National Geographic : 1958 Jan
An Audubon Warden Looks for Birds in Florida's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Across this fresh-water marsh rises one of the country's largest remaining stands of virgin bald cypress, the oldest tree in eastern North America. The forest, part of Big Cypress Swamp, is but a remnant of millions of acres of cypress that generations ago dotted parts of the south eastern United States. In 1954 the logger's saw began to bite into this small but magnificent forest, just as it had consumed most other cypress stands. Appeals from friends of conservation and bird life brought swift cooperation by lumbermen, ending the threat. The National Audubon Society acquired nearly 10 square miles of the area for a wildlife refuge. Here the warden in charge of the sanctuary trains his glasses on a feeding ground. Hikers Slog Through Ankle-deep Water to Reach the Swamp's Inner Beauties Dr. Gilbert Grosvenor, Chairman of the National Geo graphic Society's Board of Trustees, and Mrs. Grosvenor were among the sanctuary's first visitors. Here the party, forsaking dry land at the edge of the swamp, wades through water and mire. Until a boardwalk was built in 1955 (page 111), such arduous hiking was the only way the swamp could be entered. Melville Bell Grosvenor (below) and National Geographic Photographer Robert F. Sisson one could ever forget such a place!" My comment was addressed to John H. Baker, President of the National Audubon Society. A few days earlier he had telephoned me with an invita tion that proved irresistible. "Corkscrew Swamp is ours now, an Audubon wildlife sanctuary," Baker had said. "It contains one of the largest stands of virgin cypress left in the United States. Somehow we must give the public controlled access to Corkscrew, and I'm going in on a survey trip. Won't you and your family join me?