Okefenokee’s Prophecy of Preservation

Flooded swamp prairie with dead cypress trees and burned stumps from wildlfire. Okefenokee Swamp Park National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia, USA. Stephen C Foster State Park boardwalk. March 11, 2015. ©www.williamwisephoto.com. Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally at Dreamstime.com.

Thankfully, Hamp Mizell’s words in this passage from the 1926 book, History of the Okefenokee Swamp, were prophetic when he wrote of the restoration of the Okefenokee. The entire swamp was stripped of the timber in the early 1900’s but in 1937 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt established the Okefenokee as “a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife.” Mizell’s prophetic utterance reads:

“​The timber has all about been cut from this great swamp, and within a few more months this busy island will again, no doubt, slip back to the primitive; the scream of the locomotive will again be supplanted by the scream of the panther and the bobcat; the wild deer will again roam over this spot as of yore; the alligators will again climb up on the sand banks to lay quietly and undisturbed in the warm sunlight; the turtle will come to deposit its eggs in the spring, and the ever watchful black bear will be on the trail of the turtle eggs, and all that will remain will be the wreck and ruin left in the slaughter of the primeval forest.”

Published by William Wise

Hi, I’m conservation photographer and nature writer William Wise. Nature journaling and wildlife photography has been a favorite pastime since the ‘90s. I graduated from University of Georgia Warnell Forestry School's wildlife program in 1996. I'm currently an animal shelter manager/photographer and reside in Athens, Georgia, USA with my wife and two teenage daughters. My website www.williamwisephoto.com is a wildlife and birding photo website documenting the beauty, design and wonder of creation. I have a deep love of the Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia. I became a devoted Christian in 1993 under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. I am also a guest author at Lee's Birdwatching Adventures and The Creation Club. The theme of my blogging comes from The Message version of Psalms 104 -- "What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, You made earth overflow with your wonderful creations."

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