This may be hard to believe but it is very likely that more people live in closer proximity to more wild animals, birds and trees in the eastern United States today than anywhere on the planet at any time in history; For nature lovers, this should be wonderful news -- unless, perhaps, you are one of more than 4,000 drivers who will hit a deer today, your childand’s soccer field is carpeted with goose droppings, coyotes are killing your pets, the neighborand’s cat has turned your bird feeder into a fast-food outlet, wild turkeys have eaten your newly-planted seed corn, beavers have flooded your driveway, or bears are looting your garbage cans. ; For 400 years, explorers, traders, and settlers plundered North American wildlife and forests in an escalating rampage that culminated in the late 19th centuryand’s and“era of extermination."; By 1900, populations of many wild animals and birds had been reduced to isolated remnants or threatened with extinction, and worry mounted that we were running out of trees. Then, in the 20th century, an incredible turnaround took place. Conservationists struggled to reverse wildlife devastation by outlawing commercial hunting, creating wildlife sanctuaries, transplanting isolated species to restore habitats.