Legislating Measures to Save America's Birds

Sep 5, 2020

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. In an effort to stop the potential extermination of native birds being used in the millinery trade, Congress passed the Lacey Act in 1900 which made it unlawful to transport illegally procured animals across state lines. Meanwhile, a new threat emerged as Florida’s homesteaders’ act gave them preference to land under control of the General Land Office. Pelican Island was about come under this act which would allow pro-feather collecting people to buy it. Theodore Roosevelt was now president with many national issues to address, but he remembered vividly the dead pelicans he’d seen years earlier. He called a meeting of ornithologists and government wonks and asked if he could just flat out declare Pelican Island a Federal Bird Reservation. He did just that and eventually put over two hundred million acres of land in national parks, forests or wildlife refuges.