Legislative Victories - 1900s - 1940s

1900 - Lacey Act - Introduced in 1900 by Congressman John Lacey, this bill is the cornerstone legislation protecting fish and game from illegal poaching. The first major federal legislation to protect wildlife in America, it bans interstate or foreign commerce involving any fish, wildlife, or plants taken, possessed, or sold in violation of state or foreign law.

1913 - Migratory Bird Act/Migratory Bird Treaty Act - One of the first influential pieces of environmental legislation in the country was enacted in 1913. The Migratory Bird Act gave the federal government full authority to protect migratory birds with today nearly 800 species listed for protection. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is granted the authority to set hunting seasons for waterfowl and other migratory birds based on species populations.

1937 - Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (Pittman-Robertson) - This act created a federal excise tax on firearms and provides matching funds to states for the acquisition, restoration, and maintenance of habitat for the management of wildlife and for research concerning wildlife management. To date, this act has spent $5 billion on state wildlife habitat projects.

1947 - Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) - Land¬mark legislation addressing toxic chemicals in the environment, FIFRA defines "economic poisons" to be any product "intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any insects, rodents, nematodes, fungi, weeds" or other forms of life declared to be a pest. Plant regulators, defoliants, and desiccants are also included as economic poisons. This act requires that all such poisons be registered and labeled with a warning and instructions for use to prevent injury to nontarget organisms. This was the first time a federal law considered the effects of certain poisons on nontarget wildlife.

1948 - Transfer of Certain Real Property for Wildlife Conservation Purposes Act - Under this legislation, if a federal agency possesses land it no longer needs but which has particular value for migratory birds, the agency can be reimbursed for transferring the land to the secretary of the interior or to a state agency for wildlife conservation.


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