The Appalachian Mountains called the Appalachians, are a system of mountains in eastern North America. The Appalachians first formed 480 million years ago during the Ordovician Period, they once reached elevations similar to those of the Alps and the Rocky Mountains before experiencing natural erosion. The Appalachian chain is a barrier to east–west travel, as it forms a series of alternating ridgelines and valleys oriented in opposition to most highways and railroads running east–west. Definitions vary on the precise boundaries of the Appalachians; the United States Geological Survey defines the Appalachian Highlands physiographic division as consisting of thirteen provinces: the Atlantic Coast Uplands, Eastern Newfoundland Atlantic, Maritime Acadian Highlands, Maritime Plain, Notre Dame and Mégantic Mountains, Western Newfoundland Mountains, Blue Ridge and Ridge, Saint Lawrence Valley, Appalachian Plateaus, New England province, the Adirondack areas. A common variant definition does not include the Adirondack Mountains, which geologically belong to the Grenville Orogeny and have a different geological history from the rest of the Appalachians.
The mountain range is in the United States but it extends into southeastern Canada, forming a zone from 100 to 300 mi wide, running from the island of Newfoundland 1,500 mi southwestward to Central Alabama in the United States. The range covers parts of the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, which comprise an overseas territory of France; the system is divided into a series of ranges, with the individual mountains averaging around 3,000 ft. The highest of the group is Mount Mitchell in North Carolina at 6,684 feet, the highest point in the United States east of the Mississippi River; the term Appalachian refers to several different regions associated with the mountain range. Most broadly, it refers to the entire mountain range with its surrounding hills and the dissected plateau region; the term is used more restrictively to refer to regions in the central and southern Appalachian Mountains including areas in the states of Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, as well as sometimes extending as far south as northern Alabama and western South Carolina, as far north as Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, parts of southern upstate New York.
The Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas and Oklahoma were part of the Appalachians as well but became disconnected through geologic history. While exploring inland along the northern coast of Florida in 1528, the members of the Narváez expedition, including Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, found a Native American village near present-day Tallahassee, Florida whose name they transcribed as Apalchen or Apalachen; the name was soon altered by the Spanish to Apalachee and used as a name for the tribe and region spreading well inland to the north. Pánfilo de Narváez's expedition first entered Apalachee territory on June 15, 1528, applied the name. Now spelled "Appalachian," it is the fourth-oldest surviving European place-name in the US. After the de Soto expedition in 1540, Spanish cartographers began to apply the name of the tribe to the mountains themselves; the first cartographic appearance of Apalchen is on Diego Gutierrez's map of 1562. The name was not used for the whole mountain range until the late 19th century.
A competing and more popular name was the "Allegheny Mountains", "Alleghenies", "Alleghania". In the early 19th century, Washington Irving proposed renaming the United States either Appalachia or Alleghania. In U. S. dialects in the southern regions of the Appalachians, the word is pronounced, with the third syllable sounding like "latch". In northern parts of the mountain range, it is pronounced or. There is great debate between the residents of the regions as to which pronunciation is the more correct one. Elsewhere, a accepted pronunciation for the adjective Appalachian is, with the last two syllables "-ian" pronounced as in the word "Romanian"; the whole system may be divided into three great sections: Northern: The northern section runs from the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador to the Hudson River. It includes the Long Range Mountains and Annieopsquotch Mountains on the island of Newfoundland, Chic-Choc Mountains and Notre Dame Range in Quebec and New Brunswick, scattered elevations and small ranges elsewhere in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the Longfellow Mountains in Maine, the White Mountains in New Hampshire, the Green Mountains in Vermont, The Berkshires in Massachusetts and Connecticut.
The Metacomet Ridge Mountains in Connecticut and south-central Massachusetts, although contained within the Appalachian province, is a younger system and not geologically associated with the Appalachians. The Monteregian Hills, which cross the Green Mountains in Quebec, are unassociated with the Appalachians. Central: The central section goes from the Hudson Valley to the New River running through Virginia and West Virginia, it comprises the Valley Ridges between the Allegheny Front of the Allegheny Plateau and the Great Appalachian Valley, the New York–New Jersey Highlands, the Taconic Mountains in New York, a large portion of the Blue Ridge. Southern: The southern section runs from the New River onwards, it consists of the prolongation of the Blue Ridge, divided into the Western Blue Ridge Front and the Eastern Blue Ridge Front, the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians, the Cumberland Plateau. The Adirondack Mountains in New Y
National Park Service
The National Park Service is an agency of the United States federal government that manages all national parks, many national monuments, other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. It was created on August 25, 1916, by Congress through the National Park Service Organic Act and is an agency of the United States Department of the Interior; the NPS is charged with a dual role of preserving the ecological and historical integrity of the places entrusted to its management, while making them available and accessible for public use and enjoyment. As of 2018, the NPS employs 27,000 employees who oversee 419 units, of which 61 are designated national parks. National parks and national monuments in the United States were individually managed under the auspices of the Department of the Interior; the movement for an independent agency to oversee these federal lands was spearheaded by business magnate and conservationist Stephen Mather, as well as J. Horace McFarland. With the help of journalist Robert Sterling Yard, Mather ran a publicity campaign for the Department of the Interior.
They wrote numerous articles that praised the scenic and historic qualities of the parks and their possibilities for educational and recreational benefits. This campaign resulted in the creation of a National Park Service. On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill that mandated the agency "to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife therein, to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." Mather became the first director of the newly formed NPS. On March 3, 1933, President Herbert Hoover signed the Reorganization Act of 1933; the act would allow the President to reorganize the executive branch of the United States government. It wasn't until that summer when the new President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, made use of this power. Deputy Director Horace M. Albright had suggested to President Roosevelt that the historic sites from the American Civil War should be managed by the National Park Service, rather than the War Department.
President Roosevelt issued two Executive orders to make it happen. These two executive orders not only transferred to the National Park Service all the War Department historic sites, but the national monuments managed by the Department of Agriculture and the parks in and around the capital, run by an independent office. In 1951, Conrad Wirth became director of the National Park Service and went to work on bringing park facilities up to the standards that the public expected; the demand for parks after the end of the World War II had left the parks overburdened with demands that could not be met. In 1952, with the support of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, he began Mission 66, a ten-year effort to upgrade and expand park facilities for the 50th anniversary of the Park Service. New parks were added to preserve unique resources and existing park facilities were upgraded and expanded. In 1966, as the Park Service turned 50 years old, emphasis began to turn from just saving great and wonderful scenery and unique natural features to making parks accessible to the public.
Director George Hartzog began the process with the creation of the National Lakeshores and National Recreation Areas. Since its inception in 1916, the National Park Service has managed each of the United States' national parks, which have grown in number over the years to 60. Yellowstone National Park was the first national park in the United States. In 1872, there was no state government to manage it, so the federal government assumed direct control. Yosemite National Park began as a state park. Yosemite was returned to federal ownership. At first, each national park was managed independently, with varying degrees of success. In Yellowstone, the civilian staff was replaced by the U. S. Army in 1886. Due to the irregularities in managing these national treasures, Stephen Mather petitioned the federal government to improve the situation. In response, Secretary of the Interior Franklin K. Lane challenged him to lobby for creating a new agency, the National Park Service, to manage all national parks and some national monuments.
Mather was successful with the ratification of the National Park Service Organic Act in 1916. The agency was given authority over other protected areas, many with varying designations as Congress created them; the National Park System includes. The title or designation of a unit need not include the term park; the System as a whole is considered to be a national treasure of the United States, some of the more famous national parks and monuments are sometimes referred to metaphorically as "crown jewels". The system encompasses 84.4 million acres, of which more than 4.3 million acres remain in private ownership. The largest unit is Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. At 13,200,000 acres, it is over 16 percent of the entire system; the smallest unit in the system is Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial, Pennsylvania, at 0.02 acre. In addition to administering its units and other properties, the National Park Service provides technical and financial assistance to several "affiliated areas" authorized by Congress.
The largest affiliated area is New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve at 1,164,025 acres. The smallest is Benjamin Franklin National Memorial at less than 0.01 acres. Although all units of the Nat
Ross Lake National Recreation Area
Ross Lake National Recreation Area is a US National Recreation Area located in north central Washington just south of the Canada–US border. It is the most accessible part of the North Cascades National Park Service Complex which includes North Cascades National Park and Lake Chelan National Recreation Area. Ross Lake NRA follows the Skagit River corridor from the Canada–US border to the western foothills of the Cascades; the NRA contains a portion of scenic Washington State Route 20, the North Cascades Highway, includes three reservoirs: 12,000-acre Ross Lake, 910-acre Diablo Lake, 210-acre Gorge Lake. These reservoirs make up the Skagit Hydroelectric Project operated by Seattle City Light. Nestled in the "American Alps" the Ross Lake NRA bisects the north and south units of North Cascades National Park; the Shape of the National Recreation area, was designed to prevent the proposed High ross dam from flooding the national park. Ross Lake National Recreation Area is a major recreation destination in the Northern Cascades, attracting visitors from across the US and Canada with fishing, canoeing, kayaking and hiking opportunities.
The NRA contains trailheads that connect to hundreds of miles of hiking trails in adjoining North Cascades National Park, Pasayten Wilderness and Skagit Valley Provincial Park. National Park Service campgrounds along the North Cascades Highway including Newhalem Creek, Colonial Creek and Goodall Creek feature tent and RV camping. Newhalem, Washington is home to both the North Cascades Visitor Center and the Skagit Information Center. Along Ross Lake and Diablo reservoirs boat-in camping is allowed, permits are required from the Wilderness Information Center in Marblemount, Washington. Desolation Peak Lookout remains an operational fire lookout staffed each summer by fire personnel; the lookout features sweeping vistas of North Cascade peaks including Hozomeen Mountain. The lookout is best known as the setting for Jack Kerouac's novel Desolation Angels. Kerouac spent the summer of 1956 manning the 14-by-14-foot structure for the U. S. Forest Service; the lookout can be accessed via a six-mile trail from the shore of Ross Lake.
Ross Lake NRA provides the primary access points for motorists and backpackers entering the North Cascades National Park Service Complex. Public automobile access is allowed via two roads. Most travelers in the region use the North Cascades Highway, which bisects the National Recreation Area east to west; the second vehicle access point is the southern terminus of the 43-mile gravel Silver Skagit Road just south of the Canada–US border at the Hozomeen campground. The nearest large town on the west side of the park is Sedro-Woolley, while Winthrop lies to the east and Hope, British Columbia to the north; the entrance to the complex lies 50 miles east of Interstate 5. No entrance fee is charged for North Cascades National Park, Ross Lake National Recreation Area, or Lake Chelan National Recreation Area. Ecology of the North Cascades National Park Service: North Cascades National Park Service Complex National Park Service: Boating on Ross Lake Skagit Valley Provincial Park
Gateway National Recreation Area
Gateway National Recreation Area is a 26,607-acre U. S. National Recreation Area in New York City and Monmouth County, New Jersey, it provides recreational opportunities that are rare in a dense urban environment, including ocean swimming, bird watching, boating and camping. Ten million people visit Gateway annually. Gateway was created by the U. S. Congress in 1972 to preserve and protect scarce or unique natural and recreational resources with convenient access by a high percentage of the nation's population, it is owned by the federal government and managed by the National Park Service. In 1969, the Regional Plan Association proposed a new national seashore in the New York metropolitan area, to be administered by the United States Department of the Interior. U. S. President Richard Nixon put his support behind a similar proposal in 1970, with one significant change: instead of being designated a "seashore", the protected area would be a national park. In May of that year, the president started the process of getting Congressional approval for this move.
The United States House of Representatives approved the creation of Gateway National Recreation Area in September 1972, most of the land was transferred to the National Park Service for inclusion in Gateway National Recreation Area. In the same vote, the House denied the state's provision to create a housing development at Floyd Bennett Field, to be part of the Gateway Area. Gateway National Recreation Area was created on October 27, 1972, along with Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco. Gateway included over 26,000 acres of land; this excluded some of the land proposed by the RPA, including the Coney Island shore. The recreation area comprises three units and eleven park sites in all: Jamaica Bay Unit, in Brooklyn and Queens, includes much of the shoreline and water below the Shore Parkway beginning at Plum Beach and ending at John F. Kennedy International Airport, along with several dozen islands in Jamaica Bay, a tidal estuary, it includes most of the western part of the Rockaway Peninsula, which separates Jamaica Bay from the Atlantic Ocean.
Among the sites in this unit are: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is a prime location for viewing birds and bird migrations, diamondback turtle egg-laying and horseshoe crab mating and egg laying. Its 9,155 acres are open water, but includes upland shoreline and islands with salt marsh, brackish ponds and fields, it is the only "wildlife refuge" in the National Park System. Created and managed by New York City as a "wildlife refuge", the term was retained by Gateway when the site was transferred. All other federally managed areas titled "wildlife refuge" are managed by the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service under their own specific criteria and standards. Floyd Bennett Field, a decommissioned airfield with a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places hosts the Historic Aircraft Restoration Project in Hangar B where volunteers are working to preserve the park's collection of historic aircraft. Hangar B is open to the public at selected times during the week. Exhibits and programs on the airfield's history are available in the former control tower and terminal, since converted into the Ryan Visitor Center, named for William Fitts Ryan, the congressman who championed Gateway's creation.
The former airfield accommodates public camping, with 46 campsites. As of August 2013, Floyd Bennett Field campground provides hot showers and clean modern bathrooms. There is a camp store. No electricity provided. Still, it is the only public campground maintained by the National Park Service, within the limits of an American city, the only legal campground in New York City; the grasslands of Floyd Bennett Field are a good place for viewing falcons and kestrels. Floyd Bennett Field includes concession recreational facilities including a sports arena and ice skating rinks in adaptively re-used hangars. Within this unit, but still nearby, are Dead Horse Bay, which includes a marina concession, an adjacent golf driving range concession. Bergen Beach, on the north shore of Jamaica Bay, is nearby and within the unit's boundary, supporting a horse riding academy concession. Canarsie Pier is the latest in a series of recreational piers near this location, remains popular as a picnic area and fishing spot on the north shore of the bay.
Fort Tilden, between Jacob Riis Park and Breezy Point on the Rockaway peninsula, has some of the city's most pristine and secluded ocean beaches, a successional maritime forest, a coastal dune system, a freshwater pond. Between 1917 and 1974, Fort Tilden served as part of the harbor's system of defenses, once housed Nike antiaircraft missiles. Today an observatory deck on one of the old batteries has views of Jamaica Bay, New York Harbor and the Manhattan skyline. Fort Tilden is one of the best places on New York Harbor to observe hawks during the fall migration. Breezy Point Tip occupies the westernmost part of the Rockaway peninsula, forming one side of the outer "gateway" to New York Harbor, its 200 acres contain oceanfront beach, bay shoreline, dunes and coastal grasslands. Breezy Point Tip is a nesting area for the threatened piping plover. Jacob Riis Park is an ocean beach with a boardwalk and historic bathhouse with art deco elements, it was built by powerful New York planner and administrator Robert Moses, was named after journalist and reformer Jacob Riis.
Staten Island Unit is located on the southeastern shore of Staten Island facing Lower New York Bay. It includes Hoffman and Swinburne Islands, both off limits to visitation and managed for the benefit of avian species; the unit includes the following three
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is located on the Oregon Coast, stretching 40 miles north of the Coos River in North Bend to the Siuslaw River in Florence, adjoining Honeyman State Park on the west. It is administered by the United States Forest Service; the Oregon Dunes are a unique area of windswept sand. They are the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America and one of the largest expanses of temperate coastal sand dunes in the world, with some dunes reaching 500 feet above sea level, they are the product of millions of years of erosion by rain on the Oregon Coast. The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area provides numerous recreational activities, including off-highway vehicle use, photography, canoeing, horseback riding, camping; the Carter Dunes Trail and Oregon Dunes Day Use provide forest access for the disabled. Frank Herbert's science-fiction novel Dune was inspired by the author's research and fascination with the area; the Oregon Dunes are over 100,000 years old and stretch 40 miles.
The youngest dunes, which are the closest to the ocean, began forming about 7,000 years ago. Studies of individual sand grains show that these sands were carried down from the mountains by the Umpqua and other smaller rivers. In 1963, Congressman Robert B. Duncan introduced a bill to establish a national seashore at the Oregon Dunes. Senator Wayne Morse opposed provisions of the bill that increased environmental protections by restricting property uses. In 1972 Congress set aside 32,186 acres of the total dune area as the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area; the actual dunes are managed by the U. S. Forest Service, while the remaining area is private or county land; the sand dunes were formed by water over time. The dune formation is dependent on the wind. In the summer the wind blows from the northwest at 12 -- 16 miles per hour. Mountain barriers near the coast deflect the wind currents, forming the sand into many different shapes. In the winter the winds are much slower, coming from southwest.
These winds move large amounts of sand. Water plays a role in dune formation. Waves and tides dredge sand from the ocean floor and deposit it onto the beaches, where the wind takes over; the water currents create marshy areas where standing water is several feet deep. Upward pressure causes the sand grains to float; this process results in quicksand. Quicksand is found in the unvegetated areas between the dunes; the barrage lakes are the largest lakes in Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. They were formed when streams flowing west from the Coast Range foothills were dammed up by the developing dunes. Stable native plant species are vital to the success of the dunes ecosystem. Several native plants and plant groups have been identified as crucial and are part of active management and conservation efforts; these plants include red fescue, Port Orford cedar, evergreen huckleberry, seashore bluegrass, shore pine, hairy manzanita, bog blueberry, tufted hairgrass, slough sedge, Sitka spruce, skunk cabbage.
Original native plant species were drastically reduced over the years due to the planting of European beachgrass, Scotch broom and shore pine for sand stabilization that occurred from 1910 through 1979. Many species of birds live in the varied habitats of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area; the South Jetty area includes beach and coastal wetlands where the tundra swan, marsh wren, Canada goose, yellow-rumped warbler, red-tailed hawk, long-billed curlew and least sandpiper make their home. The great blue heron, American bittern, green heron, Virginia rail, cinnamon teal, common yellowthroat, common merganser, belted kingfisher, snowy plover, bald eagle, osprey live along the Siticoos area by the Waxmyrtle Trail; the Eel Creek area includes many shore pines and provides shelter to the pine siskin, chestnut-backed chickadee, Swainson's thrush, northern flicker, red crossbill, olive-sided flycatcher, Anna's hummingbird. The white-tailed kite, northern harrier, violet-green swallow, downy woodpecker, orange-crowned warbler, yellow warbler, black-throated gray warbler, Townsend’s warbler, hermit warbler, great horned owl, great egret have been sighted in the Horsefalls area.
The western snowy plover uses the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area as a nesting site. In 1993, it was identified as a "threatened" species by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, with only 68 birds remaining in Oregon. Multiple agencies used a multi-pronged approach to increase their numbers. Techniques included restoring the plover habitat along the sand dunes by removing invasive beach grasses and maintaining the appropriate structures optimal for nest building. Protection of nesting sites is achieved by education and beach restrictions during the nesting season from March 15 through September 15; when necessary, these restrictions are enforced by police officers. Other techniques include removal of accurate population monitoring; as of 2012, the number of plovers had increased to 403 birds. The Oregon Dunes Restoration Collaborative is an organization that works with numerous government entities to preserve and restore the dunes; the group, formed in 2014, is engaged in efforts to combat the spread of invasive plant species that consume a large portion of the dunes.
The invasive species seen today are a result of a twentieth-century effort by land managers to stabilize the du
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Lake Mead National Recreation Area is a U. S. National Recreation Area located in southeastern northwestern Arizona. Operated by the National Park Service, Lake Mead NRA follows the Colorado River corridor from the westernmost boundary of Grand Canyon National Park to just north of the cities of Laughlin and Bullhead City, Arizona, it includes all of the eponymous Lake Mead as well as the smaller Lake Mohave – reservoirs on the river created by Hoover Dam and Davis Dam – and the surrounding desert terrain and wilderness. Formation of Lake Mead began than a year before Hoover Dam was completed; the area surrounding Lake Mead was established as the Boulder Dam Recreation Area in 1936. In 1964, the area was expanded to include Lake Mohave and its surrounding area and became the first National Recreation Area to be designated as such by the U. S. Congress. Lake Mead NRA features water recreation, including boating and fishing, on both lakes as well as the stretches of river between the lakes, it features hiking trails and views of the surrounding desert landscape.
Three of the four desert ecosystems found in the United States — the Mojave Desert, the Great Basin Desert, the Sonoran Desert — meet in Lake Mead NRA. Tours of Hoover Dam – administered by the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation – are a major attraction within the recreation area. About 200,000 acres of the recreation area are managed separately under the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, established in 2000. Water covers about 186,000 acres of the recreation area. There are nine designated wilderness areas under the National Wilderness Preservation System lying within Lake Mead National Recreation Area. All are in the Nevada portion. Parts of some of these wildernesses lie outside Lake Mead NRA and are managed by the Bureau of Land Management: Black Canyon Wilderness Bridge Canyon Wilderness Eldorado Wilderness Ireteba Peaks Wilderness Jimbilnan Wilderness Muddy Mountains Wilderness Nellis Wash Wilderness Pinto Valley Wilderness Spirit Mountain Wilderness 900 plant species 500 animal species 24 rare and threatened species 9 designated wilderness areas 122,166 museum objects and archives 1,347 recorded archeological sites 23 historic structures 8 listed National Register Properties 2 Traditional Cultural Properties Lakes Mead and Mohave offer some of the country’s best sport fishing.
The following species are found in both lakes: Largemouth Bass Striped Bass Crappie Rainbow Trout Catfish Bluegill For 2012, with 6.3 million recreational visits, Lake Mead National Recreation Area was the 5th most visited national park. National Park Service: Lake Mead National Recreation Area Bureau of Reclamation: Hoover Dam Arizona Boating Locations Facilities Map Arizona Fishing Locations Map Where to Fish in Arizona Species Information Arizona Lake Levels
Hunting is the practice of killing or trapping animals, or pursuing or tracking them with the intent of doing so. Hunting wildlife or feral animals is most done by humans for food, recreation, to remove predators that can be dangerous to humans or domestic animals, or for trade. Lawful hunting is distinguished from poaching, the illegal killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species; the species that are hunted are referred to as game or prey and are mammals and birds. Hunting has long been a practice used to procure meat for human consumption; the meat from a healthy wild animal that has lived its life and on a natural diet of plants has a higher nutritional quality than that of a domestic animal, raised in an unnatural way. Hunting an animal for its meat can be seen as a more natural way to obtain animal protein since regulated hunting does not cause the same environmental issues as raising domestic animals for meat on factory farms. Hunting can be a means of pest control. Hunting advocates state that hunting can be a necessary component of modern wildlife management, for example, to help maintain a population of healthy animals within an environment's ecological carrying capacity when natural checks such as predators are absent or rare.
However, excessive hunting has heavily contributed to the endangerment and extinction of many animals. The pursuit and release, or capture for food of fish is called fishing, not categorised as a form of hunting, it is not considered hunting to pursue animals without intent to kill them, as in wildlife photography, birdwatching, or scientific research activities which involve tranquilizing or tagging of animals or birds. The practice of foraging or gathering materials from plants and mushrooms is considered separate from hunting. Skillful tracking and acquisition of an elusive target has caused the word hunt to be used in the vernacular as a metaphor, as in treasure hunting, "bargain hunting", "hunting down" corruption and waste. Animal rights activists argue that hunting is cruel and unethical; the word hunt serves as a verb. The noun has been dated to the early 12th century, "act of chasing game," from the verb hunt. Old English had huntung, huntoþ; the meaning of "a body of persons associated for the purpose of hunting with a pack of hounds" is first recorded in the 1570s.
Meaning "the act of searching for someone or something" is from about 1600. The verb, Old English huntian "to chase game" developed from hunta "hunter," is related to hentan "to seize," from Proto-Germanic huntojan, of uncertain origin; the general sense of "search diligently" is first recorded c. 1200. Hunting has a long history, it pre-dates the emergence of Homo sapiens and may predate genus Homo. The oldest undisputed evidence for hunting dates to the Early Pleistocene, consistent with the emergence and early dispersal of Homo erectus, about 1.7 million years ago. While it is undisputed that Homo erectus were hunters, the importance of this for the emergence of Homo erectus from its australopithecine ancestors, including the production of stone tools and the control of fire, is emphasised in the so-called "hunting hypothesis" and de-emphasised in scenarios that stress omnivory and social interaction. There is no direct evidence for hunting predating Homo erectus, in either Homo habilis or in Australopithecus.
The early hominid ancestors of humans were frugivores or omnivores, with a carnivore diet from scavenging rather than hunting. Evidence for australopithecine meat consumption was presented in the 1990s, it has often been assumed that at least occasional hunting behavior may have been present well before the emergence of Homo. This can be argued on the basis of comparison with chimpanzees, the closest extant relatives of humans, who engage in hunting, indicating that the behavioral trait may have been present in the Chimpanzee–human last common ancestor as early as 5 million years ago; the common chimpanzee engages in troop predation behaviour where bands of beta males are led by an alpha male. Bonobos have been observed to engage in group hunting, although more than Pan troglodytes subsisting on a frugivorous diet. Indirect evidence for Oldowan era hunting, by early Homo or late Australopithecus, has been presented in a 2009 study based on an Oldowan site in southwestern Kenya. Louis Binford criticised the idea that early humans were hunters.
On the basis of the analysis of the skeletal remains of the consumed animals, he concluded that hominids and early humans were scavengers, not hunters, Blumenschine proposed the idea of confrontational scavenging, which involves challenging and scaring off other predators after they have made a kill, which he suggests could have been the leading method of obtaining protein-rich meat by early humans. Stone spearheads dated as early as 500,000 years ago were found in South Africa. Wood does not preserve well and Craig Stanford, a primatologist and professor of anthropology at the University of Southern California, has suggested that the discovery of spear use by chimpanzees means that early humans used wooden spears as well five million years ago; the earliest dated find of surviving wooden hunting spears dates to the end of the Lower Paleolithic, just before 300,000 years ago. The Schöningen spears, found in 1976 in Germany, are