HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
PROTECTION OF GAME IN YELLOWSTONE
APRIL 4, 1894.--Referred to
the House Calendar and ordered to be printed.
Mr. LACEY, from the Committee on the Public Lands, submitted the
[To accompany H. R. 6442.]
The Committee on the Public Lands, to whom was referred
House bill 6442, make the following report:
There has been for some years a necessity for a
law to punish crimes in the Yellowstone National Park. Various crimes
have been committed and the perpetrators have escaped all punishment for
want of the necessary legislation.
The bill reported attaches the park to the United
States district of Wyoming and enacts the criminal statutes of Wyoming
and gives them full force over the park. The State of Wyoming has
a full code of criminal laws which will protect persons and property in
the park, and the adoption of these statutes and the granting of jurisdiction
of the U. S. courts of that district will, it is believed, be amply sufficient
for the purpose. The U. S. court would appoint a commissioner in
the park to carry out the purposes of the bill.
The U. S. Government has set apart this park as
a pleasure ground for the people of the United States perpetually, and
has directed the preservation of the wild beasts and birds in the park.
But no laws to carry out the purpose of protecting the game and birds in
the park are now in force, and wanton and cruel slaughter of the buffalo
and other wild animals in the park have been reported, and the Secretary
of the Interior has found himself powerless to prevent it.
Out of the vast herds of millions of buffaloes that
a few years ago coursed the plains of America a few hundred only remain,
and they are now all in the Yellowstone Park, and one of the purposes of
setting aside this park has been to preserve this little herd. A
few days ago poachers entered the park and commenced the slaughter of these
animals. Prompt action is necessary or this last remaining herd of
buffalo will be destroyed.
The bill proposed will give full authority to protect
all the birds, fish, and animals in the park. In case it becomes
necessary to destroy any of the wild animals the Secretary of the Interior
is empowered by the bill to authorize their destruction.
This will enable the Secretary to prevent the unnecessary
increase of such animals as may become dangerous or a detriment to the
uses of the park. Your committee not only recommend the passage of
the bill, but urge upon the House the importance of immediate action.
Your committee recommend the correction of a clerical
error by striking out the word "State," in lines 6 and 8, in section 6,
and inserting "district" in lieu therof.
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