The American Environmental Movement: Timeline By Arjona Papaj
1845: Naturalist Henry Thoreau spends two years in Walden woods observing and recording rainfall, temperature and plant growth. Thoreau published book and promoted the protection of wilderness.
1891: Congress establishes Yellowstone as first national park; simultaneously passes bill that legalizes mining in public areas for a fee.
1889: John Muir (with the help of magazine editor Robert Johnson) introduced bill to Congress to make Yosemite a national park.
1891: Forest Reserve Act <ul><li>Allows President to set aside forest reserves for use by the public. </li></ul>
1892: The Sierra Club is created and co founded by John Muir, who becomes its first president. It is currently the largest grassroots environmental organization of the U.S.
1913: Congress passes the Raker Act, which allowed flooding of the Hetchy Hetch Valley for production of electricity (which is located within Yosemite park). <ul><li>Before flooding: </li></ul><ul><li>After flooding: </li></ul>
1949: Aldo Leopold publishes The Sand Country Almanac and helped to shape the U.S. Forest Service. <ul><li>Leopold advocated a “land ethic,” which viewed all living things and members of the biotic community as having value. </li></ul>
1962: Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was published and helped launch the modern environmental movement. <ul><li>Carson describes the damages caused to the ecosystem and to certain bird species by chemicals and pesticides- she showed that egg shells of many birds, including the bald eagle, were weakened by the chemicals. The endangerment of the national symbol positively affected the movement and increased public interest for this issue. </li></ul>
1964: The Wilderness Act is passed. <ul><li>President Johnson signs the act into law, which protects large areas of land from being developed. </li></ul>
1969: The National Environmental Policy Act is passed and the Environmental Protection Agency is created. <ul><li>The NEPA is a law aimed at improving the environment and establishing the President’s Council on Environmental Quality. </li></ul>
1970: The first Earth Day is celebrated by 22 million Americans on April 22 nd . <ul><li>Earth Day was created to increase awareness of environmental issues and to bring attention to possible solutions. </li></ul>
1972: DDT, the toxic synthetic pesticide, becomes banned in the U.S.
1973: Endangered Species Act passed. <ul><li>The act becomes one of the most powerful ways to protect the environment. </li></ul>
1989: Exxon Valdez oil spill occurs in Alaska. <ul><li>The spill was the largest to occur within U.S. waters at the time. Because of its high level of toxicity, the spill still affects wildlife presently. </li></ul>
1990: Congress passes the Oil Pollution Act in response to Exxon Valdez spill <ul><li>The act prohibits vessels that have caused a spill to operate in Prince William Sound. </li></ul>
2006: An Inconvenient Truth is released. <ul><li>The documentary is released in theaters and consists of Al Gore’s slideshow to educate individuals about the serious impact of globval warming. </li></ul>
Bibliography Continued <ul><li>Text </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.thinkactlead.org/civics_environment_read2.html </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Goodwin, J. and Jasper, J. 2009. The Social Movements Reader: Cases and Concepts. Blackwell Publishing. </li></ul></ul>