North American Development and Wildlife Conservation Timeline

We constantly hear that many species are threatened with extinction. Extinction is a fact of life for every species as much as death is for every individual. More species (99%) have gone extinct in the past than exist on our planet today and most of those extinctions were due to natural (pre-human civilization) causes. Natural causes of extinction include collisions with asteroids, climate change (glaciation), geologic forces (volcanism) and inter-specific interactions (competition, predation, disease). There have been five major extinction events in Earth’s history between 445 – 65 million years ago.

The problem today is that most of the threats are caused by man. Some species benefit from the ways we modify the environment and will probably always be with us. Examples are pigeons, rats and cockroaches. The main man-made threats for extinctions are habitat destruction, introduction of invasive species and over-exploitation.

Since 1500, humans have caused 322 animal extinctions. Why is the year 1500 used as a benchmark? Because Europeans had just discovered the New World (North and South America). As they explored and created new settlements, they brought new species of plants and animals with them and they brought new diseases. They cleared land for crops and hunted and fished for food, furs, leather and treasure.

In some cases, they caused species to go extinct so fast, we hardly know much about them. When some people noticed certain species were declining, conservation laws were created to prevent the loss of what we consider valuable species. Since these decisions are always political, various groups began to form to advocate for the protection of certain species.

As cities grew, pollution became a problem for both man and nature. Eventually, something had to be done and we created laws and found ways to clean up much of the pollution. But our cities continue to grow and so do various types of pollution. We have learned much and have made many changes, but there is still much that we need to learn and many environmental problems need to be solved.

Our modern civilization still destroys critical habitats, introduces invasive species and over-exploits natural resources, so threats to wildlife are still common so more animals and plants are  threatened with extinction. Over 200 extinctions have occurred within the last 200 years. But few people are aware of the many species that have already gone extinct or have been extirpated from places they used to live.

As you look at the timeline below, notice how fast the human population grew after the first successful settlements and how fast some species began to disappear. As species began to disappear conservation became necessary, so also notice when the first conservation groups were founded and when the first wildlife laws were created. This timeline is far from complete, but I will continue to add to it. Feel free to add additional information in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

Development and Conservation Timeline

      • 1492 – Columbus Discovers the New World (Bahamas, Hispanola & Cuba)
      • 1493 – 1st European Colony established (La Isabela, Hispaniola)
      • 1496 – 1st permanent European settlement (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic)
      • 1497 – John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto) Discovers North American Mainland (Newfoundland?)
      • 1500 – Pedro Álvares Cabral Discovered South America (Brazil)
      • 1500s- Estimated 30 – 60 million Bison in North America
      • 1513 – Vasco Núñez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama to the Pacific Ocean
      • 1519 – Cortés begins raid in Mexico
      • 1521 – Cortés conquers Mexico for Spain
      • 1539 – de Soto Explores Florida to Arkansas
      • 1540 – Coronado Explores North to East Kansas
      • 1540 – López de Cárdenas discovered Grand Canyon (not visited by Europeans for another 200 years)
      • 1565 – 1st North American Colony (Saint Augustine, Fl., Spain, 800 people)
      • 1587 – 1st North Carolina settlement (failed – Lost Colony, Roanoke Is.)
      • 1598 – 1st New Mexico settlement (Rio Grande near Ohkay Owingeh)
      • 1604 – 1st French Colony (Acadia now part of Quebec)
      • 1607 – 1st English Colony (Jamestown, Va.)
      • 1607 – 1st Maine Settlement (Popham, by Plymouth Co. – unsuccessful)
      • 1610 – Spanish settle Santa Fe, New Mexico
      • 1615 – Dutch establish Fort Nassau (now Westerlo Island, N.Y.)
      • 1620 – English est. Plymouth, Mass.
      • 1620 – 1st New Jersey Settlement (Bergen)
      • 1623 – 1st New Hampshire settlement (near Portsmouth)
      • 1625 – Dutch est. New Amsterdam (now N.Y. City)
      • 1625 – Colonial Population (Pop.) est. 1,980 (not including Native Americans)
      • 1630 – Massachusetts offered bounty on wolves
      • 1633 – 1st Connecticut settlement (Dutch Fort near Hartford)
      • 1634 – 1st Maryland Settlement (St. Clement’s Island)
      • 1636 – 1st Rhode Island Settlement (along Moshassuck River, now Providence)
      • 1638 – 1st Delaware settlement (Swedish Fort near Wilmington)
      • 1643 – 1st Pennsylvania settlement (New Sweden capital at Tinicum Island)
      • 1640 – 1st Successful North Carolina settlements (expansion from Va.)
      • 1641 – Colonial Pop. est. 50,000
      • 1650 – N.Y. City Pop. 800 – 1,000
      • 1668 – 1st Permanent Michigan settlement (Sault Ste. Marie by French missionary)
      • 1670 – 1st Successful South Carolina settlement (near Charleston)
      • 1680 – 1st Illinois settlement (Fort Crevecoeur, Illinois River)
      • 1683 – Pennsylvania offered bounty on wolves (10 – 15 shillings)
      • 1683 – N.Y. City Pop. 3,000
      • 1686 – 1st Arkansas settlement (trading post on Arkansas River)
      • 1688 – Colonial Population est. 200,000
      • 1699 – 1st Mississippi settlement (French Fort near Ocean Springs)
      • 1702 – 1st Alabama settlement (French Fort near Mobile)
      • 1702 – Colonial Pop. est. 270,000
      • 1715 – Colonial Pop. est. 435,000
      • 1718 – 1st Louisiana settlement (Natchitoches)
      • 1718 – 1st Texas settlement (San Antonio River)
      • 1720 – 1st settlers in Missouri (St. Genevieve 1st permanent settlement 1750)
      • 1721 – Pennsylvania’s first Game Law (Deer hunting allowed Jul. 1 to Jan.1. Fine was 20 shillings; “Indians were exempt”)
      • 1724 – 1st Vermont settlement (Fort near Brattleboro)
      • 1727 – 1st West Virginia settlement (Mecklenburg, now Shepherdstown)
      • 1732 – 1st Georgia settlement  (Yamacraw Bluff now Savannah)
      • 1748 – South Carolina shipped 160,000 deer pelts shipped to England
      • 1749 – Colonial Pop. est. 1,000,000
      • 1752 – 1st Arizona settlement (Tubac)
      • 1754 – Colonial Pop. est. 1,500,000
      • 1765 – Colonial Pop. est. 2,200,000
      • 1768 – 1st Tenn. settlement (North & South Holston)
      • 1768 – Steller’s sea cow hunted to extinction (North Pacific of Asia & North America)
      • 1769 – South Carolina passed 1st game law (protected deer Jan. – July)
      • 1769 – 1st California settlement (San Diego)
      • 1773 – 1st settlement in Indiana (French trading post Tassinong on Kankakee River)
      • 1774 – 1st Kentucky settlement (fort near Harrodsburg)
      • 1774 – 1st paddle steamer boat (France)
      • 1775 –  Newfoundland banned hunting the Great Auk for feathers or eggs (violators were publicly flogged; birds could still be killed for fish bait)
      • 1775 – Colonial Pop. est. 2,400,000
      • 1775 – Revolutionary War Began
      • 1776 – U.S. Pop. 2.5 million (Native American Pop. ???)
      • 1778 – Boulton & Watt improved steam engine design (by 1800, produce nearly 500)
      • 1783 – Revolutionary War Ends
      • 1787 – 1st cotton mill in America (Beverly, Mass.; originally powered by horse, then water)
      • 1787 – 1st Colorado settlement (Juan Bautista established San Carlos for Spanish near Pueblo – failed)
      • 1788 – 1st Ohio settlement (Merietta; originally named Adelphia)
      • 1789 – Washington inaugurated as first President
      • 1790 – U.S. Pop. 3.9 million (not including Native Pop.)
      • 1794 – 1st Cotton Gin (invented by Eli Whitney, person could clean 10x as much cotton)
      • 1795 – 1st Nebraska settlement (Fort Charles, Missouri River)
      • 1798 – “An Essay on the Principle of Population” published (Thomas Robert Malthus)
      • 1798 – 1st Dam built on the Connecticut River (Turners Falls, Ma.; contributed to extirpation of Atlantic salmon from the river)
      • 1799 – Last Bison killed in N.C.
      • 1800 – U.S. Pop. 5.3 million (not including Native Pop. est. at 500,000)
      • 1801 – Last Bison killed in Pa.
      • 1802 – Bison extirpated from Ohio
      • 1803 – Louisiana territory purchased by U.S. ($15 million to France)
      • 1804 – World Human Population reaches 1 billion
      • 1804 – Lewis and Clark expedition began
      • 1804 – 1st steam-powered locomotive (Britain)
      • 1807 – 1st steam-powered ship (The Clermont, traveled 150 miles from N.Y. to Albany in 32 hours)
      • 1810 – U.S. Pop. 7.2 million
      • 1820 – U.S. Pop. 9.6 million
      • 1810 – Bison extirpated from Indiana – may have survived until 1832
      • 1811 – 1st Permanent settlement in Oregon (Fort Astoria on Columbia River)
      • 1821 – 1st Natural Gas Well drilled in U.S. (Fredonia, N.Y.)
      • 1824 – 1st Mountain man rendezvous in Wyoming
      • 1825 – Last Eastern Bison killed near Charleston, W.V. (see 1810)
      • 1830s – Ethanol blend replaces Whale Oil (for Lamp Fuel)
      • 1830 – U.S. Pop. 12.9 million
      • 1830 – 1st locomotive to regularly carry passengers (The Best Friend of Charleston; The Tom Thumb also made first run in 1830)
      • 1830 – 1st Dams on the Susquehanna River (blocked migratory fish from Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, Pa. and N.Y.)
      • 1830 – Native Americans relocated to Kansas
      • 1833 – American Fur Company ships 43,000 buffalo (bison) hides
      • 1833 – “Tragedy of the Commons” (William Forster Lloyd)
      • 1833 – 1st official settlements in Iowa (land purchased from Sauk chief Black Hawk)
      • 1834 – 1st Permanent settlement in Wyoming (Fort William, later Fort Laramie)
      • 1836 – Emerson publishes “Nature”
      • 1840 – U.S. Pop. 17 million
      • 1840 – Bison extirpated from Missouri
      • 1840 – Caribou extirpated from Vermont
      • 1841 – 1st Permanent settlement in Montana (St. Mary’s Mission in Stevensville
      • 1841 – Unlawful to kill “small insectivorous birds” in Pa. (some counties Apr. 1 – Aug. 10; Fine $2)
      • 1847 – 1st Permanent settlement in Utah (Ogden, settlers bought land from mountain man Miles Goodyear)
      • 1848 – Gold discovered in California (Sutter’s Mill – began gold rush)
      • 1850 – U.S. Pop. 23.2 million
      • 1850 – Caribou extirpated from Wisconsin
      • 1851 – 1st Permanent settlement in Colorado (San Luis on the Culebra River)
      • 1851 – 1st Permanent settlement in Washington (along Duwamish River and near Elliott Bay – now Seattle)
      • 1852 – Last sighting of Great Auk (off Newfoundland)
      • 1854 – Henry David Thoreau publishes “Walden”
      • 1854 – Kansas territory opened for settlement
      • 1859 – 1st commercial oil well (Titusville, Pa.; kerosen begins replacing other fuels)
      • 1860 – 1st Permanent settlement in Idaho (Franklin)
      • 1860 – U.S. Pop. 31.4 million
      • 1860 – Pony Express (Sacramento, Ca. –  St. Joe, Mo.)
      • 1860 – 1st State hunting license (New York)
      • 1861 – 1st Settlement in Nevada (Genoa, originally called Mormon Station)
      • 1861 – U.S. Civil War Began
      • 1862 – U.S. enacts Ethanol Tax
      • 1865 – U.S. Civil War Ends  (620,000 lives lost)
      • 1866 – The word “ecology” is coined (German biologist Ernst Haeckel)
      • 1867 – Last Eastern elk killed in Pa. (headwaters of Clarion River; see 1877)
      • 1867 – Dynamite invented (by Alfred Nobel – Nobel Prize founder)
      • 1869 – Transcontinental railroad completed
      • 1869 – John Wesley Powell explores Green & Colorado Rivers
      • 1870 – U.S. Pop. 38.6 million
      • 1870 – Congress passes “An Act to prevent the Extermination of Fur-Bearing Animals in Alaska”
      • 1870 – First government owned wildlife refuge in U.S (Lake Merritt, Oakland, Ca.)
      • 1870 – Fish Commission Established in California  (1st in U.S.)
      • 1870 – 1st Asphalt road (Newark, N.J.)
      • 1870 – Sea mink probably extinct  (from coastal New England & Canada)
      • 1871 – U.S. Bureau of Fisheries established
      • 1872 – Yellowstone National Park founded (1st U.S. National Park)
      • 1873 – Illegal to shoot ¼ mile of Passenger Pigeon nesting area in Pa. (Fine $25)
      • 1873 – Caribou extirpated from Prince Edward Island
      • 1875 – Last sighting of Labrador Duck (Long Island, NY)
      • 1875 – American Forest Organization founded
      • 1877 – Last Eastern elk killed in Pa. (Centre County)
      • 1877 – Last wild bison discovered (and killed) in Texas
      • 1879 – Thomas Edison invented the light bulb
      • 1880 – U.S. Pop. 50.1 million
      • 1880 – 1st Water Turbine produced Electric Spark for Light (Grand Rapids, Michigan)
      • 1880 – Loggers Build Splash Dams in Western Washington (devastate salmon runs – Columbia River Basin)
      • 1881 – 1st practical ship powered by steam turbine (SS Aberdeen)
      • 1881 – Caribou extirpated from New Hampshire
      • 1882 – 1st Hydro-power plant (Fox River, Appleton, Wisconsin)
      • 1882 – 1st Electric Power in N.Y. City (400 streetlights and 85 customers)
      • 1883 – Pa. removed protection of English Sparrows
      • 1884 – Only 325 Wild Bison in U.S. (25 bison in Yellowstone)
      • 1885 – Pa. passed “Scalp Act” (bounty on weasels, hawks and some owls)
      • 1886 – The U.S. Division of Economic Ornithology and Mammalogy established (became Division of Biological Survey)
      • 1886 – 1st Gasoline Powered Automobile (Karl Benz)
      • 1887 – Pa. repealed “Scalp Act” (too much fraud – 180,000 hawks & owls killed in 2 years)
      • 1888 – 1st Windmill generates electricity (Cleveland, Ohio)
      • 1889 – Royal Society for Protection of Birds (RSBP)
      • 1889 – Total Bison pop est. 1,000 in North America (200 Yellowstone, 550 Great Slave Lake and 256 captive)
      • 1889 – Oklahoma Territory opened to settlement (Land Run)
      • 1890 – U.S. Pop. 63 million (native pop est. 200,000)
      • 1890 – American Bison near extinction
      • 1890 – European Starlings released into New York’s Central Park
      • 1891 – 1st National Forest (Shoshone N.F. in Wy.; Forest Reserve Act)
      • 1891 – 1st Concrete road (Bellefontaine, Ohio)
      • 1892 – Sierra Club founded
      • 1892 – 1st Fed. Wildlife Sanctuary (Afognak Island, Alaska by Pres. Harrison for salmon spawning)
      • 1892 – 1st Commercial Geothermal Heating System (Boise, Id.; 200 homes & 40 businesses)
      • 1893 – 1st AC hydro-power plant (Redlands, California)
      • 1896 – 1st large-scale electric generation system (Niagara Falls for Buffalo NY)
      • 1895 – The Wildlife Conservation Society established (originally New York Zoological Society)
      • 1896 – Cascade Locks and Canal built (Columbia River, Oregon & Wa.; later replaced by Bonneville Dam and Locks)
      • 1896 – Eastern Elk extinct (last elk probably died in Minn.)
      • 1897 – Stanley Brothers begin selling steam cars
      • 1898 – Maine prohibits hunting Caribou
      • 1900 – U.S. Pop. 76 million
      • 1900 – Lacey Act (banned illegal wildlife trafficking; later amended to include plants)
      • 1901 – 1st Eastern Forest Reserve (Wichita Forest Reserve, Ok. – now Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge)
      • 1902 – “The Silva of North America” published (Charles Sargent publishes 14-volume set of tree species of North America)
      • 1903 – National Wildlife Refuge System (Pres. Roosevelt declared 1st reservation – Pelican Island, Sebastian, Florida)
      • 1903 – Indiana’s 1st Wildlife Refuge (no more info)
      • 1905 – US Forest Service Created
      • 1905 – National Audubon Society founded
      • 1905 – Pennsylvania’s 1st Wildlife Refuge (Clinton Co.)
      • 1904 – First power plant in South Carolina
      • 1905 – American Bison Society founded
      • 1906 – Pennsylvania stocked 50 deer (from Michigan)
      • 1907 – 1st Eastern National Forest (Arkansas N.F. – renamed Ouachita N.F., Ar.)
      • 1907 – Alabama’s 1st Wildlife Refuge (no more info)
      • 1908 – Massachusetts’ 1st Wildlife Refuge (no more info)
      • 1908 – Oregon’s 1st Wildlife Refuge (Malheur NWR, Harney County)
      • 1908 – Last Caribou killed in Maine (shot on Mt. Katahdin)
      • 1909 – Idaho’s 1st Wildlife Refuge (Deer Flat, Nampa Id.)
      • 1909 – Buffalo N.P. est. (Alberta; 300 plains bison)
      • 1909 – Bison Preserve est. (Flathead Indian Res., Montana)
      • 1910 – 1st Assembly Line Factory (Henry Ford’s automobile plant, Highland Park Mich.)
      • 1910 – U.S. Pop. 92.4 million (increased 16.4 million in 10 years)
      • 1910 – Wild Bison Pop. est. 2,108 (1,076 Canada, 1,032 U.S. and 151 in public herds)
      • 1911 – Louisiana’s 1st Wildlife Refuge
      • 1911 – The Weeks Act (purchased 6 million acres of land in eastern U.S. to establish National Forests)
      • 1912 – Caribou extirpated from mainland Michigan and mainland Nova Scotia
      • 1912 – City Smoke Ordinances and Smoke Abatement Report (U.S. Bureau of Mines report on U.S. municipalities)
      • 1913 – Pa. reintroduced elk (from Yellowstone)
      • 1913 – Pa. issues 1st hunting licenses
      • 1913 – William Hornaday publishes “Our Vanishing Wild Life”
      • 1914 – Passenger Pigeon Extinct (last bird died in Cincinnati zoo)
      • 1915 – Long Lake Dam built on Spokane River, Wa. (stopped passage of salmon and steelhead)
      • 1915 – Congress appropriated $125,000 for predator control (“wolves, prairie dogs, and other animals injurious to livestock,” and to assist in organized predator control on national forests and other public land)
      • 1915 – Ecological Society of America Founded
      • 1916 – National Park Service Established
      • 1916 – 1st Appalachian National Forest (Pisgah N.F., N.C.)
      • 1916 – Frederic E. Clements publishes “Plant Succession”
      • 1918 – Migratory Bird Treaty Act (U.S & Canada establish species list and harvest limits for legal hunting)
      • 1918 – Carolina Parakeet Extinct (last bird died in Cincinnati zoo)
      • 1918 – Flu Pandemic (killed 50 – 100 million people world wide; 0.5 – 0.65 million in U.S.)
      • 1919 – Wild Bison Pop. est. at 12,521
      • 1919 –  Robert Earle Richardson publishes “Some Recent Changes in Illinois River Biology”
      • 1920 – U.S. Pop. 106.4 million (increased 14 million in 10 years)
      • 1921 – 1st Geothermal Electric Plant (N of San Fransisco, Ca.)
      • 1921- Discovery of leaded gasoline (General Motors discovers tetraethyl lead as an anti-knock gasoline additive)
      • 1922 – Birdlife International founded
      • 1922 – 1st harbor pollution survey (Corps of Engineers)
      • 1922 – National Coast Anti Pollution League formed (Atlantic City, N.J. to stop oil dumping in Ocean)
      • 1924 – 1st Federal Law to Control Oil Pollution
      • 1924 – U.S. Forest Service designated the Gila region (N.M.) as a wilderness area (Aldo Leopold recommendation 40 years before the Wilderness Act)
      • 1927 – World Human Population reaches 2 billion (U.S. pop. 119 million)
      • 1927 – 1st Commercial Wind Turbines (Electricity in remote areas)
      • 1928 – Caribou extirpated from Isle Royale Michigan
      • 1928 — Public Health Service begins air pollution checks (Eastern U.S. cities, reports sunlight cut by 20 to 50 percent in N.Y. city)
      • 1930 – U.S. Pop. 123.1 million (increased 16.7 million in 10 years)
      • 1930s – Fed. gov. paid Southern farmers to plant Kudzu (to stop soil erosion)
      • 1930s – Nutria introduced into Louisiana
      • 1932 – Drought in Great Plains (Dust Bowl) Begins
      • 1932 – Eastern Heath Hen extinct (Tympanuchus cupido)
      • 1933 – Aldo Leopold published “Game Management”
      • 1934 – Rosalie Edge stopped the killing of hawks at Hawk Mountain Pa. (she leased land and hired a warden)
      • 1934 – Fish & Wildlife Coordination Act (requires the fed. gov. to consider fish & wildlife when building dams)
      • 1935 – American Bison Society disbanded
      • 1936 – National Wildlife Federation founded
      • 1936 – Hover Dam Completed (Lake Mead, Colorado River)
      • 1937 – Ducks Unlimited founded
      • 1937 – Pittman-Robertson Act (Federal excise tax on sporting arms & ammunition provides funding to states for management & wildlife restoration)
      • 1938 – Last Cougar killed in Maine
      • 1940 – U.S. Pop. 132.1 million (increased 9 million in 10 years)
      • 1940s – Caribou extirpated from Minnesota (2 individuals seen Winter 1981-82)
      • 1940s – 21,000 tons of toxic industrial waste buried at Love Canal (Niagara Falls, N.Y; Hooker Chemical; now Occidental Petroleum Corp.)
      • 1941 – Wild Whooping Crane population est. at 16
      • 1941 – Bison transplanted from Yellowstone to Utah (Robbers Roost/Dirty Devil desert – bison left desert & moved to Henry Mountains area in 1963 – May be the only genetically pure plains bison)
      • 1944 – Last Ivory-billed Woodpecker sighted in Louisiana
      • 1945 – DDT available as agricultural insecticide (used extensively during World War II to control typhus)
      • 1947 – Marjorie Stoneman Douglas’s publishes “The Everglades: River of Grass”
      • 1948 – International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) (first global environmental organization)
      • 1949 – Aldo Leopold published “A Sand County Almanac”
      • 1950 – U.S. Pop. 152.3 million (increased 20.2 million in 10 years)
      • 1951 – The Nature Conservancy Founded
      • 1951 – 1st Nuclear Reactor to produce electricity (Argonne National Laboratory, Idaho)
      • 1951 – Last Deepwater Ciscoe found in Lake Michigan
      • 1952 – Last Deepwater Ciscoe found in Lake Huron
      • 1953 – Silicon Solar Cell invented by Bell Laboratories
      • 1954 – Hydrogen bomb test (Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands)
      • 1955 – Caribou extirpated from Eastern U.S. (Minn.)
      • 1956 – Hawks protected in NE Pa. (only during migration; Sep. & Oct.)
      • 1957 – 1st Commercial Nuclear Power Plant (Shippingport, Pa.)
      • 1959 – Trout Unlimited founded
      • 1959 – World Human Population reaches 3 billion
      • 1960U.S. Pop. 180.7 million (increased 28.4 million in 10 years)
      • 1960 – OPEC formed (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries)
      • 1964 – Land & Water Conservation Act
      • 1964 – Wild and Scenic Rivers Act
      • 1964 – The Wilderness Act (designated 9.1 million acres as Wilderness in Az, Ca., Co., Id., Minn., Mont., N.C., N.H., N.M., Nev., Ore., Wa., and Wy.)
      • 1965 – Scientific proof airborne lead not naturally caused (Greenland geochemist Clair Patterson found no lead in ancient ice)
      • 1966 – Endangered Species Preservation Act (preceded Endangered Species Act (ESA)
      • 1966 – Glen Canyon Dam completed (Lake Powell, Colorado River)
      • 1967 – First Endangered Species List (included American Alligator, California Condor, Whooping Crane, American Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Florida Everglade Kite, Attwater’s Greater Prairie Chicken, Grizzly Bear, Gray Wolf, Red Wolf, Black-footed Ferret, Florida Panther, Florida Manatee, Indiana Bat, Key Deer, Columbia White-tailed Deer, Delmarva Peninsula Fox Squirrel, San Joaquin Kit Fox and 3 sub-species of Cutthroat Trout)
      • 1968 – Cuyahoga River Catches Fire (Ohio; brings attention to level of pollution in waterways)
      • 1968 – The National Wild & Scenic Rivers & National Trails Acts
      • 1969 – The National Environmental Policy Act (Requires federal agencies to consider the environmental impacts)
      • 1969 – Santa Barbara Oil Spill
      • 1970U.S. Pop. 205 million (increased 24.3 million in 10 years)
      • 1970 – Blue Pike extinct (declared extinct from Great Lakes)
      • 1970 – Peregrine Falcon (American & Arctic) listed as Endangered
      • 1970 – Brown Pelican listed as Endangered  
      • 1970 – EPA created (Environmental Protection Agency)
      • 1972 – Clean Water Act (established regulation for discharge of pollutants into the waters and regulated quality standards for surface waters)
      • 1972 – Gulf of Mexico dead zone (hypoxia) discovered
      • 1972 – U.S. banned DDT (for Agriculture use)
      • 1972 – World Natural Heritage Sites (first sites recognized by the United Nations)
      • 1973 – OPEC Oil Embargo Against U.S. (Gas Shortages)
      • 1973 – Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorized (response to OPEC oil embargo)
      • 1973 – U.S began phase out of leaded gasoline
      • 1973 – Humpback Whale listed as Endangered
      • 1973 – Lewiston Dam demolished (South Fork Clearwater River, Id.; Salmon Restoration)
      • 1974 – World Human Population reaches 4 billion
      • 1975 – Asian Carp Established in Mississippi River Basin (released in early 70s)
      • 1975 – Gas Milage Standards set In U.S. (Corporate Average Fuel Economy)
      • 1975 – CITIES takes effect (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Flora and Fauna Species)
      • 1976 – Bald Eagle listed as Endangered (43 of the 48 lower states)
      • 1977 – Surface Mining Control Act (Environmental Impacts of Surface Mining)
      • 1978 – Green Sea Turtle listed as Endangered or Threatened
      • 1978 – 1st Solar Powered Village (NASA dedicated to 15 homes on Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation, Az.)
      • 1979 – 3 Mile Island Nuclear Accident
      • 1980 – U.S. Pop. 227.2 million (increased 22.2 million in 10 years)
      • 1980 – Congress creates Superfund (to clean up hazardous waste sites)
      • 1980 – 1st Wind Farm (20, 30 kw turbines, in N.H., bankrupt 1996)
      • 1980  – Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (adds 53 million acres to National Wildlife Refuge System)
      • 1981 – Black-footed ferret population discovered (Meeteetse, Wy. – thought extinct in 1979, still endangered)
      • 1981 – 1st Large Scale Solar-Thermal Power Plant (Solar one, Daggett, Ca.)
      • 1981 – Altamont Pass Wind Farm (4,800 turbines produce 1.1 terawatt-hours annually, also kills 75 to 110 Golden Eagles, 380 Burrowing Owls, 300 Red-tailed Hawks and 333 American Kestrels each year)
      • 1984 – Woodland Caribou listed as Endangered (Idaho & Washington)
      • 1984 – Wood stork listed as Endangered (Southeast U.S. Coast)
      • 1985 – Brown Pelican removed from ESA protection
      • 1985 – Carolina Northern Flying squirrel listed as Endangered (N.C.)
      • 1985  – Congress establishes CRP (the Conservation Reserve Program)
      • 1986 – Northern Aplomado Falcon listed as Endangered (Tx.)
      • 1987 – American Alligator removed from ESA protection
      • 1987 – World Human Population reaches 5 billion
      • 1988 – Last sighting of Bachman’’s Warbler
      • 1989 – Exxon Valdez oil spill (Prince William Sound, Alaska)
      • 1989 – Caribou re-introduced in Maine (failed due to black bear predation?)
      • 1990 – Zebra and Quagga Mussels established in Great Lakes
      • 1990 – U.S. Pop. 249.4 million (increased 22.2 million in 10 years)
      • 1990 – Chinook salmon listed as Endangered (Sacramento River winter-run, Ca.)
      • 1992 – Sockeye salmon listed as Endangered (Snake River, Or. & Wa.)
      • 1992 – Complete ban on leaded gasoline in California
      • 1993 – Complete ban on leaded gasoline in Canada
      • 1994 – U.S. Net importer of oil
      • 1995 – Southwestern Willow flycatcher listed as Endangered (Southwest U.S.)
      • 1996 – Last Nuclear Power Plant to enter service (Watts Bar 1, Tenn.)
      • 1996 – 1st Mass-produced electric car (EV1 by GM; cancelled 2003)
      • 1996 – Coho salmon listed as Endangered (Central California Coast)
      • 1992 – Complete ban on leaded gasoline in U.S.
      • 1997 – Mexico stopped producing DDT (used until 2000)
      • 1997 – Plastic “Garbage Patch” discovered in Pacific Ocean
      • 1997 – Marie Dorian Dam demolished (Walla Walla River, Or.; Salmon restoration)
      • 1998 – Steelhead listed as Endangered (Southern California)
      • 1998 – Complete ban on leaded gasoline in Mexico
      • 1999 – Peregrine Falcon removed from ESA protection
      • 1999 – Sierra Nevada Bighorn sheep listed as Endangered (CA.)
      • 1999 – World Human Population reaches 6 billion
      • 1999 – Edwards Dam demolished (Kennebec River, Maine; Atlantic Salmon and American Shad restoration)
      • 1999 – Chinook salmon listed as Endangered (Upper Columbia River spring-run, Wa.)
      • 2000U.S. Pop. 282.2 million (increased 32.8 million in 10 years)
      • 2000 – Burmese Python removal began in Everglades (1,977 removed by 2013)
      • 2000 – 28 Dams Removed from U.S. Rivers (River restoration)
      • 2000 –  Massey Energy Spill (300 million gallons of coal sludge spills into Big Sandy River, Ky. & W.V.)
      • 2000 – Woodland Caribou (boreal forest) listed as Threatened in Canada
      • 2001 – Colombia Basin Pygmy Rabbit listed as Endangered (Washington)
      • 2001 — Perchlorate in California drinking water (2001 Environmental Working Group report; from rocket fuel; found in 58 public water systems; 7 million people)
      • 2001 – 23 Dams Removed from U.S. Rivers (River restoration)
      • 2002 – Northern Snakehead found in Maryland
      • 2002 – Gulf of Mexico dead zone covers 8,481 sq. miles
      • 2002 – 44 Dams Removed from U.S. Rivers (River restoration)
      • 2003 – FutureGen Plans announced (First Zero Emissions Coal Power Plant; Morgan Co., Ill., Plan suspended in 2015)
      • 2003 – Columbian White-Tailed deer de-listed in Douglas County, Oregon (Still endangered in areas of Or. & Wa.)
      • 2003 – 34 Dams Removed from U.S. Rivers (River restoration)
      • 2003 – Electric power failure (50 million people; N.Y. to Ontario)
      • 2004 – 37 Dams Removed from U.S. Rivers (River restoration)
      • 2004 – Scientific publication documents air pollution effects on children (“The Effect of Air Pollution on Lung Development from 10 to 18 Years of Age”; New England Journal of Medicine concludes current levels of air pollution have chronic, adverse effects on lung development in children; Southern Ca.)
      • 2005 – U.S. Congress Prevents Oil Drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
      • 2005 – 34 Dams Removed from U.S. Rivers (River restoration)
      • 2006 – 33 Dams Removed from U.S. Rivers (River restoration)
      • 2006 – Al Gore releases “An Inconvenient Truth” (documentary on global warming)
      • 2007 – Bald Eagle removed from ESA protection
      • 2007 – Marmot Dam demolished (Sandy River, Or.; Salmon restoration)
      • 2007 – IPCC Report concludes Climate Change is real & mostly caused by humans (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)
      • 2007 – The Cosco Busan collides with the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (spills 58,000 gallons of oil and diesel fuel)
      • 2008 –  Last genetically pure Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit died at the Oregon Zoo
      •  2008 – 1st Commercial Cellulosic Ethanol Plant (Upton, Wy.; produces ethanol from waste wood and paper)
      • 2008 – Kingston, Tennessee Coal Ash Spill (covers 300 acres and pollutes Emory River with arsenic, lead, chromium, manganese, and barium)
      • 2009 – Atlantic salmon listed as Endangered (Northeast Coastal Rivers)
      • 2010 – U.S. Pop. 310.2 million (increased 28 million in 10 years)
      • 2010 – Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (Gulf of Mexico)
      • 2010 – Pres. Obama issues moratorium on deep-water oil wells
      • 2012 – World Human Population reaches 7 billion
      • 2012 – Glines Dam demolished (Elwha River, Wa.; Salmon restoration)
      • 2012 – Two New Nuclear Power Plants approved (First since 1978; both in Ga.)
      • 2012 – Atlantic sturgeon listed as Endangered (N.Y., Chesapeake Bay, N.C., S.C. & GA.)
      • 2014 – Ivanpah Online (Concentrated Solar Power Generation Plant, Mojave Desert, Ca.; bird deaths being studied)
      • 2014 – 72 Dams Removed from U.S. Rivers (River restoration; 1,185 total dams removed)
      • 2015 – Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel and moved from ESA protection
      • 2015 – Louisiana Black bear proposed for removal from ESA protection
      • 2015 – Gold King Mine waste water spill (Animas River, Colorado; acidic water, heavy metals and toxins released into the river, flowed through N.M., Ut., Az. & Mexico)
      • 2016 – Nuclear Power Plant to begin Service (Watts Bar 2, Tenn.; construction began 1973)
      • 2020 – U.S. Pop. projected at 334.5 million (increases by 24.3 million in 10 years)
      • 2026 – World Human Population projected at 8 billion (U.S. pop. projected 349 million)
      • 2030 – U.S. Pop. projected at 359.4 million (increases by 24.9 million in 10 years)

 

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