APES- Environmental Timeline

  • 10,000 BCE

    Agricultural Revolution

    Agricultural Revolution
  • Industrial Revolution

    Industrial Revolution
  • John Muir was born

    John Muir was born
    John Muir was one of the most famous naturalists in America. He is responsible for the creation of Yosemite National Park, and helped in the establishment of the Grand Canyon, the Mt. Rainier National Parks, and many other national parks.
  • Walden by Henry Thoreau

    Walden by Henry Thoreau
    The book, Walden, written by Henry Thoreau describes his experiences while living in a cabin he built near Walden Pond, in the middle of the woods for 2 years.
  • Homestead Act

    The Homestead Act allowed any American, including freed slaves, to receive land from the government. People were able to put in claims for up to 160 acres of free land.
  • Yellowstone National Park founded

  • American Forestry Association founded

  • Yosemite and Sequoia National Park founded

    Yosemite and Sequoia National Park founded
  • Sierra Club founded

    Sierra Club founded
    The Sierra Club is an environmental organization founded by John Muir in San Francisco, California . Today, it has over 2 million supporters and members, making the Sierra Club America's largest and most influential environmental organization.
  • Lacey Act Founded

    The Lacey Act was the first federal law aimed at protecting the environment. The law prohibited the trafficking of animals and plants that have been illegally taken, transported, or sold.
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    Golden Age of Conservation (Theodore Roosevelt)

    After Theodore Roosevelt became president in 1901, his growing concern about the environment lead him to create the United States Forest Service (USFS). He also established 150 national forests, 51 federal bird reserves, 5 national parks, and 18 national monuments. During his presidency, Roosevelt put about 230 million acres of land under protection.
  • First National Wildlife Refuge established

    First National Wildlife Refuge established
    Pelican Island was established as a wildlife refuge by Theodore Roosevelt and it was the first wildlife refuge in the USA. He set it aside as a sanctuary for native birds to save them from extinction through plume hunting.
  • Audubon Society founded

    Audubon Society founded
    The Audubon Society was founded by T. Gilbert Pearson, John Muir, and George Bird Grinnell. The society was named after naturalist and artist John James Audubon. The society's objective was, and still is to protect gulls, egrets, herons, and other water birds.
  • Aldo Leopold

  • US Forest Service founded

    US Forest Service founded
    The USFS was founded by Gifford Pinchot and president Theodore Roosevelt to protect national forests. Today, it manages 154 national forests, and 44 grasslands throughout the US. The goal of the USFS is to maintain the health and diversity of our nation's forests and grasslands.
  • Gifford Pinchot

    Gifford Pinchot
    Gifford Pinchot (1865-1946) was a popular American politician and the Chief Forester of the US Forest Service. He assisted president Theodore Roosevelt in the establishment of the United States Forest Service (USFS) in 1905. Later on, in 1910, Pinchot served as the president of the National Conservation Association for 15 years.
  • Antiquities Act

    The Antiquities Act was signed into law by president Theodore Roosevelt. It authorizes the president to protect landmarks by establishing them as National Monuments. It also forces federal agencies who control public land, to preserve the historic sites on it for future generations.
  • US National Park Service founded

  • Civilian Conservation Corps founded

  • Taylor Grazing Act

    The Taylor Grazing Act was signed by president Theodore Roosevelt because many farmers were taking their livestock to graze on public land. It sets limitations for grazing on public land, to avoid overgrazing and soil deterioration.
  • Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act

    The Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act, commonly called the Duck Stamp Act, was signed by president Franklin Roosevelt. Americans were becoming increasingly concerned with the destruction of the wetlands. As a result, the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act was created to protect the birds of the wetlands, by requiring each hunter 16 years of age or older to have a federal hunting stamp.
  • Fish and Wildlife Service founded

    Fish and Wildlife Service founded
    The Fish and Wildlife service was founded in 1940, when the Bureaus of Fisheries and Biological Survey and the Department of the Interior were combined into one organization. During this time, scientists from the Service also held the first investigation looking into the damage the pesticide DDT can cause, as well as many other environmental problems.
  • Silent Spring published by Rachel Carson

    Silent Spring published by Rachel Carson
    Silent Spring is a book that reflects the hazards of using pesticides on the environment. In the book, one scene describes a deserted land, where too much pesticides were used, and no animals or plants live there. It caught the attention of many people and caused an important conversation among Americans about the use of harmful pesticides.
  • Wilderness Act

    The Wilderness Act was signed by president Lyndon Johnson, which lead to the creation of the Wilderness Preservation System. The Act defined wilderness as "an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man...", and as a result, needs to be protected. The Wilderness Preservation System manages and protects nearly 110 million acres of wilderness areas throughout the USA today.
  • Wild and Scenic Rivers Act

    Wild and Scenic Rivers Act
    President Lyndon Johnson signed the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act with the sponsorship of Senator Frank Church. The act was passed to preserve rivers, and prevent any pollution within them. Currently, the Wild and Scenic Rivers act guards over 200 rivers.
  • Cuyahoga River in Ohio caught fire

    The Cuyahoga River, that feeds into Lake Erie, became very polluted during the 1960's because of the industrial waste that was poured into it for many years. So much oil and other flammable liquids had accumulated from the surrounding factories that it caught fire on a Sunday morning. The fire resulted in about &100,000 worth of damage to railroad bridges.
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

    NEPA was signed by president Richard Nixon to assure that all branches of the government are abiding by the rules of environmental protection, and consider those rules before undertaking any federal action that greatly affects the environment. The building of airports, high ways, and military complexes are all monitored by NEPA to avoid any significant environmental damage.
  • First Earth Day

    First Earth Day
  • Clean Air Act

    The purpose of the Clean Air Act of 1970 was to control air pollution from industrial and mobile sources on a national level. Later on, amends were made to the act in 1977 and in 1990. The Clean Air Act supervises the amounts of air pollutants that are released, such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, and photo chemical oxidants.
  • Environmental Protection Agency founded

    Environmental Protection Agency founded
  • FIFRA: Federal, Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Control Act

    The FIFRA Act, signed by president Richard Nixon, regulates the distribution, sale, and use of pesticides. Every pesticide that is distributed in the US must be registered and meet EPA qualifications. If the pesticide poses as a risk to the environment or to the humans that will consume it, it cannot be sold or used.
  • OPEC and Oil Embargo

    OPEC and Oil Embargo
    Arab oil producers, who were members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) drastically decreased the amount of oil that was be shipped to the US, in response the the Yom Kippur War between Israel and Egypt. OPEC enforced an embargo on countries that supported Israel, including the US, as a gesture of support towards Egypt. The embargo caused an oil crisis in America, and the price of oil raised drastically.
  • Endangered Species Act

    Endangered Species Act
    Congress passed the Endangered Species Act, which was later signed by president Nixon to prohibit federal agencies from funding or carrying out any action that would put endangered species in harm's way or harm their habitat. This act also allowed plants and invertebrates to be protected by the government, and provided funding land acquisition for foreign species.
  • Roland and Molina announce that CFC's are depleting the Ozone Layer

    Roland and Molina announce that CFC's are depleting the Ozone Layer
    Roland and Molina discovered that CFC's (chlorofluorocarbon), which are typically found in refrigerants and aerosol propellants, are slowly destroying the ozone layer. After publishing their finding, many scientists confirmed it, and broadacsted warnings against the use of CFC's.
  • RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act)

    RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act)
    The RCRA was signed into law by Gerald Ford on October 21st. It was passed to monitor the disposal of hazardous waste in response to the growing amount of municipal and industrial waste. The act encourages states to develop systems to safely, and properly dispose of harmful and non- harmful materials.
  • Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA)

    The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act was created to balance out the environmental destruction that strip mining had caused. The act established the regulations for both active coal mines, and abandon mines.
  • Clean Water Act

    Clean Water Act
    The Clean Water Act (CWA) sets the standards for regulating the quality standards of water, and controls the dumping of pollutants in water systems. With help from the EPA, the Clean Water Act also created pollution control programs, such as setting pollution limitations for industries.
  • Love Canal, NY

    Love Canal, NY
    Love Canal was originally intended to be a model community, but after several years, it declined and was purchased by the Hooker Chemical Company. The company used the partially completed canal to dump their industrial waste in. The disposal of about 20,000 barrels of toxic waste caused a public health problem, and as a result, received national attention.
  • Three Mile Island Nuclear Accident

    The Three Mile Island nuclear power plant near Middletown, Pennsylvania, had an accident when a cooling malfunction caused the TMI-2 reactor to partially melt down. Some radioactive gases were released, but not enough to harm the local residents.
  • Bhopal Island

    Bhopal Island
    On the night of December 3rd, a large gas leak occurred at the UCIL pesticide plant in Bhopal, India. The toxic gases spread to the small towns surrounding the plant. Over 500,000 residents were exposed to methyl isocyante and other chemicals.
  • Chernobyl

    The Chernobyl disaster occurred when a series of explosions exposed the graphite moderator, causing it to react with air, and catch on fire. The fire released large amounts of highly radioactive smoke into the air, and over the entire city. The city's 16,000 people were forced to evacuate and Chernobyl has been closed off since.
  • CERCLA (Superfund)

    The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act is a law designed to aid in the funding and cleanup of deserted sites contaminated with harmful materials. CERCLA also responds to threats of releasing toxic substances. Through CERCLA, the EPA was given power to find the people responsible for the hazardous waste, and assure the cooperation in the cleanup. The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act allowed CERCLA to continue cleanup activities around the country.
  • Montreal Protocol

    The Montreal Protocol is an international treaty that was signed on Janurary 1st, 1987, by the European Union, all United Nations members, the Cook Islands, and the Holy See, in an effort to preserve the ozone layer. The treaty bans the use of substances that contribute to ozone depletion, such as CFCs and HCTCs.
  • Exxon Valdez Disaster

    Exxon Valdez Disaster
    The Exxon Valdez disaster was an oil spill that took place near Prince William Sound, Alaska. Approximately 11 million gallons of oil was spilled when the oil tanker hit Bligh Reef. Many suspect the spill was caused because the captain, who was steering the tank, was impaired by alcohol.
  • Energy Policy Act

    Energy Policy Act
    The Energy Policy Act was signed into law by George W. Bush in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The act promoted using renewable sources of energy, such as wind power, and alternative energy sources to combat the growing energy problem at the time.
  • Desert Protection Act

    Desert Protection Act
    The Desert Protection Act, sometimes called the California Desert Protection Act, was signed by president Bill Clinton. The law established Death Valley, Joshua Tree National Parks, and the Mojave National Preserve as public desert wild lands that holds extreme value for this and future generations.
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    Kyoto Protocol

    The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty that validated the commitment of the nations that signed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. A total of 192 countries agreed to the treaty. However, the United States dropped out in 2001.
  • World population hits 6 Billion

  • IPCC Report on Climate Change

    IPCC Report on Climate Change
    The 2007 IPCC Report, also known as the IPCC Fourth Assessment, is the largest and most detailed summary of the climate change affecting our planet. The report explains the possible effects on animals and plants, and suggests that the increase in global temperature is because of large greenhouse gas concentrations within the atmosphere.
  • BP Oil Spill in the Gulf

    BP Oil Spill in the Gulf
    The BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico was caused by an accidentally released gas, which caused an explosion. Afterwards, the fire burned for 36 hours before the rig sank. The disaster caused 11 deaths i total. The oil from the tank spread to the shores of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida and harmed many aquatic animals and plants.