New World, New Wildlife 

1500 – 1800

As they settled in what is now North America, Europeans began introducing livestock, engaging in pelt trading, enacting the earliest conservation laws, and laying the groundwork for future federal regulations.
Mt. Cocoran

Albert Bierstadt, “Mt. Corcoran” (1887)


LIVESTOCK INTRODUCED: The Spanish reintroduce the horse, as well as longhorn cattle, pigs, sheep, and goats into the New World.  Learn more.


BEAVER TRADE: In Plymouth Colony, the beaver pelt trade begins.  Learn more.


DEER SEASON ESTABLISHED: The first deer season law is established in Massachusetts.  Learn more.


FISH CONSERVATION: Massachusetts passes the first law regarding fish conservation in America, protecting Atlantic salmon.  Learn more.


BALD EAGLE SYMBOLISM: The bald eagle becomes a national symbol.   Learn more.


U.S. CONSTITUTION: The U.S. Constitution, the ultimate source of authority for all governmental regulation in United States, is signed. It is silent with regard to wildlife conservation, but reserves to the Federal Government authority to regulate interstate or international commerce and to make international treaties – the two major sources of Federal Authority to conserve wildlife.  Learn more.

Wildlife and natural resources seemed unlimited…..