The Hunter’s Game: Poaching and Wildlife in American History

Lecture Description

Histories of early wildlife conservation often depict a heroic struggle between enlightened game managers and wasteful criminals. In this lecture, Louis Warren explores deeper class and ethnic conflicts between rural hunters and state officials at the turn of the twentieth century. Gunfights and standoffs between game wardens and immigrants, Indians, and poor whites suggest how much new fish and game laws transformed formerly local resources into public goods managed by the state, a shift that introduced profound changes in rural life. These conflicts took place against a backdrop of changing landscapes that often complicated the politics of conservation, as wild animal decline gave way in some places to dramatic increase, and in others seemingly stable wildlife populations collapsed. Conflicts between people, in other words, took place on a continually shifting ground that often discredited experts, undermined state power, and left antagonists groping for solutions.

CATEGORIES

Class Environment and Natural Resources

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