Chapter 2 Summary 2-1 Cultural Changes and the Environment During most of their 60,000-year existence, humans were hunter-gatherers. Their environmental impact was limited and local. The agricultural revolution began 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. Early growers relied on slash-andburn cultivation and shifting cultivation, which had a low environmental impact. More advanced agriculture has increased food supplies. The industrial-medical revolution began in England in the mid-1700s and spread to the United States in the 1800s. We are currently in the midst of a new cultural shift, the information and globalization revolution. 2-2 Environmental History of the United States: The Tribal and Frontier Eras Native Americans practiced hunting and gathering and traditional nonindustrial agriculture. The frontier environmental worldview of the colonists contrasted with that of some Native American cultures. 2-3 Environmental History of the United States: The Early Conservation Era (1832-1960) Early conservationists focused attention on resource depletion and degradation in the United States. Theodore Roosevelt's term of office has been called the country's "Golden Age of Conservation." He established the first National Wildlife Refuge, created the National Forest Service, and used the 1906 Antiquities Act to protect the Grand Canyon and other areas that later became National Parks. In the 1930s, Franklin Roosevelt established the Tennessee Valley Authority and Civilian Conservation Corps to help protect the country's public lands and provide jobs, cheap electricity, and flood control. 2-4 Environmental History of the United States: The Environmental Era (1960-2004) In 1962, Rachel Carson published Silent Spring, which contributed to the beginning of the modern environmental movement. The 1960s saw an increased awareness of the science of ecology. The first annual Earth Day was held in 1970, the same year that Richard Nixon established the Environmental Protection Agency. Nixon also supported the passage of the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Jimmy Carter (president 1977-1981) created a Department of Energy and a Superfund to clean up hazardous waste. The administrations of Ronald Reagan and George Bush, Sr. allowed some environmental laws to be undercut and supported exploitation of resources on public lands. During Bill Clinton's administration (1993-2001), environmentalists were appointed to key positions in environmental and resource agencies. Since 2001, George Bush has weakened many environmental protections. 2-5 Case Study: Aldo Leopold and His Land Ethic Aldo Leopold founded the profession of game management, was one of the founders of the Wilderness Society, and authored the book A Sand County Almanac. He was a proponent of land ethics, a philosophy in which humans have an ethical responsibility to preserve wild nature.