February 26 — Four National Parks Established (1917-1929)

February 26 has an important history in conservation.  On this date, four national parks were established, all within an era of active national park activity, from 1917-1929. When the National Park Service (NPS) was created in August, 1916, a new era of park management—and creation—began.  Created by an Organic Act and housed in the Department […]

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February 27 — International Polar Bear Day

February 27 has been designated as the annual International Polar Bear Day by the conservation organization, Polar Bears International.  The day has been celebrated annually since 2012.  The annual event seeks to educate the general public about the plight of polar bears globally and to encourage individuals to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by turning […]

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February 25 — First Federal Timber Act Passed (1799)

Today the U. S. Forest Service oversees the management of about 232 million acres of our nation’s forests and related ecosystems.  But it had to start somewhere.  That starting point was the first federal law dealing with forestland—the Federal Timber Purchasers Act of February 25, 1799. The 1799 act gave the government authority to purchase […]

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February 24 — Joseph Banks, British Botanist, Born (1743)

Perhaps the most influential of Britain’s many botanical explorers, Joseph Banks was born on February 24, 1743 (died 1820).  He explored the world collecting plant specimens, and he led the early development of Kew Royal Botanical Gardens. Banks was born to a wealthy and privileged family.  He attended the best schools, including Eton, where he […]

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February 23 — Italy’s Largest Inland Oil Spill (2010)

Italy suffered its largest inland oil spill on February 23, 2010, when millions of gallons of oil was maliciously drained into a tributary of the Po River.  Considered an act of sabotage—perhaps in retaliation by dismissed workers—the perpetrators have never been caught. The discharge occurred from storage tanks along the Lambro River, an upstream tributary […]

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February 22 — Nile Day

February 22 has been declared Nile Day by the countries that share the Nile River basin.  Nile Day commemorates the signing of the 1999 agreement to cooperatively manage the river basin, called the Nile Basin Initiative. The Nile River is one of the most important waterbodies in the world.  By most estimates, it is the […]

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February 21 — Carolina Parakeet Goes Extinct (1918)

The last known Carolina Parakeet (Cornuropsis carolinensis) died in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo on February 21, 1918. Carolina Parakeets were common birds in the eastern United States at the time of European settlement.  Sir Walter Raleigh mentioned their presence in the Carolinas in a 1596 book, comparing them to the parrots he had encountered […]

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February 20 — Ansel Adams, Nature Photographer, Born (1902)

Ansel Adams, the most famous nature photographer in history, was born on February 20, 1902 (died 1984), in San Francisco, California.  The work of Ansel Adams is ubiquitous in the United States—in museums, government offices, calendars and pinned to the walls in college dorm rooms.  No other photographer of nature has captured either the American […]

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February 19 — Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial Established (1962)

Which U.S. presidents have been the most environmentally important?  Opinions vary, but generally included in the top 5 is a name you might not expect—Abraham Lincoln.  And the place where Abraham Lincoln learned to love the land was established as the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial on February 19, when President John Kennedy signed it into […]

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