Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

iming immy

ice of

; and s

nd , . iside,

* All


No d de

e off\rters, nd in

much a very in Ont go the the as: enage. tle bel. which t, now he ex place

o s

and only those places, where the people generally have seen to it that proper laws were passed and then rigidly enforced. Game is the property of all the people. In America the uncrowned sovereign is the possessor of this wealth which in older countries is preserved only for the crowned sovereign and a few of his retainers. But the people owning this rich possession seem blindly oblivious of its value. Laws may be passed and are. But how shall they be enforced 2 Plainly, they can never be enforced and our game preserved to us except by the assistance of our citizens. The very nature and habits of the game birds and animals and fish, their haunts and characteristics, make infractions of the game laws the hardest to detect and the most difficult to punish. There is but one way to accomplish it, and t’lat is by the hearty cooperation of all good citizens; and 1egretful though it be, we must say that the only way to secure that cooperation is by educating our citizens, too many of them look upon game laws as an infringement of their individual rights. Too many think they have some sort of possessory right in game found upon or near their lands, and that the same may be taken whether in open or closed season. Too many petty officers, looking upon their neighbors as the source of their appointment, refuse to enforce the law, unless, perchance, it be against some wandering sportsman from another county. The enemies of the game are many. The wild cat, the cougar, the coyote, the coon, and other four-footed destroyers take heavy toll of game. But far worse than these is the market hunter, that biped who hunts for the purpose of sale. To him game laws are meaningless and ignored. To him comes no thought of the rights of future generations. To him no breeding or other natural laws are sacred. He is not a sportsman. He could not be one if he would, for sportsmen are born, and they respect, while taking a few, the rights of the many. The market hunter is always a menace to the game. The only way to cope with him is to make it unlawful to sell game at any season of the year. It gives me much pleasure to say that the last Legislature of the State of Washington enacted a statute penalizing the sale of game at any season of the year. Such an act should be passed by every State and Territory in the Union, and Congress should also be asked to pass such a statute for Alaska. Trapping animals and fish, the use of seines and nets, and the use of dynamite in streams, should be carefully regulated by statute. The use of gun silencers should be absolutely prohibited. British Columbia has prohibited the use of automatic guns in hunting. Larger areas should be set apart as permanent preserves and breeding grounds. If the game is to be protected, the people must do it, individually and collectively. The campaign begun years ago by individual sportsmen, later by clubs, and State associations, followed by interstate associations, the setting aside of vast game preserves by that prince of sportsmen—our late President—and the work begun at this great Congress, will all have their effect. Let me assure you that you will find in every league, association and club of sportsmen, the most willing workers and supporters of your efforts in behalf of the preservation of our fish and game. Their members have been engaged in this work for many years. Much good they have accomplished, but more is to be done. They need help, and through the efforts of congresses, such as this, it may be obtained. Lend a hand to the enforcement of the game laws; agitate the subject. Give it national recognition. Place a national stigma upon any who break the game laws of their State or locality. Give such prominence to the subject that we can obtain more game wardens, and that their salaries may be increased. Without them the game laws would be almost a nullity. You will not lack for cooperation from the sportsmen, and the more ardent the sportsman, the more hearty will be the cooperation. Consider them your allies; call upon them in need; give to the efforts now being made for the preservation of game the sanction of your approval. With agitation will come education, and with education will come observance of the game laws. Then, and not until then, can we hope to preserve our remaining wealth of fish and game. (Applause.)

The question of the meeting place of the next Congress was then discussed and an invitation was extended by Captain White to hold the next meeting at Kansas City. Captain White was thanked for his courteous invitation, but it was decided that the matter should be left for the Executive Committee to pass upon. Votes of thanks were then unanimously passed as follows: To the Washington Conservation Association and to Mr. R. W. Douglas for the manner in which they handled the Congress which had brought together delegates from all over the country. To the six gentlemen who had acted as presiding officers over the proceedings of the Congress. To the officers of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition for their courtesy and the accommodations which they afforded the members of the Congress. The First National Conservation Congress thereupon adjourned.

Papers submitted at the Congress and not read on account of lack of time were the following:

Conservation of Resources, by Mr. F. A. Hill, Consulting Engineer, Seattle, Washington.

Suggestions in Reference to a Federal Department of Mines, by Mr. Max Junghandel, of Nevada. Paper by Col. John I. Martin, of St. Louis, Mo.

Washington's Interest in Forest Conservation, by Mr. Frank H. Lamb, member Washington State Board of Foresters, Washington Conservation Commission.

« AnteriorContinuar »