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The Okefenokee Swamp is located in Georgia and has played a major part in states history Many people have lived in the swamp from the Indians to the White settlers People have tried to drain it and cut down the trees but it still exists today We need to take care of this precious gift to make sure it lasts for many others to enjoy The late Archaic Mississippian and Woodland Indians occupied the Okefenokee between 500 and 1200 AD They constructed sand mounds in the swamp Then the Spanish came in and built Spanish Missions in or near the swamp They called the swamp Laguna de Oconi In the latter part of the 18th century the Creek Indians used the swamp as a hunting ground White settlers started settling on the edges of the swamp in 1805 Some time after the white settlers moved in railroads were built near the Okefenokee In 1889 the government sold the property to the Suwanee Canal Company who tried to drain the swamp for 3 years but were unsuccessful Other companies came in and logged in the swamp until roughly 1942 As early as 1918 efforts were being made to preserve the swamp However it wasnt until 1929 that an organization became successful In 1937 the government purchased the property which had belonged to a lumber company Franklin D Roosevelt created the Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge and facilities were developed Everybody who lived in the swamp was told they could no longer kill the bears and wildcats As a result all swamp dwellers were gone by 1958 Over the years the government added more land to the refuge and changed the name to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge Okefenokee Swamp has an abundance of animals There are black bears white-tailed deer otters water moccasins and alligators Also there are carnivorous plants such as pitcher plants and bladderwort The swamp covers roughly 600 square miles and there are two rivers that
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