Here is a working timeline of legislation, protestations and events in the U.S. that have brought attention or limitations to the international trade's reach in America. Check out our progress and see how far we have to go.
2013- Ivory burning in Denver, Colorado. Six tons of ivory seized by the U.S. government were burned as a statement about the U.S.' role in fighting the illegal ivory market.
May 2014- Musicians react to the FWS ban on instruments containing ivory, saying they're afraid of traveling abroad with antique instruments. Orchestras are mostly impacted because many stringed instruments contain small amounts of ivory.
July 2014- Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn), Representative Steve Daines (Mont.) and Representative Jeff Miller (Fla.) proposed a Lawful Ivory Protection Act to the House and Senate, which would protect all ivory products obtained during the legal ivory trade. He's most concerned with instruments, firearms and antique items that were obtained legally; he doesn't want those to be confiscated by the government.
June 19, 2015- Ivory crushing in Times Square
July 2015- Obama proposes regulations to current U.S. ivory laws that will close loopholes.
September 3, 2015- California passes a state-wide ban on ivory trade. As one of the largest markets in the U.S., this legislation is a huge step in the right direction.
October 5, 2015- California passes Assembly Bill 96, which makes it illegal to sell any type of mammoth, elephant and rhino ivory, with select exceptions. The bill goes into effect July 1, 2016.
Kerry Skiff is a conservation advocate and recent journalism graduate of Northern Kentucky University. She follows the ivory trade around the world, and uses her voice to educate Americans about their role in animal conservation.