A Summary of the Missouri Department of Conservation's Annual Report
The Year In Review
This summary of the Annual Report is a snapshot of the Conservation Department's financial transactions and yearlong accomplishments from July 1, 1995 through June 30, 1996. The Conservation Department continued to purchase floodlands where possible, and made $505,314.09 in payments to Missouri counties in lieu of taxes, and also paid $344,997.05 for land in the Forest Cropland Program.
- Purchased 727 acres of land along the Missouri River in Atchison and Holt counties to provide habitat for fish, waterfowl, wading birds, shore birds and other wildlife.
- Placed a computerized wildfire simulator on travels throughout Missouri as a teaching tool for rural firefighters.
- Broke a poaching ring responsible for illegally killing hundreds of deer and wild turkeys in Missouri as well as big game animals in other states.
- Designed a loading platform to help anglers in wheelchairs get into boats. Platforms are in place at Brown Bend Access at Lake of the Ozarks and at Coon Island Conservation Area in Butler County.
- Formed a new partnership with the Kansas City Zoo to educate the public about wildlife and natural resources.
- Began an osprey restoration program at two Missouri lakes. Of eight chicks released, five survived and were doing well when last seen.
- Opened a Conservation Department home page on the Internet.
- Opened shooting ranges at Forest 44 near St. Louis and Bois D'Arc Conservation Area near Springfield. Shooters can sight-in their hunting firearms, practice and compete in several shooting skills.
- Saw growth in the Stream Team Program. It now includes 729 teams with 37,000 participants. Team members monitor the health of Missouri streams and help keep them clean.
- Produced "Habitactics," a CD-ROM computer game to teach kids 8 to 13 about the animals, plants and habitats in Missouri.
- Sponsored a Quail Academy, an intensive five-day course that focuses on quail biology and habitat management for high school freshmen and sophomores.
- Compiled data that shows about $1.17 billion is spent annually on wildlife associated recreation in Missouri. Spin-off spending on travel, meals and lodging produced another $2.3 billion in business activity. Total spending supports 39,000 jobs in Missouri.
- Made grants of $1,000 to $20,000 available to local governments, county, state and federal agencies, public schools and non-profit organizations as matching funds for tree planting projects on public lands.
- Published a 110-page guide to Missouri's watchable wildlife. The Missouri Nature Viewing Guide details 101 sites that are great for watching wildlife and plants.
- Joined a project to restore an endangered fish, the Niangua darter, to the basin of Brush Creek and provided $118,000 in funding. Raised Niangua darters in a hatchery and released them in Ozark streams in the Osage River basin.
- Launched a new point-of-sale system.
- Produced about 4.1 million tree seedlings for planting in Missouri.
- Began "Nature Scramble," a fun way for participants to discover new conservation areas. By visiting conservation lands and solving puzzles they win books and other prizes.
- Began a program called "LAWS" (Landowners Assisting Wildlife Survival). It provides payments to qualifying landowners for strips of grain left unharvested for wildlife.
- Dedicated a 150-acre, state-of-the-art above-ground lake in the Missouri Bootheel where lake fishing opportunities are limited. The $2.9 million project will include boat ramps and nature trails, and will be accessible to persons with disabilities.
- Created new deer hunting units to help control the growing deer population in Missouri's metro areas, and liberalized hunting regulations in some rural units as well.
- Found 24 active eagle nests that fledged 38 birds. Wintering eagles numbered 2,616, and wintering trumpeter swans were seen at Lake of the Ozarks.
- Joined the Partners in Flight Bird Conservation Strategy to identify neotropical birds in trouble and establish conservation plans to help them.
Forests - $17,006,580
Conservation Department programs that foster a healthy and growing forest resource. Examples are: growing and distributing 4.1 million trees for public and private land, assisting private forest landowners and Missouri communities, managing 420,607 acres of public forest land, developing the state's forest industry and conducting research on trees and forests.
Wildlife - $16,159,275
Conservation Department programs ensure wildlife populations that are in harmony with habitat and human enjoyment. Examples are: management of 464,342 acres of public land and assistance to private landowners, research and population monitoring of game and non-game species, wetland development, wildlife restoration and special hunting permits program.
Fisheries - $12,558,877
Maintains the aquatic resources enjoyed by one million Missouri anglers. Examples are: spawning, rearing and stocking about 10 million fish, fisheries management of all public fishing areas, assistance and incentives for landowners, fish kill investigations, research and monitoring of fish populations, and stream stewardship programs.
Natural History - $1,612,049
Many Conservation Department programs relate to non-game resources and interpretation. Examples are: monitoring populations of nongame species, conducting research, identifying and protecting rare, endangered or fragile species and natural communities.
Law Enforcement - $12,797,576
Paid for law enforcement, resource management, information, education and public service contact activities conducted by 152 conservation agents, hunter education programs administered by 11 hunter training specialists and 2,000 volunteer instructors conducting 1,000 classes and certifying approximately 25,000 students annually.
Education and Information - $10,587,655
Paid for education materials and contacts with Missouri schoolteachers, interpretive programs conducted by nature centers and other naturalists' efforts, the Missouri Conservationist magazine, films, videos, postage and other informational programs.
Administration - $1,701,988
Paid for legal counsel, auditor, summer help and other administrative charges.
Support Services - $22,577,595
Paid for engineering, surveys, federal reimbursement administration, area maintenance, disabled accessibility and non-discrimination programs, resource planning, human resources, fiscal services, Conservation Department area and facility maintenance and operations, and other essential services.
Land Acquisition, Landowner Assistance, In-Lieu Taxes - $7,611,383
Paid for new tracts and additions to existing areas totaling 16,929 acres.
Construction & Development - $21,455,979
Paid for flood damage, outstate service centers, hatchery improvements, wetland development, river access site development and the construction of numerous ponds.