There is a tendency in this country to avoid trouble, and to do those things which can be done most easily. From this it results that efforts are constantly being made to introduce into regions from which game has been exterminated various species of foreign game, which can be had, more or less domesticated, from the preserves of Europe. Thus red deer have been introduced in the Adirondack region, and it has been suggested that chamois might be brought from Europe and turned loose in certain localities in the United States, and there increase and furnish shooting. To many men it seems less trouble to contribute money for such a purpose as this than to buckle down and manufacture public sentiment in behalf of the protection of native game. This is a great mistake. From observations made in certain familiar localities, we know definitely that, provided there is a breeding stock, our native game, with absolute protection, will re-establish itself in an astonishingly short period of time. It would be far better for us to concentrate our efforts to renew the supply of our native game rather than to collect subscriptions to bring to America foreign game, which may or may not do well here, and may or may not furnish sport if it shall do well.
[Illustration: MULE DEER AT FORT YELLOWSTONE]
In the United States something over 100,000 square miles of the public domain has been set aside and reserved from settlement for economic purposes. This vast area includes reservations of four different kinds: First, National Forest Reserves, aggregating some 63,000,000 acres, for the conservation of the water supply of the arid and semi-arid West; second, National Parks, of which there are seventeen, for the purpose of preserving untouched places of natural grandeur and interest; third, State Parks, for places of recreation and for conserving the water supply; and fourth, military wood and timber reservations, to provide Government fuel or other timber. Most military wood reserves were originally established in connection with old forts.
The forest reservations, as they are by far the largest, are also much the most important of these reserved areas.
Perhaps three-quarters of the population of the United States do not know that over nearly one-half of the national territory within the United States the rainfall is so slight or so unevenly distributed that agriculture cannot be carried on except by means of irrigation. This irrigation consists of taking water out of the streams and conducting it by means of ditches which have a very gentle slope over the land which it is proposed to irrigate. From the original ditch, smaller ditches are taken out, running nearly parallel with each other, and from these laterals other ditches, still smaller, and the seepage from all these moistens a considerable area on which crops may be grown. This, very roughly, is irrigation, a subject of incalculable interest to the dwellers in the dry West.