The New Buffalo Herd in the Yellowstone Park
A Bit of Sheep Country
Mountain Sheep at Rest
Mule Deer at Fort Yellowstone
Note.—The four last illustrations are from photographs taken by Major John Pitcher, Superintendent of the Yellowstone National Park, especially for this volume.
Although the Boone and Crockett Club has not appeared largely in the public eye during recent years, its activities have not ceased. The discovery of gold in Alaska, and the extraordinary rush of population to that northern territory had the usual effect on the wild life there, and proved very destructive to the natives and to the large mammals. A few years ago it became evident that the Kadiak bear and certain newly discovered forms of wild sheep and caribou were being destroyed by wholesale, and were actually threatened with extermination, and through the efforts of the Club, strongly backed by the Biological Survey of the Department of Agriculture, a bill was passed regulating the taking of Alaska large game, and especially the exportation of heads, horns, and hides. The bill promises to afford sufficient protection to some of these rare boreal forms, though for others it perhaps comes too late. The enforcement of the law is in charge of the Treasury Department, and permits for shooting and the export of trophies are issued by the Chief of the Biological Survey.
Although a local affair, yet of interest to the whole country, is the remarkable success of the New York Zoological Park, controlled and managed by the New York Zoological Society, brought into existence largely through the efforts of Madison Grant, the present secretary of the Club. The Society has also recently taken over the care of the New York Aquarium. The Society is in a most flourishing condition, and through its extensive collections exerts an important educational influence in a field in which popular interest is constantly growing.
Under the administration of President Roosevelt, the good work of national forest preservation continues, and the time appears not far distant when vast areas of the hitherto uncultivated West will prove added sources of wealth to our country.
The Club has for some time given much thoughtful attention to the subject of game refuges—that is to say, areas where game shall be absolutely free from interference or molestation, as it is to-day in the Yellowstone Park—to be situated within the forest reserves; and as is elsewhere shown, it has investigated a number of the forest reserves in order to learn something of their suitability for game refuges. It appears certain that only by means of such refuges can some forms of our large mammals be preserved from extinction. The first step to be taken to bring about the establishment of these safe breeding grounds is to secure legislation transferring the Bureau of Forestry from the Land Office to the Department of Agriculture. After this shall have been accomplished, the question of establishing such game refuges may properly come before the officials of the Government for action.