Timeline of Accomplishments

Great Egret
Rebecca Field

1900 Frank Chapman proposes the first annual Christmas Bird Count as an alternative to the traditional Christmas side hunt in his Publication of Bird Lore, predecessor to Audubon Magazine. Congressman John F Lacey, at the urging of Audubon members, prohibits the illegal killing of birds and animals and importation of non-native species.

1901 Audubon Model Law passed protecting water birds from plume hunting.

1902 Guy Bradley hired as first Audubon game warden.

1903 President Theodore Roosevelt creates the first National Wildlife Refuge on Florida's Pelican Island.

1905 The National Association of Audubon Societies is incorporated in New York State. William Dutcher is named first President. Guy Bradley, one of the first Audubon wardens, is murdered by game poachers in Florida.

1910 NY State legislature enacts Audubon Plumage Law, prohibiting sale or possession of feathers from protected bird species.

1913-1918 Congress passes a landmark law placing all migratory birds under federal protection. Three years later President Woodrow Wilson re-signs law to include an international treaty provision between the U.S. and Canada.

1914 Martha, the last living Passenger Pigeon, dies.

1916 Congress approves creation of the National Park Service.

1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act ratified.

1920 The Mineral Leasing Act is passed. William Dutcher dies, succeeded as president by T. Gilbert Pearson.

1923-24 Audubon opens its first sanctuaries: Rainey Sanctuary in Louisiana and Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary in Long Island.

1929 Congress passes the Norbeck-Andersen Act which makes funds available for federal agencies to buy key wetlands for use as refuges.

1932 FDR is elected president and puts 2 million unemployed young men to work on forest protection, soil conservation, and other jobs in the national parks and forests.

1934 Roger Tory Peterson's field guide is published, popularizing birding like never before.

1935 The National Association of Audubon Societies buys Bird-Lore from Frank Chapman.

1936 Audubon Nature Camp opens on Hog Island, Maine.

1937 Congress uses an excise tax on sporting arms and ammunition to fund wildlife restoration projects.

1940 The National Association of Audubon Societies becomes the National Audubon Society.

1941 Bird-Lore becomes Audubon Magazine, which is later changed to Audubon in 1966

1943 The Greenwich Audubon Center in Connecticut opens as Audubon's first nature center.

1944 Big Bend National Park is created in Texas. The St Louis Audubon Society is formed; there are now over 500 chapters in the US.

1945 Audubon magazine sounds the first alarm about the hazards of DDT. Audubon partners with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in Whooping Crane Project.

1947 Everglades National Park is created in Florida.

1951 The Nature Conservancy is established.

1953 Audubon adopts a flying great egret, one of the chief victims of turn-of-the-century plume hunters, as its symbol.

1954 Audubon buys the last great stand of bald cypress in Florida's Corkscrew Swamp to create the crown jewel in its sanctuary system.

1960 The Audubon Society begins documenting the decline of bird species, including Bald Eagles, attributing this to DDT.

1962 Rachel Carson's Silent Spring published, alerting the general public to the dangers of DDT.

1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Wilderness Act, protecting 9 million acres of roadless area.

1966 Les Line becomes editor of Audubon; he tranforms it into "the most beautiful magazine in the world", according to the NY Times.

1968 National Wild & Scenic Rivers and National Trails Acts passed.

1969 Audubon opens a public policy office in Washington D.C.

1970 The first Earth Day held; Clean Air and National Environmental Policy Acts passed.

1972 A campaign by the Environmental Defense Fund and the National Audubon Society ends in victory when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency bans the use of the insecticide DDT.

1973 Endangered Species Act, considered the nation's toughest wildlife law, is passed, protecting hundreds of threatened and endangered species. Stephen Kress founds Project Puffin off the coast of Maine.

1974 Audubon announces a boycott of products from whaling nations.

1976 Audubon earns its first of 2 National Magazine Awards for Excellence in Reporting.

1978 Audubon announces its membership has grown from 88,000 to 388,000 in 10 years.

1980 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act passed, protecting 79.5 million acres including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

1984 Audubon starts the popular new children's educational program and publication Audubon Adventures.

1987 Audubon biologists help capture the last wild California Condor which is placed in a captive breeding program with other survivors.

1988 The first condor chick is born in captivity in California, raising new hope for the species' survival.

1990 The Environmental Protection Agency vetoes construction of Two Forks Dam on Platte river.

1991 Audubon's Ten Mile Creek Sanctuary projects is added- the largest unclogged coastal temperate rainforest left in the US. A prominent resident there is the marbled murrelet - a threatened seabird.

1994 Bald Eagle down-listed from endangered to threatened.

1998 Audubon holds its first ever Great Backyard Bird Count: 14,000 people get involved.

1999 Almost 50,000 participants take part in the 100th Christmas Bird Count, now the longest-running bird survey in the world.

2000 With Audubon at the forefront, President Bill Clinton authorizes the Everglades Protection and Restoration Act, committing $7.8 billion.

2002 Audubon opens its first urban Audubon Center in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, New York; the center serves 50,000 visitors annually. The last free-flying Californian Condor is released back into the wild with more than 40 others.

2003 Audubon opens more Audubon Centers - the Iain Nicholson Center in Nebraska, Audubon Center at Debs Park in Los Angeles, and Waimea Valley Audubon Center in Hawaii.

2004 Audubon's science team releases the first "State of the Birds" report, the best data available since Silent Spring to document bird health and habitat.

2005 The Ivory-billed Woodpecker, presumed extinct, is re-discovered in Cache-Lower White River National Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas.