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116   COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

There is a growing demand, at increasingly high prices, for live game to supply zoological parks, and for game as food. The revenue which may be derived from shooting privileges and from camping parties who would steal away to enjoy a season with nature, in all her fullness, may not be inconsiderable.

The national parks, whose value to the country cannot be over-estimated, are too far away for the average citizen to enjoy, but he may have that which will give much pleasure and profit nearer home. A tract of waste land of from 100 to 1,000 acres may be obtained in almost any section of the country, and especially in the hilly and mountainous regions, at a price within the reach of every alert farmer. The cost of fencing need not exceed $1 a rod for an 8-foot fence, and the game for stocking—birds and small game will rapidly multiply under protection—can be procured at a price no greater than that paid for domestic animals.

One of the secrets of the success of the English race is in the fact that they as a people have emphasized out-of-door life. The rugged physique and robust health of the average Englishman are due to the fact that he is able to dismiss all care and enjoy a day with rod or gun. His large landed estates, together with the climatic conditions, offer favorable opportunities for all out-door sports. While we believe that large landed estates are a menace to the best interests of any people, yet, with our large acreage of waste land and democratic ideals, there is no possible danger that we shall ever suffer by the establishment of game preserves in this country. These game preserves may not only be centres from which the surrounding covers will be stocked, but they may be object lessons in forestry, of which this country stands in vital need, to say nothing of making rural life more beautiful and attractive.


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