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A Brief History of Wildlife and Fisheries Management . Early(< 1500’s) Pre-European Settlement of North America 1700’s on……. (This lecture will have a decidedly North American bias and emphasis). Early Laws and Regulations Concerning Wildlife and Fisheries Resources .

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A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

A Brief History of Wildlife and Fisheries Management

  • Early(< 1500’s)

  • Pre-European Settlement of North America

  • 1700’s on…….

(This lecture will have a decidedly North American bias and emphasis)


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

Early Laws and Regulations Concerning Wildlife and Fisheries Resources

Bible: ? Mention of wildlife management /harvesting issues in Deuteronomy (14:4-20), Leviticus (11:4-6). Decrees on harvesting of wildlife

Egypt ?? Hieroglyphics showing trapping of rats

Solon 600 B.C. Hunting Restrictions

Kublai Khan 1260 A.D. Specific Hunting Restrictions

Magna Carta 1215 A.D. Ownership of game animals (and land) assigned to King and nobles. Hunting is made and exclusive right of the noble class (note distinction with the modern North American system)


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

  • Wildlife and Fisheries Resource Use in Presettlement North America

  • ≈ 10,000 B.C.: Native Americans widespread in N. America. Early on, primarily a hunter-gatherer society

  • ≈ 3000-1500 B.C.: first cultivation, but hunting and fishing persisted

  • Landscape-scale management of habitat common ( e.g., use of fire to promote successional habitats).


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

Impact of Native Americans on Wildlife America

Possible overkill as important contributor to mass extinctions


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

Development of North American wildlife conservation during the post-(European) settlement period

  • Can be divided into 5 periods:

  • Era of Abundance

  • Era of Overexploitation

  • Era of Protection

  • Era of Game Management

  • Era of Environmental Management


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

Era of Abundance: 1600-1849 the post-(European) settlement period

  • Most fish and wildlife species found in high numbers, resource is viewed as limitless

  • Wildlife and fisheries not viewed as restricted “resources”, rather it is viewed by immigrants as a “commons”

  • Some laws were passed; e.g.,

  • bounty on wolves

  • closed season on deer (R.I., 1646)

  • Game bird seasons (N.Y., 1708)


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

In England and Wales: a common (or common land) is a piece of land over which other people—often neighbouring landowners—could exercise one of a number of traditional rights, such as allowing their cattle to graze upon it. The older texts use the word "common" to denote any such right, but more modern usage is to refer to particular rights of common, and to reserve the word "commons" for the land over which the rights are exercised. By extension, the term "commons" has come to be applied to other resources to which a community has rights or access.


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

Basically, everyone was operating under the “Myth of Superabundance” which resulted from rich natural resources and relatively few consumers


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

Era of Overexploitation (1850- 1899) Superabundance” which resulted from rich natural resources and relatively few consumers

Wildlife populations declined because:

- habitats were continually modified

- repeating firearms

- efficient transportation

- markets for wildlife

Hunted or trapped to the brink of extinction:

beaver, bison (10 x 106 to nearly none….)

In the Midwest: White tailed Deer, Wild Turkey, Greater Prairie Chicken, Wolf


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

Era of Overexploitation (1850- 1899) Superabundance” which resulted from rich natural resources and relatively few consumers

Some reactive responses:

First Game Wardens: Maine, 1852

Hunting License: New York, 1864

First Bag Limit: Iowa, 25 Prairie Chickens

First National Park: Yellowstone, 1872


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

Hunting of Passenger Pigeons Superabundance” which resulted from rich natural resources and relatively few consumers


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

Ectopistes migratorius Superabundance” which resulted from rich natural resources and relatively few consumers

"The passenger pigeon needs no protection. Wonderfully prolific, having the vast forests of the North as its breeding grounds, traveling hundreds of miles in search of food, it is here today and elsewhere tomorrow, and no ordinary destruction can lessen them, or be missed from the myriads that are yearly produced“

Ohio Senate report finding in response to bill to protect the Passenger Pigeon , 1857


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

Possibly the most common bird in the world at one time Superabundance” which resulted from rich natural resources and relatively few consumers


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

Era of Protection (1900-1925) Superabundance” which resulted from rich natural resources and relatively few consumers

Many populations were at historical lows

Bison

Elk

Pronghorn Antelope

Passenger Pigeon*

Snowy Egret

Deer


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

Era of Protection (1900-1925) Superabundance” which resulted from rich natural resources and relatively few consumers

Laws protecting wildlife were established:

Lacey Act: Passed in 1925, regulated market hunting, controlled importation of exotics and interstate transport of illegal game

Weeks-Mclean Act: 1912, provided for protection of waterfowl


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

Era of Protection (1900-1925) Superabundance” which resulted from rich natural resources and relatively few consumers

New laws, continued:

Migratory Bird Treaty Act: 1917, protection of migratory birds either complete or through regulation

All this was driven by recognition that overexploitation was the cause of declines


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

Era of Protection (1900-1925) Superabundance” which resulted from rich natural resources and relatively few consumers

  • Most states established departments of fish and game

  • Revenue from fish and hunting licenses generated and put into enforcement and some level of resource management


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

Era of Protection (1900-1925) Superabundance” which resulted from rich natural resources and relatively few consumers

Theodore Roosevelt: 1858-1919

Along with others , he conceived many of the key aspects and elements of modern conservation and the dangers of overexploitation. A doctrine that included:

  • A recognition of conservation through wise use as a public responsibility

  • Recognition of resource ownership as a public trust

  • Recognition of outdoor resources as integrated systems

  • Recognition of science as a means effective resource management.


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

Theodore Roosevelt: Superabundance” which resulted from rich natural resources and relatively few consumers

  • As President (1901-1909), established several natural resource agencies, and what became the National Wildlife Refuge system

  • Promoted the National Monuments and Antiquities Act and then established 23 National Monuments.

  • Created 150 National Forests

  • Established Federal protection for over 230 x 106 acres


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

Gifford Pinchot: 1865-1946 Superabundance” which resulted from rich natural resources and relatively few consumers

"The greatest good for the greatest number of people in the long run." 

Generally credited with coining the term “conservation”

A forester who started the first forestry school (Yale, 1899) and lead what became the U.S. Forest Service

Recognized that resources must be managed


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

John Muir: 1838-1914 Superabundance” which resulted from rich natural resources and relatively few consumers

  • Proponent of the preservationist movement

  • Established the Sierra Club in 1892

  • Advocate of wilderness and aesthetic values of the land


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

Era of Game Management (1930-1965) Superabundance” which resulted from rich natural resources and relatively few consumers

  • First research and management programs developed in North America

  • Publication of the book “Game Management” in 1933 by Aldo Leopold

  • The Wildlife Cooperative Research Program was established in 1932 at universities and graduate education centers

  • The Wildlife Society was established in 1937


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

Era of Game Management (1930-1965) Superabundance” which resulted from rich natural resources and relatively few consumers

Significant Legislation:

Duck Stamp Act (1934)

Pittman-Robertson Act (1937)


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

Aldo Leopold: 1886-1948 Superabundance” which resulted from rich natural resources and relatively few consumers

  • “Father” of wildlife management; the book Game Management was the first formal integration of ecological principles with management goals.

  • Co-founder of the Wildlife Society; first professor of wildlife/game management


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

Aldo Leopold; continued Superabundance” which resulted from rich natural resources and relatively few consumers

  • Established “American Game Policy” with basic principles on the requirements of wildlife as a sustained resource:

  • Food and cover

  • Inducements for landowners

  • Classification of game by habitat (farm, forest, …wilderness).

  • The need for facts, funding, and public-sportsman cooperation


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

The Land Ethic Superabundance” which resulted from rich natural resources and relatively few consumers

"We abuse the land because we see it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect."

"The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

Era of Environmental Management Superabundance” which resulted from rich natural resources and relatively few consumers (1965 to present)

Significant growth in environmental regulation:

First Endangered Species Act : 1966

National Environmental Policy Act: 1966

EPA established in 1970

First “Earth Day” and Clean Air Act; 1970

Significant rise in environmental concerns for biodiversity-related issues

Concern over global change has generated increased recognition of environmental issues


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

Fisheries: Superabundance” which resulted from rich natural resources and relatively few consumers

Like wildlife, fisheries resources were viewed as a “commons.”

Again, a commons is a resource owned by the populace without restriction on who uses it and how much…

Generally, things developed as they did with wildlife resources

First restriction on fish catches was enacted in 1652 in Mass.


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

Recent News


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

Erie Canal Columbia’s Fraser River this summer have gone missing.

Transportation has an important influence on resource; canals were built, channels were “improved”

Through the 19th century, fisheries were commercial (especially in the Great Lakes) and subsistence. Technological advances improved catches to the point where overexploitation became an issue (mid to late 1800’s),

1870, the American Fish Culturists’ Association was formed (later became the American Fisheries Society


A brief history of wildlife and fisheries management

Early 1900’s, concept of population biology and “maximum sustained yield” (MSY) developed.

“System” view of aquatic ecosystems developed. Example: Stephen Forbes, Illinois Natural History Survey

1938; publication of Improvement of Lakes for Fishing. C. Hubbs and R. Eschmeyer