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Wisconsin. State Conservation Committee (1915-27) / Biennial report of the State Conservation Commission of Wisconsin for the years 1915 and 1916

Statistics,   pp. 65-67 PDF (609.7 KB)

Page 65

   The Conservation Commission should have a more general cooperation
 of the people in the work we are doing. It is a physical impossibility for
 us to suppress violations without the assistance of law-abiding citizens,
 but a feeling exists among the people that it is unbecoming to report to
 an officer of this commission violations, and instead, they proceed to
 criticise this department because we are not on the spot the moment a
 poacher in some remote district commits a violation. Many people view
 a conservation warden as an undesirable citizen having received his ap-
 pointment as a compensation for political services rendered. This is
 entirely an erroneous idea, as the warden service is under Civil Service
 laws and all wardens are instructed to devote their entire time to their
 official duties. We believe this department. merits the most generous
 cooperation of the people, as we are engaged in a work most important
 to every individual within the state. We should have your moral as well
 as your active support in the enforcement of the laws. We know that
 many people do not understand the relations this commission bears to
 the well-being of the people. We are officers appointed to conserve the
 only natural resource that it is possible to destroy and exterminate. Then
 tell us why, if you believe these natural resources should be conserved,
 that every citizen should not volunteer his hearty cooperation.
   No other natural resource can be destroyed. The land, the lakes, the
rivers and forests are indestructible. All of these will remain with the
people to the end of the earth. But the wild life which constitutes one
of our greatest. blessings can be exterminated and when once gone it is
gone forever. We have an example of the utter disregard of the people
for these species in the passing of the passenger pigeon. That bird is
gone forever. Not one living bird of that specie remains on earth, and
just a few years ago they were here in countless millions. This is the one
black spot on our civilization that cannot be removed, and we should
guard well lest we repeat the error by adding more to the list with the
passenger pigeon.
  The State of Wisconsin is without any statistics as to the amount of
game and fur bearing animals that are taken in the state each year. This
is a condition that should not exist. This state should know approxi-
mately the number of each variety of animals and game birds taken.
We have worked out a plan whereby we believe we can secure this valuable
information, and which we think will interest every citizen that is inter-
ested in knowing the value of this resource to the people. Our department
received a letter from Washington, D. C., asking us how many ducks
were killed in Wisconsin during the open' season of 1915 and we were
unable to give them any sort of information on this subject. There has
never been any system of taking this census which we believe to be a most
important factor if we are to intelligently provide laws that will meet the
demands necessary for systematical conservation.

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