History of Conservation in Texas: Part 1: A timeline to 1900

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Distinctly Texas Lifestyle Properties, LLC Office:682/498-3107 Tx Broker 0304050

Are you into conservation?  Like to see the history of conservatation awareness and activities in the US and particularly Texas?

Here they are, courtesy of the Texas Legacy Project.  They are collecting videos and documents that capture the history and development of Texas and its relationship to conservation:

http://www.texaslegacy.org/m/index.html

 

If you're into conservation, then you'll be interested in our various green building technologies and methods.  Check it out at www.preferredbuilders.org/home or www.solarcertifiedhomes.com

 

Some key Events in Conservation History in Texas:

1681 International Wildlife Extinction of the Dodo, a flightless bird native to Mauritius, lost to meat hunting and destruction of its eggs by introduced rats, pigs and monkeys
1729 Texas Water, Irrigation San Antonio River first diverted for irrigation at Spanish missions
1739 United States Pollution In one of the first American environmental protests, Benjamin Franklin and other Philadelphia tradesmen petition the Assembly against slaughterhouse waste in Dock Creek
1768 International Wildlife Extinction of the Steller's Sea Cow, a marine mammal once found along the Pacific Rim, from Japan to California, lost to hunting for meat and hides
1800 International Population World human population rises to 1 billion
1814 United States of America Science, Information Completion of Alexander Wilson's work, American Ornithology
1820 Texas Population Texas population estimated to be 20,000
1832 United States of America Parks Arkansas Hot Springs established as a national reservation, serving as a precedent for the protection of Yellowstone and the later creation of a national park system
1835 United States of America Information, Literature Ralph Waldo Emerson writes the essay, Nature, beginning an American tradition of Transcendentalism
1836 Texas Population Texas population gauged at roughly 50,000
1839 International Technology Sir William Robert Grove invents the fuel cell, giving the promise of a relatively clean energy source
1839 United States of America Science, Information, Art, Wildlife John James Audubon's Birds of America is published
1840 Texas Water, Legislation The Republic of Texas turns from the Spanish and Mexican system of water appropriation, based on the concept of first-in-time, first-in-right for beneficial water uses, and adopts the English rule of riparian right where all owners of land adjacent to a s
1846 International Technology John Deere has a Pittsburgh company roll the country's first cast steel plow, leading to the efficient breaking of prairie sod
1846 Texas Wildlife, Legislation Ferdinand von Roemer notes it was punishable by fine to kill vultures in Texas, the first mention of wildlife protection in the state, possibly a county or common law provision
1850 United States of America Wildlife Introduction of the English Sparrow into Brooklynn, one of the first exotic species to be brought into the United States
1852 Texas Water, Legislation The State of Texas passes the Irrigation Act of 1852 which grants counties the authority to regulate dams and ditches, starting a Texas tradition of delegating water decisions to local governments
1854 International Water, Public Health Dr. John Snow identifies water from a contaminated London well as the cause of a local cholera outbreak
1854 United States of America Information Henry David Thoreau's Walden published
1854 United States of America Information, Science Completion of plates and text for the Vivipaous Quadrupeds of North America, by John James Audubon and John Bachman
1854 United States of America Technology, Water Daniel Halladay introduces the mechanical windmill, allowing the settling of the arid sections of the Midwest
1855 United States of America Technology, Water Pollution Chicago develops first comprehensive sewer plan in a major American city
1856 Texas Water Supreme Court of Texas recognizes a riparian system of water rights, allowing landowners adjacent to rivers to divert water
1859 United States of America Energy, Technology Edwin Drake strikes oil at Titusville, Pennsylvania ushering in the era of petroleum as a major energy source
1860 Texas Population Texas state population estimated to be 600,000
1860 Texas Wildlife, Legislation Texas enacts its first formal game law, a local ordinance protecting quail and partridge for 2 years on Galveston Island
1861 Texas Parks Texas acquires ten acres of public property at San Jacinto to commemorate the Texas revolution's decisive battle, designated in 1897 as a park
1864 United States of America Information Publication of Man and Nature: the Earth as Modified by Human Action, by George Perkins Marsh
1864 United States of America Parks President Lincoln signs a bill granting Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove to the State of California as an inalienable public trust, the first protection of lands for scenic value
1866 International Information, Science German biologist Ernst Haeckel coins the term, ecology
1866 United States of America Legislation Passage of the Mining Act in the U.S., subsidizing resource extraction
1866 United States of America Non-Profit Groups American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals founded
1868 International Technology, Forests John Casson introduces the continuous feed circular saw, greatly accelerating the ability to process logs into planks
1870 United States of America Non-Profit Groups, Wildlife, Science Organization of the American Fisheries Society
1871 United States of America Information John Burroughs' Wake Robin is published
1872 International Information Global research voyage of the HMS Challenger
1872 United States of America Parks Setting aside of Yellowstone as the first official US national park
1873 International Technology Joseph Glidden invents barbed wire, enabling continuous high-stocking-rate grazing
1874 Texas Wildlife, Legislation Texas enacts its first trespass statute, protecting enclosed lands from trespass by "shooting, hunting, fishing or fowling"
1874 Texas Wildlife, Legislation Texas enacts regulations restricting coastal seining and netting
1876 Texas Water Irrigation for farming in the Lower Rio Grande Valley begins on a small scale
1876 United States of America Non-Profit Groups Organization of the Appalachian Mountain Club
1879 Texas Wildlife, Legislation First state-wide Texas game law is passed, protecting songbirds and established a season for dove and quail hunting
1879 Texas Wildlife, Legislation Texas creates the Office of Fish Commissioner, charging it with the duties of preserving fish and building fish ladders
1879 United States of America Science, Legislation, Agencies US Geological Survey formed
1880 Texas Population Texas population estimated to be 1,500,000
1881 Texas Wildlife, Legislation Texas creates a 5-month closed season for prairie chickens and a 3 1/2 month closed season for turkey
1881 United States of America Air Pollution, Legislation Chicago becomes the first American City to enact an ordinance controlling smoke discharges
1882 United States of America Agriculture Massachusetts passes first pure food laws
1882 United States of America Technology, Energy Construction of world's first hydroelectric power plant, sited in Appleton, Wisconsin
1883 Texas Wildlife, Legislation Texas Legislature exempts over half the state (130 counties) from all fish and game laws
1883 United States of America Wildlife, Non-Profit Groups, Science Formation of the American Ornithology Union
1885 Texas Wildlife, Legislation Texas Legislature abolishes Office of Fish Commissioner in climate of falling farm commodity prices, and conservation apathy
1888 United States of America Wildlife, Non-Profit Groups Society for the Introduction of European Songbirds of Portland, Oregon introduces 35 pair of Starlings
1889 Texas Water, Legislation Texas passes the Irrigation Act, replacing riparian rights with the prior appropriation system ("first in time, first in right") when diverting water from rivers
1889 Texas Wildlife, Legislation Frio County citizens petition Texas Legislature to place it under protection of state game laws, due in part to insect and rodent crop damage
1890 Texas Forests, Non-Profit Groups Texas Arbor Day and Forestry Association has initial meeting, seeking renewal of forests and diffusion of knowledge regarding woodlands
1891 Texas Water Rice production begins on a commercial scale in Jefferson County with delivery of irrigation water from pumps on Taylor's Bayou
1891 Texas Wildlife, Legislation Responding to millinery threat, Texas enacts protection for seagulls, egrets, herons and pelicans
1891 United States of America Forests, Legislation Congress passes the Forest Reserve Act, authorizing the President to create forest preserves, leading to the formation of the National Forest system
1892 International Technology Rudolf Diesel invents the internal combustion engine
1892 United States of America Non-Profit Groups Sierra Club founded
1893 Texas Parks Texas authorizes funds for purchase of land at the Alamo site, Goliad, Refugio, and San Jacinto to commemorate critical battles in the Texas Revolution
1893 Texas Water, Dams Austin Dam, the first major dam on the Colorado River, is completed (destroyed in 1900 by floodwaters)
1895 Texas Agencies Texas Fish and Oyster Commission created to regulate fishing in the state
1895 United States of America Information Field & Stream magazine first published
1896 United States of America Agencies Initial funding of the Division of Biological Survey, the precursor of the US Fish and Wildlife Service
1897 Texas Non-Profit Groups Organization of the Texas Game Protective Association
1897 Texas Wildlife, Legislation Texas Legislature declares that some avian species are public property
1897 Texas Wildlife, Legislation 77 Texas counties claim exemption from state game laws, declining from 130 in 1883
1897 United States of America Agencies Creation of the United States Forest Service
1898 Texas Water, Navigation, Dredging, Canal Railroad magnate Arthur Stilwell organizes dredging of a ship canal from Sabine Lake to Gulf Pass, providing ocean access for Port Arthur
1899 Texas Non-Profit Groups First Audubon group created in Texas, in Galveston
1900 Texas Natural Hazards A hurricane strikes Galveston, inundating the Island and killing 6000 to 12,000
1900 United States of America Wildlife Wild bison population falls to less than 40 from an estimated 30-50 million a century earlier
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United Country Distinctly Texas Lifestyle Properties, LLC
Texas license # 0304050

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Rainer
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San Diego, CA

Quite an interesting timeline. I'm not quite sure how some of them fit in with conservation as most of us think about it. Surely with almost seven billion people on earth, conservation needs to be in our minds.

Happy Holidays!

Dec 21, 2009 01:06 PM #1
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