It's good to know that with everything else that was on their plate, our forefathers decided early on to take steps to make sure the animals that did so much to provide food to the country at the very start were protected.
Credit has to be given to those with the foresight to make sure some guidelines were established and enforced to help guarantee species protection. Our present day laws follow much along the lines of these early rules.
One set of rules I have no trouble following!
May 19, 1715:
The early years of species protection
The colony of New York passes a law making it illegal to "gather, rake, take up, or bring to the market, any oysters whatsoever" between the months of May and September. This regulation was only one of many that were passed in the early days of America to help preserve certain species. In recent years, endangered species laws have been enacted in order to criminalize poaching for the protection of animals. However, earlier versions of these laws were more concerned with insuring that hunters would have a steady supply of game.
In 1699, Virginia passed a law to prevent people from shooting deer during half the year and Massachusetts made criminals out of those who exported raccoon furs or skins from the state in 1675.
Fish and game laws were not restricted to the East, though. After the near extinction of the buffalo (it is estimated that many millions of these animals were killed during the western expansion of the mid-to-late 1800s), it became a felony to kill buffalo anywhere across the country.
Because of the practice of species protection, we enjoy a large number of game animals and plenty of bounty of the coastal waters. This is largely because of the efforts of those that came before us. Something to think about!
Coffee on the patio this morning, OK? I want to see the flowers gleaming with the morning dew!