History of Game Wardens
1. Medieval England: Kings used game wardens to hunt, protect land and patrol for poachers.
2. 1890 North America: Naturalist John Muir created California’s Yosemite National Park, Sequoia, and General Grant Parks, and the job of game warden started to become a prominent position.
3. 1900: The Lacey Act – Defends game and prohibits illegally shipped wildlife and importation of injurious species. This was enforced by the Division of Biological Survey, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
4. 1905: The Division of Biological Survey became the Bureau of Biological Survey and remained in the Department of Agriculture.
5. 1909: President Theodore Roosevelt added 125 million square miles and six new national parks to the federal system, all of which hired game wardens.
6. 1960’s – 70’s: The environmental movement changed game warden jobs. They are now responsible for stopping poaching and investigating environment or wildlife-related crimes.
7. 1969: Endangered Species Conservation Act. The act protected species “threatened with extinction worldwide.” Other amendments were made concerning the American alligator, Black Bass, wild birds and mammals, reptiles, mollusks, amphibians, and crustaceans.
8. 1970: The Bureau of Commercial Fisheries was transferred to the Department of Commerce and became the National Marine Fisheries Service.
9. Today, modern game wardens are considered law enforcement officers and have the right to arrest poachers, confiscate illegal or dangerous equipment, and issue citations for any crime.