. Forest Service.
1927: Congress passes the PittmanRobinson Act, which places a tax on
guns and ammunition to provide
funds for research and management of game species.
1935: Aldo Leopold, who co-founded
the science of wildlife management, helps launch the Wilderness
Society dedicated to expanding and
protecting the nation's wilderness
areas.
1951: The Nature Conservancy is
formed to preserve large tracts of
water and land.
1964: President Lyndon B. Johnson
enacts the Wilderness Act to allow
the creation of wilderness areas on
U.S. Forest Service land.
1970: The Environmental Protection
Agency is born.
1973: The Endangered Species Act
is passed to protect species on the
brink of extinction.
2005: All U.S. states and territories
are required to create a Wildlife
Action Plan to "help keep common
species common." -NH

28 BlueRidgeCountry.com

The wild turkey reached populations of around 10 million in mature forests and grassy edges
before the Europeans arrived; today those counts have been nearly restored, at about 7 million.

Birth of the Conservation
Movement

Before colonization, deer, beavers
and other indigenous animals were
plentiful in the eastern forests. When
the settlers arrived, they built roads
and railroads, cleared woodlands for
farming and shipbuilding, and hunted and trapped the animals for the
fur trade. (It is reported that in 1748
alone, South Carolinians shipped
100,000 deer pelts to England.)
Without laws to regulate "market
hunting," the colonists all but wiped
out the natural inhabitants.
Around 1900, a shift in thinking
began to take place. President Theodore Roosevelt, a cowboy hunter
who claimed a spiritual kinship
with nature, vowed to protect as
much land as possible, and by 1910
every state had formed some kind of
commission to conserve wild game
and fish. During the Roosevelt era,

millions of acres of public parks,
forests and wildlife refuges were set
aside for public use.
The 1930s brought another wave
of conservation efforts, with forester
Aldo Leopold, the "father of game
management," writing some of the
first textbooks on wildlife biology,
and sportsmen demanding the restoration of deer and other game species
for recreational hunting. In 1937,
Congress passed the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, which levied an excise tax
on all hunting weapons and ammunition, with proceeds going to fund
wildlife restoration projects, research
and education.
Thirty years later, public outcry
over widespread use of pesticides led
to a series of landmark laws to make
the environment safer.
Gradually, many wild animals
rebounded. Consider, for example,


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016

Contents
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Contents
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 5
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Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover3
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