Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/618

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adapted. Worst of all, fire would soon get in from the surrounding pine forests (which are burned over more or less every year), and consume the muck, timber and all. Several extensive fires have already occurred in the swamp in very dry seasons, it is said, and even at the time of our visit the peaty banks of the canal were smouldering in two or three places.

With game laws properly enforced Okefinokee would be a paradise for the sportsman. Capt. Jackson wrote of it to a friend in the spring of 1892:

There is no healthier or more attractive spot in the world, to one who can stand exposure and fatigue, than this property. If you are anything of a sportsman, I will show you fishing and hunting that has never had a parallel.

The swamp has been and still is much visited by hunters, and their wantonness has greatly decimated the large game, but none of the species have been exterminated yet, and they would probably soon reestablish themselves if given sufficient protection.

From a scenic standpoint alone Okefinokee is well worth visiting at any season of the year. Its almost untrodden islands, its dense moss-garlanded bays, and its broad open prairies, all have their peculiar charms, and must be seen to be appreciated. There is nothing else exactly like it in the world. There is really more reason for preserving Okefinokee than Niagara, for its destruction would benefit but few people in the long run, and the loss to science would be far greater. It would have been much better if this enchanting wilderness had remained in the possession of the state, to be perpetuated as a forest and game preserve for all future generations.