The history of wildlife conservation is stunningly brought to life through films and photos in this 16 minute historical journey. For over 130 years the Fish and Wildlife Service has been at the forefront of American conservation. A small agency with a great mission, the story of the Service is full of drama, idealism, sacrifice, and, ultimately, the successful conservation of our nation's rich fish and wildlife resources. The story of the Service includes the history of wildlife law enforcement as sportsmen lobbied early wildlife law enforcement agents to prohibit market hunting and the feather trade. The history of the National Wildlife Refuge System reflects a century long experiment to carve out a small piece of habitat where wildlife comes first. The Service's pioneering efforts in contaminant research and the effects of pollution on wildlife are recalled. Finally, new sciences and techniques to protect and propagate the nation's threatened and endangered species are captured in photos and film. The Service history is the story of its employees. Spencer Baird, a Smithsonian Secretary and preeminent American naturalist, created the first national infrastructure for conservation to restore the nation's trout, salmon, and fishery stocks. Paul Kroegel was a German immigrant who single-handedly defended his beloved brown pelicans and helped create the first national wildlife refuge at Pelican Island. Jay "Ding" Darling, editorial cartoonist turned conservationist, drew the first duck stamp and helped consrve our nation's migratory waterfowl in the midst of Depression and Dust Bowls. Rachel Carson a young marine biologist hired by the Service in 1936, rose to become an important early voice for wildlife conservation, and her chemical cautionary tale Silent Spring (1962) helped usher in the modern environmental era. Their stories illustrate the evolution of the Service and American conservation thought. So, join us on this historical journey recalling the fight for conservation.
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