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Official Bulletin, Conservation Commission of Maryland, years 1917-1920

2008/1/21 13:28
From South Central PA
Posts: 102
Anyone can download this document from here:

It summarizes Maryland laws and regulations related to various conservation issues and the problems encountered at the time, 1917 to 1920.

Perhaps mainly of interest to history buffs, a modern reader can note the early struggles in a number of conservation management issues. Examples:

Regulating Chesapeake Bay crab and oyster harvests.

Extensive discussion of unlicensed dogs and cats and their harm to game, birds and as disease carriers.

Efforts to stock fry and fingerlings--brook trout, yellow perch, etc. I see no mention of stocking adults anywhere, probably because of transport difficulties and capacity issues.

Discussion regarding selling game and exporting fowl, in particular, the Bob-White "the gamest bird that ever wore feathers."

Early, general language prohibiting the pollution of streams (even though government lacked the money, manpower, political will to enforce).

Impacts of the war on meat availability, state vessel use, etc.

And much more.

Though not expressed explicitly, you can note the increasing tension between the public's need to feed itself and/or make a living off of game and fish, and the need to take steps for the public's own good regarding depleting game and fish populations. Add to that the increase in strictly sporting activities, since good roads were more common, and the state was gentrifying based on its proximity to the expanding influence and growth of Washington D.C. That is to say, if you read this just for it's various facts, it's a pretty dull thing to do. But if you read between the lines, and put yourself in the shoes of the people of that time, and what they were dealing with, it's not bad history. Quite a few historical documents online can be enjoyed if you adopt that perspective.

Government writings at the time used far more colorful language than the "bureacrateeze" that would prevail later.

Lots of similar download documents also available, as well as FFing classics from Pritt, Halford, etc. Easy to search for them and download.

Downside is that you can't do searches by terms within these scanned documents (unless I am missing something).

Posted on: 2009/12/10 13:51

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