While food and drug safety regulations in the United States were moving forward one regulatory act at a time, the environmental movement had yet to become mobilized. The US frontier closed in 1890 and up until that time, and for some considerable time past it, the vastness of the American landscape made the premise of pan-continental contamination seem preposterous. The voices speaking about environmental issues at the turn of the twentieth century were wilderness enthusiasts such as President Theodore Roosevelt, his chief advisor, Gifford Pinchot, and John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club. To put the era into perspective, Yellowstone National Park—the nation’s first—was created in 1872, just twenty-eight years before the turn of the century. The prospect that chemicals could alter the environment to such a degree that they could effect the entire North American continent was still decades away. Even after the official closing of the Western frontier, the vast geography of the American West appeared to be infinite.
KeywordsPolar Bear Environmental Movement Predatory Bird Beluga Whale Sierra Club
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