And much of it was soon gone. Carolina parakeets and passenger pigeons were exterminated. Bison and turkeys were dwindling to near extinction. Egrets, herons, pronghorns, cypress trees and even whitetail deer were dwindling to scarcity. Forests were being razed, prairies plowed under, wetlands drained.
And who do you suppose rose in opposition? Hunters. Yes, concerned hunters calling for sport hunting. This meant restraint. Closed seasons. Limited harvest. Sport hunting meant management of wild resources so they could replenish annually. It meant adhering to fair chase tactics. No spotlighting. No punt guns. No chasing with motorized vehicles. Restricted harvest meant Nature could sustain healthy wildlife numbers within protected, intact ecosystems indefinitely.