The Evolution of the Conservation Movement, 1850-1920

Materials from the Law Library of Congress

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The Law Library of Congress is represented in this collection by a variety of materials documenting the growth of Federal conservation policy between 1862 and 1920. The collection includes approximately 140 Federal statutes and Congressional resolutions on the full range of conservation-related topics that engaged Congress in this era, drawn from the Statutes at Large. The legislative history of eighteen of the most important of these pieces of legislation is also more fully represented through the inclusion of all relevant pages of procedure and debate from the Congressional Globe or Congressional Record and all official Senate and House documents (Senate Reports, Senate Documents, Senate Executive Documents, Senate Miscellaneous Documents, and House Reports) associated with the passage of each Act or Resolution in the Congressional session in which it was enacted. The collection also includes approximately 360 Presidential proclamations on conservation-related topics from 1889 to 1920, also from the Statutes at Large; these provide an especially comprehensive record of the growth of the national forest and national monument systems, and include numerous maps.

Readers should also note that transcripts of Congressional hearings on the bills permitting the damming of Hetch Hetch Valley (finally enacted as the Raker Act, 38 Stat. 242) and creating the National Park Service (the National Park Service Act, 39 Stat. 535), as well as a 1909 House Report on what became the Raker Act, are included in the portion of this collection drawn from the General Collection and Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress.

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