The Lacey Act - In 1900, the Federal Government became directly involved in wildlife regulation when Congress passed the "Lacey Act." This statute authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to conserve and restore wild birds in the United States". . . where the same have become scarce or extinct . . ." and to regulate the import and the introduction of ". . . American or foreign birds or animals in localities where they have not heretofore existed . . ." It also prohibited interstate commerce in wildlife killed in violation of State law. The "Lacey Act" represented the first clear assertion of Federal authority over wildlife.