"Wildlife Is Big Business"
Fish grow on trees.
JOHN W. WALLACE
BY 1940 three themes were becoming apparent in conservation literature and activities. One focused on progress in restoring wildlife and its habitat. Perhaps wildlife need not disappear after all, as had been long feared in the abstract and in frightening particular for two decades. The second was an awareness of the increasing professionalization of wildlife managers. More schools, especially the land grant colleges, offered improved education and training, and the field was slowly freeing itself from the bonds of political patronage. The last was a vague but hovering unease about world events. War had already erupted in Europe. How would it affect American conservationists, as game managers or citizens? Talbott Denmead of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and General Counsel of the International Association of Game, Fish and Conservation Commissioners touched on all three when he reported to the 1940 convention. With an almost self- conscious lightheartedness, he opened by noting that "in spite of wars, rumors of wars, sun spots, elections and politics, the trend in fish and game legislation was upward."1
Denmead's report reflected the general priorities in wildlife conservation. At last Congress was tackling water pollution through various bills. Even though these accomplished relatively little at first, the lawmakers were