prospectors with whom I have conversed, that none will be found within the limits of the park.
    A few months before the passage of the act of March 1, 1872, creating the park, several persons had located upon land at some of the points of greatest interest, with a view to establish a squatters' right of pre-emption, and they have since made application for such pre-emption of property, which embraces some of the chief attractions of the locality. Certainly their settlement upon these lands established no right of pre-emption or purchase in their favor. Any expenditures they may have made were at their own risk, especially if made after the passage of the act. A joint application of this kind from two of these persons (appended hereunto and marked A) has been referred to me by the Department. With no desire to impair any supposed rights these applicants may have, and with no personal objection to them as tenants, I still feel it a duty to recommend that their application be refused. To grant it would be to establish a precedent which would open the door for scores of similar applications, under which exhausting process the park would soon lose all its distinctive features of nationality. No sales of property within its boundaries should be made to anyone; but whenever, in good faith, improvements have been made, with a view to future purchase or occupancy, such improvements should either be purchased of the persons who made them, or received in payment of the premises occupied by them, for such term as may, on full consideration, seem just and equitable. The realty of the land should be held alone by the Government, and be subject to such rules and regulations as may, from time to time, be adopted by the Department of the Interior. Several improvements for convenience of visitors had been made before the act of dedication was passed. These should be acquired by the Government, by making adequate compensation to the persons by whom they were erected, and these persons, if it should be their choice, should have a preference, upon equal terms, over other applicants for the rental of the premises they have improved.
    The wild game of all kinds with which the park abounds should be protected by law, and all hunting, trapping, and fishing within its boundaries, except for purposes of recreation by visitors and tourists, or for use by actual residents of the park, should be prohibited under severe penalties. Laws prohibiting the cutting of timber, except in such localities as may be prescribed by the superintendent, should be adopted.
    It is especially recommended that a law be passed, punishing, by fine and imprisonment, all persons who leave any fire they may have made, for convenience or otherwise, unextinguished. Nearly all extensive conflagrations of timber in the mountains may be directly traced to negligence in extinguishing camp-fires. In the timber regions, these fires are generally kindled against stumps and dry trunks of trees, by which, unless carefully extinguished, they often, after many days, communicate with the forest, and spread over immense tracts, destroying large quantities of valuable timber. Nothing less than a stringent law punishing negligence and carelessness, can save the extensive pine timber fields of the park from destruction.
    As connected with this subject of legislation I would also recommend that the park be attached to Gallatin County, Montana, for judicial purposes, and that the laws of Montana be enforced within its boundaries. In order to make this recommendation effectual I would respectfully suggest that all the portion of the park not included in the boundaries Go to next page

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