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in Massachusetts may perhaps save from extinc-
tion the heath hen, the eastern form of the
pinnated grouse, which but a few years since
promised soon to be numbered with America's
extinct birds.

Suggestions pointing to the establishment of
game refuges had been made earlier, but not in
such definite and concrete shape as to be compre-
hended by the public. In 1876, in a periodical
known as the Penn Monthly, Dr. J. A. Allen, a


The Boone and Crockett Club

member of the club, made what is perhaps the first
hint of the game refuge idea in the United States,
when he suggested that, on the Western plains,
tracts might be set aside within which it should be
unlawful to pursue or injure the buffalo*.

(7) The Boone and Crockett Club originated
and caused to be introduced in Congress and to re-
ceive favorable action by both Houses, the bill es-
tablishing the Glacier National Park. The setting
aside of this territory, extraordinary for natural
beauty, as well as for its availability for a fish and
game preserve, is a great achievement. The
region includes an area of about fourteen hundred
square miles of rough mountains, many of which
are permanently snow-capped and carry glaciers
near their summits. The deep lakes which lie in the
valleys among these mountains are full of fish, and
during the season of migration are dark with wild-
fowl. Moose, elk, mountain sheep, grizzly and
black bears, and white-tailed and mule deer have
been found in this region up to within a few years,
and in ancient times it was a favorite feeding
ground for the mountain bison.

( 8 ) Great parks and immense reservations have
recently been set aside in Canada, and a number
of these parks have been stocked with native game.
The largest herd of buffalo in existence was

The Boone and Crockett Club

purchased from M. Pablo in Montana and trans-
ported to Canada to be set free in a park near
Edmonton. All this recent work has been done at
the instance of a member of the Club, the Hon.
Frank Oliver, Minister of the Interior for the
Dominion of Canada.


In the year 1869 a hunting party from Helena,
Montana Territory, stumbled into the region of
hot springs and geysers, now the Yellowstone
Park. The stories which they brought back were
scarcely credited, and in 1870 the Washburn party
set out for the locality and at length returned with
authentic accounts of many of its wonders. These
were thoroughly exploited with pen and voice by
N. P. Langford. In the summer of 1871 parties
under Capt. J. W. Barlow, U. S. Engineers, and
Dr. F. V. Hayden, U. S. Geological Survey, made
explorations of the region. Mr. Langford's writ-
ings and lectures had already aroused much public
interest, and Congress was ready to yield to the
influence of Dr. Hayden and to pass (March i,
1872) the Organic Act by which this area was set


The Boone and Crockett Club

aside and designated "as a public park or pleasure
ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the
people. " The Park was to be under the exclusive
control of the Secretary of the Interior, who was
authorized to make regulations for the preserva-
tion from injury of all timber, mineral deposits,
natural curiosities or wonders within the Park.
This was essentially the language of the statute,
but no methods were indicated by which the Secre-
tary of the Interior should carry out the law.

At the time Dr. Hayden drew the Park bill, the
country had not been surveyed, and no one knew
just where the territorial lines were to run, or,
indeed, where the Park lay. Dr. Hayden chose
for his initial points the natural features of the
landscape, and made his lines meridians and par-
allels of latitude. His selections were marvelously
fortunate. As Col. George S. Anderson has said,
"They seemed almost a work of inspiration. The
north line takes in the large slopes on the north
of Mt. Everts and the valley of the East Fork of
the Yellowstone, where the elk, deer, antelope and
mountain sheep wander by thousands; it leaves
outside every foot of land adapted to agriculture;
also and this is more important than all it
passes over the rugged and inaccessible summit of
the snowy range, where the hardiest vandal dare


The Boone and Crockett Club

not put his shack." As with the lines on the north,
so with those on the east, on the south and the
west; they are protected by mountain heights and
they exclude all land of value for agricultural
purposes, or even for grazing.

The first Superintendent of the Park was N. P.
Langford, appointed May 10, 1872, to serve with-
out salary. He never drew any salary, never lived
in the Park, and protected it only by reports and
recommendations. No one could have been more
enthusiastic than he, nor more earnest in his wish
to see the Park protected, but the reservation was
a new thing, and neither he nor anyone else knew
what it needed, nor was the public well enough
acquainted with it to feel any special interest in it.

In the spring of 1876, P. W. Norris was
appointed to succeed Mr. Langford. Something
more than a year later an appropriation was had
for the Park, and a small force of employees was
engaged, some of whom did good work in trying to
protect the forests from fires. Norris was a de-
stroyer of natural wonders, collecting great quan-
tities of beautiful specimens, which he shipped out
of the Park. He professed to desire the protection
of game, but not the abolition of hunting. Norris
was followed by P. H. Conger, in 1882, who made
the usual recommendations that various things be


The Boone and Crockett Club

protected. In August, 1884, he was succeeded by
R. E. Carpenter, who was removed in May, 1885.
David W. Wear was the next and last civilian

Meantime, in the year 1882, soon after the
completion to the Park of the Northern Pacific
Railroad, the region and its wonders became acces-
sible to the public. Among those who visited it
were a number of men controlling some capital and
more or less familiar with large affairs. They saw
the possibilities of the Park as a pleasure resort,
and at once set to work to gain such control of it
as they could, and to secure a monopoly of any-
thing that might fall in their way. They succeeded
in securing from the Assistant Secretary of the
Interior a provisional lease, said to have been for
ten plots of six hundred and forty acres, each at a
different point of interest. These plots were to be
so located as to cover the various natural wonders
of the Park, where this was practicable. The
syndicate, as it was called the Yellowstone Park
Improvement Company started a saw-mill and
began to cut and saw timber in the Park for the
construction of their various hotels and other
buildings. As laborers in large numbers were to
be employed through the winter, the company
tried to give out a contract for twenty thousand


The Boone and Crockett Club

pounds of wild meat at five cents a pound, for the
boarding houses for their laborers and mechanics.

In the year 1883, the company put up tents for
the use of guests, and later put up light frame
buildings. About this time Gen. Sheridan came
through from the south with President Arthur. It
was this same year that Mr. Arnold Hague came
into the Park to take charge of the Geological
Survey work there.

The effort to secure leases which in practice
would give the Yellowstone Park Improvement
Company a monopoly of the Park, the high-
handed way in which they seized and used the
timber, and their efforts to give out a contract for
wild meat, aroused a storm of indignation among
the people, who best knew what such acts must
mean for the public. In the autumn of 1882 the
Forest and Stream attacked the proposed monopoly
and began a fight which was kept up for a dozen
years. Senator Geo. G. Vest sprang to the defense
of the Park in Congress, and Messrs. Hague,
Phillips and Rogers rendered invaluable aid. A
campaign of education was carried on which had
a great effect on the country, and thousands of
petitions, signed by tens of thousands of people
interested in natural things, came into Congress
and strengthened the hands of Senator Vest.


The Boone and Crockett Club

The work of protecting the Park was difficult,
for there was no law governing it. As already
said, the organic law authorized the Secretary of
the Interior to make regulations for its govern-
ment and protection, but prescribed no methods
for the enforcement of such regulations as he might
lay down. The regulations were practically a dead
letter. The people cut down the forests, killed
the game or chopped out wagon loads of the beau-
tiful geyser formations, which they hauled away
for a few miles and then dumped on the prairie.
Violators of the regulations could not be punished.
If this was true of the casual citizen, it was much
more so of a corporation with a large force of
men, which in a high-handed way was seizing and
converting to its own use timber, game and other
valuable things within the Park.

The dangers which threatened were very real,
and continued for a dozen years. About 1883
efforts began to be made to secure from Congress
legislation which should afford protection to life
and property within the reservation, and should
prevent the destruction of the forests, natural
wonders and game within its borders. In season
and out of season, Senator Geo. G. Vest, later a
member of the club, urged this matter in the
United States Senate, and was ably supported by


The Boone and Crockett Club

many other members. From 1883 tQ the en d of
the year 1890 bills to remedy these dangerous con-
ditions passed the Senate at four sessions of Con-
gress twice by a unanimous vote but there was
a strong effort on the part of a lobby in the House
to use the National Park for private purposes, and
this lobby always succeeded in having attached to
the Senate bill a rider granting a right of way to 1 a
railroad through the Park. Members of the
Boone and Crockett Club fought this amendment
from the beginning. They felt that a railroad in
the Park would be a grave danger to the National
pleasure ground, and if one railway was permitted
to run its lines there, the same privilege might not
be denied to others, t and before long the reserva-
tion would be gridironed by tracks.

As we all know, the efforts of the Yellowstone
Park Improvement Company to secure a monopoly
of the Park, and of the lobby to secure the right
of way for a railroad, were eventually blocked, but
much energy and hard work and a great amount
of ink was expended before this was accomplished.

By the Act of March 3, 1883, the Secretary of
;War was authorized on request from the Secre-
tary of the Interior to detail a force of troops
for duty in the Park, the commander of the troops
to be the acting Superintendent. The first officer


The Boone and Crockett Club

detailed under the new appointment was Captain
Moses Harris, First Cavalry, a member of the
Club, who took charge August 20, 1886, and
from this time forth things in the Park began
to wear a different aspect. Captain Harris had
a troop of cavalry, which he used with energy
and discretion, and his efficiency was evidenced by
the amount of confiscated property which he ac-
cumulated. He made splendid efforts to prevent
fires, to protect game and to put an end to the
defacement of geysers. He early called attention
to the immense herds of elk which occupied the
road between Gardiner and Cooke City, and in his
reports pointed out the difficulty of protecting this
game from the public which traveled to and from
the mining settlement of Cooke City. Captain
Harris remained in the Park for nearly three
years, and left it, having initiated and put in force
most of the protective measures that have since
been used.

In 1889 an additional troop of cavalry was
detailed for duty during the summer, and stationed
in the Lower Geyser Basin. Capt. F. N. Boutelle
became the Superintendent. He was an ardent
sportsman and game protector, and especially in-
terested in the stocking of barren waters of the
Park with game fish. This he caused to be done.


The Boone and Crockett Club

In February, 1891, Captain Geo. S. Anderson,
a member of the Club, came to the Park and re-
lieved Captain Boutelle. Captain Anderson, while
wholly new to the work, was a most able officer,
and in Ed. Wilson, one of the scouts in the Park,
he found a single, able assistant. This man was
devoted to his work and succeeded in arresting
a number of violators of the rules; but in the
summer of 1891 he disappeared, and his place
was taken by Felix Burgess.

Captain Anderson's treatment of the Park was
most judicious. Where another officer might have
roughly expelled a man from the Park for writing
his name or scratching his initials on the beautiful
geyser formation, Captain Anderson had the man
brought back to the place, and supplied with soap
and scrubbing brush or some tool, and obliged him
to erase the writing. His ingenious punishments
greatly impressed the visiting public, and a whole*
some respect for law began to< be felt.

At this time the Park held a considerable herd
of wild buffalo. The heads and hides of buffalo
had now become so scarce that they were very
valuable, and in the minds of taxidermists and
hunters seemed beyond price. For some time the
killing of buffalo near and in the Yellowstone Park
went on without being suspected; but in 1894 the


The Boone and Crockett Club

scout Burgess detected a hunter in the act of
butchering a number that he had just killed in the
Astringent and Pelican Creek districts. The
poacher, Howell, was engaged in skinning a cow
and was surrounded by the bodies of seven freshly
killed buffalo, of which six were cows and one a
yearling calf. Howell was arrested, held for some
time in confinement and then set free, with orders
to leave the Park and not return. There was still
no law under which he could be punished.

This crime was undoubtedly one of the best
things that ever happened for the Park. It was
thoroughly exploited in Forest and Stream, and
afterward in other periodicals, and created an
interest throughout the country, which brought
about the passage of the Park Protection Act,
signed by President Cleveland, May 7, 1894.
This was the ultimate reward of a number of men
who, for a do'zen years, had been working for the
protection and betterment of the Yellowstone Park.
It may fairly be said that since then that great
reservation has never been exposed to any special

The Yellowstone Park had been set aside under
peculiar conditions. The public represented by
those who urged the establishment of the Park
asked only that the territory might be withdrawn


The Boone and Crockett Club

from settlement, and was satisfied with that. But
the people at large did not look forward to the
existence of the reservation without government
for a period of twenty-two years, nor did they
realize the changed conditions which would prevail
so soon as railroads reached the neighborhood of
the Park. So long as the Park was isolated and
to be reached only after five hundred miles of
horseback or stage ride, the region might get along
very well without law, but as soon as the Northern
Pacific R. R. brought to it a large public, that
public required to be governed.

The Boone and Crockett Club after its organiza-
tion, acting through the personality of Geo'. G.
Vest, Arnold Hague, Wm. Hallett Phillips, W. A.
Wadsworth, Archibald Rogers, Theodore Roose-
velt and George Bird Grinnell, was finally success-
ful in carrying through the law of May 7, 1894,
and so saved the Park.

Much more might be written about the history
of the Park. Further details will be found in
Colonel Anderson's paper on the Protection of the
Yellowstone National Park in "Hunting in Many
Lands," the second volume of the Boone and
Crockett Club's books, and in the files of Forest
and Stream which was the natural mouthpiece of
the club from 1882 to 1894.


The Boone and Crockett Club

At later dates, administrative services of great
value were performed for the Park by members
of the Club Col. John Pitcher and Gen. S. M. B.
Young who at different times held the office of
acting Superintendent. Both did much to preserve
the game and to make travel through the Park
easy for the public. Colonel Pitcher originated the
plan of growing hay for the antelope, and repeat-
edly urged the enlargement of this method of game
preservation, which, however, never received
approval from Washington.



The attempt to exploit the Yellowstone National
Park for private gain, in a way led up to the
United States forest reservation system as it stands

From the year 1882 to 1890 a few members of
the Club gave much attention to the Park. To
them its preservation and protection seemed a most
important public matter. These men were Arnold
Hague, Wm. Hallett Phillips, G. G. Vest, Archi-
bald Rogers, Grinnell, and later, Roosevelt. All


\The Boone and Crockett Club

were familiar with the Park one of them had
been there as early as 1875 an d had seen the
changes which had taken place and the progressive
destruction which followed the growing number of
visitors. All knew how the timber had been cut
off and the game killed by the so-called syndicate,
which in 1882 attempted to secure a monopoly of
the Park and all the concessions connected with it.

They had seen fires, started by careless campers,
sweep over mountainside and valley, and had
passed through mile after mile of burned forest,
where charred tree trunks blackened the packs
which brushed against them, and pine logs glowed
and crumbled to ashes along the trail, and the
forest floor on either side sent up clouds of acrid
smoke from subterranean fires that ate their way
among the dead and decayed vegetatation. Thus
they all knew what forest fires sweeping over the
Rocky Mountains might mean for the region
devastated. To protect the Park, its forests and
its game, seemed to them a vital matter. This was
what they had set out to do>; but as they saw more
and more the dangers to which these forests were ex-
posed, so the forests and the game of other regions
became, in their view, more and more important.

The most pressing dangers to the Park passed;
the Senate, with George Graham Vest as a watch-


The Boone and Crockett Club

ful guardian, could be trusted to prevent bad
legislation. Then, as a natural sequence to the
work that they had been doing, came the impulse
to attempt to preserve western forests generally.

Meantime, another group of men was working
on forestry matters. These were E. A. Bowers,
B. E. Fernow and F. H. Newell members of the
American Forestry Association's Executive Com-
mittee and they were active in the Interior
Department and in Congress. Mr. Bowers was
Secretary of the American Forestry Association in
1889-1891, and was appointed in 1893 Assistant
Commissioner of the General Land Office; Fernow
was Chief of the Division of Forestry of the
Agricultural Department, and Newell was con-
nected with the Geological Survey. Fernow was
an educated forester and the father of many bills
to conserve the forests of the public domain;
Bowers and Newell were familiar with the West
and with the dangers that threatened the forest
there. Devoted to this work, they drafted a num-
ber of bills, which they submitted to Congress,
frequently appearing before committees, urging
that action should be taken to protect the forests.

In 1887 William Hallett Phillips, a member of
the Club, had succeeded in interesting Mr. Lamar,
Secretary of the Interior, and a number of Con-


The Boone and Crockett Club

gressmen, in the forests, and gradually all these
persons began to work together. At the close of
the first Cleveland Administration, while no
legislation had been secured looking toward forest
protection, a number of men in Washington had
come to feel an interest in the subject. Some of
the bills introduced in Congress passed one House
and some the other, and finally one, the McCrea
bill, so-called, passed both Houses, but did not
reach the Conference Committee. Finally on
March 3, 1891, was passed the bill on which our
national forest system is based, entitled u An Act
to Repeal Timber Culture Laws and for other
Purposes." The meat of the bill, so far as forestry
matters are concerned, is found in its Section 24,
which seems to have originally been introduced in
the Senate by the late Cushman K. Davis, of Min-
nesota, as a bill of a single section. It reads:
"That the President of the United States may,
from time to time, set apart and reserve in any
State or Territory having public lands bearing
forests, any part of the public lands, wholly or in
part covered with timber or undergrowth, whether
of commercial value or not, as public reservations,
and the President shall, by public proclamation,
declare the establishment of such reservations and
the limits thereof."


The Boone and Crockett Club

The Act of March 3, 1891, was the result of a
compromise. It had come over from the House
to the Senate as a bill of a single section to repeal
the Timber Culture law. Senator Pettigrew, then
a member of the Public Lands Committee, states
that the bill was amended in the Senate Committee
by the addition of twenty-three other sections, of
which the one providing for the establishment of
forest reserves, was the last.

Gen. John W. Noble was then Secretary of the
Interior, a man of the loftiest and broadest views
and heartily in sympathy with the efforts to protect
the forests. He induced President Harrison to
sign the bill, and later, to set aside the first United
State forest reserves, the earliest one being the
Yellowstone Park Timber Reserve to the east and
south of the Yellowstone Park. This was designed
to further protect the Yellowstone Park, and Mr.
Noble in determining the boundaries of this new
reservation consulted Mr. Hague, whose knowl-
edge of the matter was greater than that of any
other man. When the Presidential proclamation
establishing the reservation appeared, the boun-
daries were defined in the language used in Mr*
Hague's recommendation to Mr. Noble.

The Boone and Crockett Club was quick to
acknowledge Secretary Noble's first acts under the


The Boone and Crockett Club

new law, for at a meeting of the Boone and
Crockett Club, held April 8, 1891, it was, on
motion of W. H. Phillips, seconded by Arnold

Resolved, That this Society most heartily thank the
President of the United States and the Honorable
John W. Noble, Secretary of the Interior, for having
set apart, as a forest reserve, the large tract situated
in Wyoming, at the head waters of the Yellowstone
and Snake Rivers, and for having set apart the
Sequoia Park, for the preservation of the great trees
of the Pacific Slope.

That this Society recognizes in these actions the
most important steps taken of recent years for the
preservation of our forests and measures which
confer the greatest benefits on the people of the ad-
jacent States.

Resolved, That copies of this resolution be sent to
the President of the United States and the Honorable
the Secretary of the Interior.

By the President of the Club: The Honorable
Theodore Roosevelt.

That the inside history of this forestry work in
this country should be unknown is natural enough.
But that public and recorded acts should have been
forgotten by those who ought to know about them
is very surprising. In the periodical published by
the American Forestry Association, known now as


The Boone and Crockett Club

American Forestry, but formerly as Conservation,
appeared in October, 1909, the statement that Mr.
Cleveland established the first national forests.
This brought out from Robert Underwood John-
son, of the Century Magazine, a letter pointing
out that, in fact, the first national forests were
established under President Harrison's administra-
tion, and Conservation, now American Forestry,
made the correction, but did scant justice to the
excellent work in forestry accomplished by Secre-
tary Noble and President Harrison.

The men of to-day, anxious for results, and
absorbed in their own affairs, have quite forgotten
those earlier men who made possible the work
which the men of to-day are doing. Too often
those who start a great movement and give it its
initial impetus are lost sight of and receive not even

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Online LibraryGeorge Bird GrinnellHunting at high altitudes: the book of the Boone and Crockett club → online text (page 24 of 27)