National Geographic : 1963 Dec
An hour later I sat in the airboat and watched Shirley and Rovals climb aboard a surveyor's rig we had seen churning through the swampy ground on wooden caterpillar tracks. Presently they handed down two open-topped five-gallon cans. There was a live baby alligator in each. The two sunburned boys aboard the rig tried to look unconcerned as the officers con tinued their search. Soon after, I saw the flash of the sun on a pistol they had found, and then on a second one. Possession of firearms out of hunting sea son in the 'Glades is illegal. So there were two charges against the boys. The airboats were rather crowded on our return trip. Mine ended where it began, at Andvtown. Theirs continued by car to the Fort Lauderdale jail. West of the open 'Glades the Big Cypress Swamp begins. Here the National Audubon Society, in its Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, has saved the last stand of giant bald cypress in the country. When I was there the black and-white wood ibises were nesting high in their tops and the air was clamorous with the hoarse voices of their young.* Floridians Must Make a Choice Twenty years ago the distinguished natu ralist Thomas Barbour wrote a book about Florida, That Vanishing Eden. Corkscrew Swamp and Everglades National Park are attempts to keel) that ominous title from be coming irrevocable reality. Indiscriminate drainage of the 'Glades could well defeat those attempts. Drainage and flood control have saved lives and opened up vast areas to farming. But their dangers are great. Speaking after an inspection tour of the Everglades, Under Secretary of the Interior James K. Carr said, "All of this area can be 'See "Corkscrew Swam )-Florida's Primeval Show Place," Ib Melville Bell (rosvenor, NATIiONAI. (G o (GRAPIiIC,.January, 195S.