The conservation movement, also known as nature conservation, is a political, environmental and a social movement that seeks to protect natural resources including animal, fungus and plant species as well as their habitat for the future.
The early conservation movement included fisheries and wildlife management, water, soil conservation and sustainable forestry. The contemporary conservation movement has broadened from the early movement's emphasis on use of sustainable yield of natural resources and preservation of wilderness areas to include preservation of biodiversity. Some say the conservation movement is part of the broader and more far-reaching environmental movement, while others argue that they differ both in ideology and practice. Chiefly in the United States, conservation is seen as differing from environmentalism in that it aims to preserve natural resources expressly for their continued sustainable use by humans. In other parts of the world conservation is used more broadly to include the setting aside of natural areas and the active protection of wildlife for their inherent value, as much as for any value they may have for humans.
Jones (1991) argues that from an economic perspective the Western nations have been no more destructive of natural resources than any other civilization. He rejects the suggestion that Christianity, by destroying animism, facilitated the ruination of nature in the West, stating he finds no evidence that any culture was or is less exploitive of the natural world than Christianity. He notes that Eastern agricultural history has numerous examples of massive deforestations, erosion, silting of rivers, and infestation with waterborne parasites. He points to large-scale animal extinction and wasteful agricultural practices by North American Indians before 1492. Jones allows that economic growth in the West did result in a higher level of resource use, but finds no evidence to support the view that such resource exploitation was a product of religion, culture, or geography.
History of conservation ideas 
The nascent conservation movement slowly developed in the 19th century, starting first in the scientific forestry methods pioneered by Prussia and France in the 17th and 18th centuries. While continental Europe created the scientific methods later used in conservationist efforts, British India and the United States are credited with starting the conservation movement.
Foresters in India, often German, managed forests using early climate change theories that Alexander von Humboldt developed in the mid 19th century, applied fire protection, and tried to keep the "house-hold" of nature. This was an early ecological idea, in order to preserve the growth of delicate teak trees. Dietrich Brandis was the first Inspector General of Forests (IGF) (1862-1881) of British India and founder of the Indian Forest Department, in charge of forest management and the regulation of forest use. Brandis was appointed as IGF in 1862 and held the post for 19 years. Brandis and Berthold Ribbentrop, traveled back to Europe and taught at forestry schools in England (Cooper's Hill, later moved to Oxford). These Germans disseminated their ideas and reports in Germany and the United States, influencing men such as Gifford Pinchot. After 1880 the management of Indian forests changed direction to facilitate more commercial usage and employment.
Sivaramakrishnan (2009) explores the boundaries between wildness and civility in Indian society, as well as connection of ideas of nature to different aspects of social life, especially labor, aesthetics, politics, commerce, and agriculture. These interconnected historical processes inform environmental history in India. At present forest history is the area of environmental history in which the most important scholarly debate is underway in India, with special interest in questions of water, air, industry, and climate change At the grass root level are organizing mass movements with the theme of Think Globally – Act locally for conservation of nature since 1993 by Vijaypal baghel, peoples are called him ecoman, greenman etc. So many events are conducting as well as Jhola Aandolan against plastic carry bags use, Global green mission, Operation water reservoir, stop global warming & climate changes, reduce pollution with dedication to save environmental and spiritual values.
Western Europe 
and constituencies that value conservation and ecotourism above local subsistence. This has led to controversy among scientists and residents. Local herders see wild animals as unregulated public property subsidized by the work of the local people. Farmers complain that their fields are invaded on a daily basis by animals they cannot kill because of their protected status. Ranchers, under extremely strict sanitation regulations, see their cattle and sheep coming into biological contact with these unchecked wild populations.
Eastern Europe 
In USSR the regime of Joseph Stalin (1924–53) concentrated on large-scale industrialization, and has earned a historical reputation for paying little heed to the human and environmental costs of such rapid transformations. One exception was the logging industry, in which conflicting needs and ideologies enabled the preservation of significant tracts of forest.
Galbreath and Auers (2009) examines history of environmental politics in Latvia, especially the formation of the Latvian Green Party, known as Zala Partija as part of the Green/Farmers' Union or Zalo un Zemnieku Savieniba (ZZP). The depoliticization of environmentalism emerged from the nationalist, corporate, and environmental elements of the ZZP. The three aspects of the environmentalism here are represented by the colors green, brown, and black. Green represents: ecological preservation and reversal of industrial side effects. Brown stands for civic and ethnic nationalism. Black represents the oil and gas pipeline industry and its influence on the 'Green' agenda in Latvia.
United States 
Progressive Era 
Both Conservationism and Environmentalism appeared in political debates during the Progressive Era in the early 20th century. There were three main positions. The laissez-faire position held that owners of private property—including lumber and mining companies, should be allowed to do anything they wished for their property.
The Conservationists, led by President Theodore Roosevelt and his close ally Gifford Pinchot, said that the laissez-faire approach was too wasteful and inefficient. In any case, they noted, most of the natural resources in the western states were already owned by the federal government. The best course of action, they argued, was a long-term plan devised by national experts to maximize the long-term economic benefits of natural resources.
Environmentalism was the third position, led by John Muir (1838–1914). Muir's passion for nature made him the most influential American environmentalist. Muir preached that nature was sacred and humans are intruders who should look but not develop. He founded the Sierra Club and remains an icon of the environmentalist movement. He was primarily responsible for defining the environmentalist position, in the debate between Conservation and environmentalism.
Environmentalism preached that nature was almost sacred, and that man was an intruder. It allowed for limited tourism (such as hiking), but opposed automobiles in national parks. It strenuously opposed timber cutting on most public lands, and vehemently denounced the dams that Roosevelt supported for water supplies, electricity and flood control. Especially controversial was the Hetch Hetchy dam in Yosemite National Park, which Roosevelt approved, and which supplies the water supply of San Francisco.
Theodore Roosevelt 
Roosevelt put conservationist issue high on the national agenda. He worked with all the major figures of the movement, especially his chief advisor on the matter, Gifford Pinchot. Roosevelt was deeply committed to conserving natural resources, and is considered to be the nation's first conservation President. He encouraged the Newlands Reclamation Act of 1902 to promote federal construction of dams to irrigate small farms and placed 230 million acres (360,000 mi² or 930,000 km²) under federal protection. Roosevelt set aside more Federal land for national parks and nature preserves than all of his predecessors combined.
Roosevelt established the United States Forest Service, signed into law the creation of five National Parks, and signed the year 1906 Antiquities Act, under which he proclaimed 18 new U.S. National Monuments. He also established the first 51 Bird Reserves, four Game Preserves, and 150 National Forests, including Shoshone National Forest, the nation's first. The area of the United States that he placed under public protection totals approximately 230,000,000 acres (930,000 km2).
Gifford Pinchot had been appointed by McKinley as chief of Division of Forestry in the Department of Agriculture. In 1905, his department gained control of the national forest reserves. Pinchot promoted private use (for a fee) under federal supervision. In 1907, Roosevelt designated 16 million acres (65,000 km²) of new national forests just minutes before a deadline.
In May 1908, Roosevelt sponsored the Conference of Governors held in the White House, with a focus on natural resources and their most efficient use. Roosevelt delivered the opening address: "Conservation as a National Duty.".
In 1903 Roosevelt toured the Yosemite Valley with John Muir, who had a very different view of conservation, and tried to minimize commercial use of water resources and forests. Working through the Sierra Club he founded, Muir succeeded in 1905 in having Congress transfer the Mariposa Grove and Yosemite Valley to the Federal Government. While Muir wanted nature preserved for the sake of pure beauty, Roosevelt subscribed to Pinchot's formulation, "to make the forest produce the largest amount of whatever crop or service will be most useful, and keep on producing it for generation after generation of men and trees." 
In the 1930s, the dominant view was the conservationism of Theodore Roosevelt and was endorsed by Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt. It that led to the building of many large-scale dams and water projects, as well as the expansion of the National Forest System to buy out sub-marginal farms. In 1937, the Pittman–Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act was signed into law, providing funding for state agencies to carry out their conservation efforts.
Since 1970 
Environmental issues reemerged on the national agenda in 1970, with Republican Richard Nixon playing a major role, especially with his creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. The debates over the public lands and environmental politics played a supporting role in the decline of liberalism and the rise of modern conservatism. Although Americans consistently rank environmental issues as "important", polling data indicates that in the voting booth voters rank the environmental issues low relative to other political concerns.
The growth of the Republican party's political power in the inland West (apart from the Pacific coast) was facilitated by the rise of popular opposition to public lands reform. Successful Democrats in the inland West and Alaska typically take more conservative positions on environmental issues than Democrats from the Coastal states. Conservatives drew on new organizational networks of think tanks, industry groups, and citizen-oriented organizations, and they began to deploy new strategies that affirmed the rights of individuals to their property, protection of extraction rights, to hunt and recreate, and to pursue happiness unencumbered by the federal government at the expense of resource conservation.
Areas of concern 
Deforestation and overpopulation are issues affecting all regions of the world. The consequent destruction of wildlife habitat has prompted the creation of conservation groups in other countries, some founded by local hunters who have witnessed declining wildlife populations first hand. Also, it was highly important for the conservation movement to solve problems of living conditions in the cities and the overpopulation of such places.
Boreal forest and the Arctic 
The idea of incentive conservation is a modern one but its practice has clearly defended some of the sub Arctic wildernesses and the wildlife in those regions for thousands of years, especially by indigenous peoples such as the Evenk, Yakut, Sami, Inuit and Cree. The fur trade and hunting by these peoples have preserved these regions for thousands of years. Ironically, the pressure now upon them comes from non-renewable resources such as oil, sometimes to make synthetic clothing which is advocated as a humane substitute for fur. (See Raccoon Dog for case study of the conservation of an animal through fur trade.) Similarly, in the case of the beaver, hunting and fur trade were thought to bring about the animal's demise, when in fact they were an integral part of its conservation. For many years children's books stated and still do, that the decline in the beaver population was due to the fur trade. In reality however, the decline in beaver numbers was because of habitat destruction and deforestation, as well as its continued persecution as a pest (it causes flooding). In Cree lands however, where the population valued the animal for meat and fur, it continued to thrive. The Inuit defend their relationship with the seal in response to outside critics.
Latin America (Bolivia) 
The Izoceño-Guaraní of Santa Cruz Department, Bolivia is a tribe of hunters who were influential in establishing the Capitania del Alto y Bajo Isoso (CABI). CABI promotes economic growth and survival of the Izoceno people while discouraging the rapid destruction of habitat within Bolivia's Gran Chaco. They are responsible for the creation of the 34,000 square kilometre Kaa-Iya del Gran Chaco National Park and Integrated Management Area (KINP). The KINP protects the most biodiverse portion of the Gran Chaco, an ecoregion shared with Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. In 1996, the Wildlife Conservation Society joined forces with CABI to institute wildlife and hunting monitoring programs in 23 Izoceño communities. The partnership combines traditional beliefs and local knowledge with the political and administrative tools needed to effectively manage habitats. The programs rely solely on voluntary participation by local hunters who perform self-monitoring techniques and keep records of their hunts. The information obtained by the hunters participating in the program has provided CABI with important data required to make educated decisions about the use of the land. Hunters have been willing participants in this program because of pride in their traditional activities, encouragement by their communities and expectations of benefits to the area.
Africa (Botswana) 
In order to discourage illegal South African hunting parties and ensure future local use and sustainability, indigenous hunters in Botswana began lobbying for and implementing conservation practices in the 1960s. The Fauna Preservation Society of Ngamiland (FPS) was formed in 1962 by the husband and wife team: Robert Kay and June Kay, environmentalists working in conjunction with the Batawana tribes to preserve wildlife habitat.
The FPS promotes habitat conservation and provides local education for preservation of wildlife. Conservation initiatives were met with strong opposition from the Botswana government because of the monies tied to big-game hunting. In 1963, BaTawanga Chiefs and tribal hunter/adventurers in conjunction with the FPS founded Moremi National Park and Wildlife Refuge, the first area to be set aside by tribal people rather than governmental forces. Moremi National Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including lions, giraffes, elephants, buffalo, zebra, cheetahs and antelope, and covers an area of 3,000 square kilometers. Most of the groups involved with establishing this protected land were involved with hunting and were motivated by their personal observations of declining wildlife and habitat.
See also 
- Conservation biology
- Conservation ethic
- Ecology movement
- Environmental movement
- Environmental protection
- Evolution of the Conservation Movement, 1850–1920
- Factor 10
- Forest protection
- Habitat conservation
- List of environmental organizations
- List of environment topics
- Natural environment
- Natural landscape
- Water conservation
- Wildlife conservation
- Wildlife management
- Gifford, John C. (1945). Living by the Land. Coral Gables, Florida: Glade House. p. 8. ASIN B0006EUXGQ.
- Eric L. Jones, "The History of Natural Resource Exploitation in the Western World," Research in Economic History, 1991 Supplement 6, pp 235-252
- Ajay Singh Rawat (1993). Indian Forestry: A Perspective. Indus Publishing. pp. 85–88.
- Benjamin Weil, "Conservation, Exploitation, and Cultural Change in the Indian Forest Service, 1875-1927" Environmental History (2006) 11#2 pp 319-343. online
- Madhav Gadgil and Ramachandra Guha, This Fissured Land: An Ecological History of India (1993)
- K. Sivaramakrishnan, "Forests and the environmental history of modern India," Journal of Peasant Studies, April 2009, Vol. 36 Issue 2, pp 299–324
- G. Barton, Empire forestry and the origins of environmentalism (2002) covers India and the entire British Empire
- Ismael Vaccaro, and Oriol Beltran, "Livestock Versus 'Wild Beasts': Contradictions in the Natural Patrimonialization of the Pyrenees," Geographical Review, Oct 2009, Vol. 99 Issue 4, pp 499-516
- Stephen Brain, "Stalin's Environmentalism," Russian Review, Jan 2010, Vol. 69 Issue 1, pp 93-118
- David J. Galbreath and Daunis Auers, "Green, Black and Brown: Uncovering Latvia's Environmental Politics," Journal of Baltic Studies, Sept 2009, Vol. 40 Issue 3, pp 333-348
- Samuel P. Hays, Conservation and the Gospel of Efficiency: The Progressive Conservation Movement, 1890-1920 (1959)
- Douglas G. Brinkley, The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America (2009)
- W. Todd Benson, President Theodore Roosevelt's Conservations Legacy (2003)
- "U.S. Statutes at Large, Vol. 26, Chap. 1263, pp. 650-52. "An act to set apart certain tracts of land in the State of California as forest reservations." [H.R. 12187]". Evolution of the Conservation Movement, 1850-1920. Library of Congress.
- Gifford Pinchot, Breaking New Ground, (1947) p. 32.
- * Turner, James Morton, "The Specter of Environmentalism": Wilderness, Environmental Politics, and the Evolution of the New Right. The Journal of American History 96.1 (2009): 123-47 online at History Cooperative
- "Inuit Ask Europeans to Support Its Seal Hunt and Way of Life". 6 March 2006. Archived from the original on 28 June 2007. Retrieved 12 July 2007.
Further reading 
Regional studies 
- Adams, Jonathan S.; McShane, Thomas O. Myth of Wild Africa: Conservation without Illusion (1992) 266p; covers 1900 to 1980s
- Anderson, David; Grove, Richard. Conservation in Africa: People, Policies & Practice (1988), 355pp
- Bolaane, Maitseo. "Chiefs, Hunters & Adventurers: The Foundation of the Okavango/Moremi National Park, Botswana". Journal of Historical Geography. 31.2 (Apr. 2005): 241-259.
- Carruthers, Jane. "Africa: Histories, Ecologies, and Societies," Environment and History, 10 (2004), pp. 379–406;
- Showers, Kate B. Imperial Gullies: Soil Erosion and Conservation in Lesotho (2005) 346pp
- Economy, Elizabeth. The River Runs Black: The Environmental Challenge to China's Future (2010)
- Elvin, Mark. The Retreat of the Elephants: An Environmental History of China (2006)
- Grove, Richard H.; Damodaran, Vinita; Sangwan, Satpal. Nature and the Orient: The Environmental History of South and Southeast Asia (1998) 1036pp
- Johnson, Erik W., Saito, Yoshitaka, and Nishikido, Makoto. "Organizational Demography of Japanese Environmentalism," Sociological Inquiry, Nov 2009, Vol. 79 Issue 4, pp 481–504
- Thapar, Valmik. Land of the Tiger: A Natural History of the Indian Subcontinent (1998) 288pp
Latin America 
- Dean, Warren. With Broadax and Firebrand: The Destruction of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest (1997)
- Funes Monzote, Reinaldo. From Rainforest to Cane Field in Cuba: An Environmental History since 1492 (2008)
- Melville, Elinor G. K. A Plague of Sheep: Environmental Consequences of the Conquest of Mexico (2008)
- Miller, Shawn William. An Environmental History of Latin America (2007)
- Noss, Andrew and Imke Oetting. "Hunter Self-Monitoring by the Izoceño -Guarani in the Bolivian Chaco". Biodiversity & Conservation. 14.11 (2005): 2679-2693.
- Simonian, Lane. Defending the Land of the Jaguar: A History of Conservation in Mexico (1995) 326pp
Europe and Russia 
- Arnone Sipari, Lorenzo, Scritti scelti di Erminio Sipari sul Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo (1922-1933) (2011), 360pp.
- Bonhomme, Brian. Forests, Peasants and Revolutionaries: Forest Conservation & Organization in Soviet Russia, 1917-1929 (2005) 252pp.
- Cioc, Mark. The Rhine: An Eco-Biography, 1815-2000 (2002).
- Simmons, I.G. An Environmental History of Great Britain: From 10,000 Years Ago to the Present (2001).
- Weiner, Douglas R. Models of Nature: Ecology, Conservation and Cultural Revolution in Soviet Russia (2000) 324pp; covers 1917 to 1939.
United States 
- Bates, J. Leonard. "Fulfilling American Democracy: The Conservation Movement, 1907 to 1921", The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, Vol. 44, No. 1. (Jun., 1957), pp. 29–57. in JSTOR
- Brinkley, Douglas G. The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, (2009) excerpt and text search
- Cawley, R. McGreggor. Federal Land, Western Anger: The Sagebrush Rebellion and Environmental Politics (1993), on conservatives
- Flippen, J. Brooks. Nixon and the Environment (2000).
- Hays, Samuel P. Beauty, Health, and Permanence: Environmental Politics in the United States, 1955–1985 (1987), the standard scholarly history
- Hays, Samuel P. A History of Environmental Politics since 1945 (2000), shorter standard history
- Hays, Samuel P. Conservation and the Gospel of Efficiency (1959), on Progressive Era.
- King, Judson. The Conservation Fight, From Theodore Roosevelt to the Tennessee Valley Authority (2009)
- Nash, Roderick. Wilderness and the American Mind, (3rd ed. 1982), the standard intellectual history
- Pinchot, Gifford (1922). "Conservation Policy". Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.).
- Rothman, Hal K. The Greening of a Nation? Environmentalism in the United States since 1945 (1998)
- Scheffer, Victor B. The Shaping of Environmentalism in America (1991).
- Strong, Douglas H. Dreamers & Defenders: American Conservationists. (1988) online edition, good biographical studies of the major leaders
- Turner, James Morton, "The Specter of Environmentalism": Wilderness, Environmental Politics, and the Evolution of the New Right. The Journal of American History 96.1 (2009): 123-47 online at History Cooperative
- Barton, Gregory A. Empire, Forestry and the Origins of Environmentalism, (2002), covers British Empire
- Bolton, Geoffrey. Spoils and Spoilers: Australians Make Their Environment, 1788-1980 (1981) 197pp
- Clover, Charles. The End of the Line: How overfishing is changing the world and what we eat. (2004) Ebury Press, London. ISBN 0-09-189780-7
- Jones, Eric L. "The History of Natural Resource Exploitation in the Western World," Research in Economic History, 1991 Supplement 6, pp 235–252
- McNeill, John R. Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth Century (2000),
- Cioc, Mark, Björn-Ola Linnér, and Matt Osborn, "Environmental History Writing in Northern Europe," Environmental History, 5 (2000), pp. 396–406
- Bess, Michael, Mark Cioc, and James Sievert, "Environmental History Writing in Southern Europe," Environmental History, 5 (2000), pp. 545–56;
- Coates, Peter. "Emerging from the Wilderness (or, from Redwoods to Bananas): Recent Environmental History in the United States and the Rest of the Americas," Environment and History, 10 (2004), pp. 407–38
- Hay, Peter. Main Currents in Western Environmental Thought (2002), standard scholarly history excerpt and text search
- McNeill, John R. "Observations on the Nature and Culture of Environmental History," History and Theory, 42 (2003), pp. 5–43.
- Robin, Libby, and Tom Griffiths, "Environmental History in Australasia," Environment and History, 10 (2004), pp. 439–74
- Worster, Donald, ed. The Ends of the Earth: Perspectives on Modern Environmental History (1988)
- A history of conservation in New Zealand
- For Future Generations, a Canadian documentary on conservation and national parks