America's Renewable Resources: Historical Trends and Current Challenges

By Kenneth D. Frederick; Roger A. Sedjo | Go to book overview

6
Wildlife: Severe Decline and Partial Recovery

Winston Harrington


Wildlife in America Before 1900

The first settlers were amazed by many findings in the New World, but none more than the abundance and variety of wildlife. Having come from a continent where meat was already becoming scarce and game was the exclusive preserve of the king, they arrived at a continent where game of every variety was so plentiful that hardly any effort was required to secure it. The native inhabitants of the southeast coast apparently had not developed a method of drying meat or fish because fresh game was always so easy to get ( Kimball and Johnson, 1978).

Americans today have a difficult time appreciating not only the abundance but the variety of wildlife found by the earliest settlers. Animals associated with the West, such as bison and elk, actually were found along the Atlantic seaboard from New York to Georgia. Their presence in the East today is signaled only by a few place names. The last bison east of the Appalachians was killed at Buffalo Cross Roads (near Lewisburg), Pennsylvania, in 1801. Elk survived in

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America's Renewable Resources: Historical Trends and Current Challenges
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Esources for the Future v
  • Contents vii
  • Tables x
  • Figures xi
  • Preface xiii
  • 1: Overview: Renewable Resource Trends 1
  • References 21
  • 2: Water Resources: Increasing Demand and Scarce Supplies 23
  • Notes 71
  • Appendix 2 72
  • References 75
  • 3: Forest Resources: Resilient and Serviceable 81
  • Notes 115
  • Appendix 116
  • References 118
  • 4: Rangeland Resources: Changing Uses and Productivity 123
  • Notes 161
  • Appendix 4 162
  • References 163
  • 5: Cropland and Soils: Past Performance and Policy Challenges 169
  • References 203
  • 6: Wildlife: Severe Decline and Partial Recovery 205
  • Notes 241
  • Appendix 6 242
  • References 245
  • 7: The Growing Role of Outdoor Recreation 249
  • Notes 279
  • Appendix 280
  • References 281
  • About the Authors 283
  • Photo Credits 284
  • Index 285
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