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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

Refuges and sanctuaries,   pp. 52-53 PDF (548.4 KB)

Page 52

would disappear and a barren waste would follow in the wake of their
destruction. No flowers would bloom or blossoms spring from the earth,
but insects would swarm and vermin would cover the earth; and famine
and desolation would be visited upon an ignorant and unholy race.
  Our scientists have found that the value of these little creatures com-
puted in dollars and cents alone amounts to millions of dollars annually.
It is not beyond our reason to comprehend this when they have proven
to us that many of the different varieties of insectiverous birds eat three
times their weight in insects each day. Multiply this by the count-
less millions of these little workers that are busy from before sunrise
until after sunset every day of the year, and contemplate what it means.
It means that when we see one of these little creatures we must realize
that he is a mighty creature for good to all humanity and that our lives
depend upon his industry-that we must keep him forever with us.
  The law protects these birds at all times and they are responding to this
protection in increasing numbers. The Audubon societies have done a
wonderful work in helping to create public sentiment favorable to bird
life. Also in interesting the children in providing bird houses where
they will be convenient for their nesting and in providing feeding stations
where the birds find abundance of food during the winter months.
  We still have a few alien inhabitants who have no regard for any species
-of wild life and they shoot or destroy the birds regardless of their useful-
ness. We are pleased to report, however, that the penalty of the law is
easily inflicted on this class of violaters, as the courts are intolerant
invariably pronounce the extreme penalty of the law in these cases.
                  REFUGES AND SANCTUARIES.
  The establishing of wild life refuges and sanctuaries has become a tre-
mendous factor in the great scheme of conservation. Every state that has
given consideration to the necessity of proper protection and maintaining
of its species are establishing refuges where predatory animals and vermin
are exterminated and every disturbing influence removed. Lured by the
security and solitude offered by this sanctuary, the various species con-
gregate with almost human intelligence and take up their home life.
  States that have given the refuge system the longest tests are unani-
mous in their commendation of the beneficial results accomplished.
Some states have set aside large tracts of wild lands, mostly timber lands,
around which a single wire is strung to mark the boundary, and have
placed posters short distances apart warning hunters and pedestrians
that no firearms are allowed within the enclosure. The overflow from these
refuges keeps the surrounding country supplied with the various species
and guarantees a perpetual flow from these refuge districts for all time.
  We have started this work in Wisconsin, having posted two community
refuges, besides the six state parks, which are all patrolled by our wardens
and careful attention given to the removing of disturbing elements. We
are, however, handicapped through a lack of a proper refuge law to give
these refuges the legal distinction they should have and the power to this
commission necessary for state wide extension of this work. Our com-

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