In "Missouri's Early Forests," the author states that Gottfried Duden visited Warren County and made notes on the early Missouri forests.
Duden, a wealthy, highly educated Prussian lawyer and civil servant, did not merely visit the area. He lived here almost three years, writing daily in a journal abundant notes that were later published in his book, A Report on A Journey to the Western States of North America, which can be found in most Missouri libraries. Duden can be credited with drawing vast numbers of Germans to settle in the Missouri River valley.
Joan M. Juern, St. Louis
How I appreciated your beautiful cover and Jerry Conley's editorial. I share his experience of watching "progress" take over the nearly 100-year old home of my childhood. Now there are 16 new homes where two stately homes previously reigned.
I am grateful the Conservation Department is working to protect our resources and provide our young people opportunities to have outdoor experiences like the ones we so nostalgically recall.
Margaret Hasse, St. Louis
"Tracking Missouri's Exotics" by Steve Barnes and Chris Riggert was timely, because a bill (SB0723) has just been introduced calling for the creation of an Invasive Species Council in Missouri.
The authors mention that "pockets of gypsy moths have already been found in Missouri." It is true we find adult male moths during our annual surveys, but we have not uncovered any reproducing populations of this damaging pest in Missouri yet. Several agencies (agriculture, conservation, natural resources, USDA and the University of Missouri) have been working cooperatively on this project for many years in an effort to delay the establishment of the gypsy moth in Missouri. Hopefully, it will be many more years before we have to deal with the insects' damaging effects.
Michael E. Brown, State Entomologist
"Tracking Missouri's Exotics" was very informative and educational. My "pet peeve" exotic is multiflora rose. We have spent thousands of dollars and hours trying to eradicate it. It is a menace to our pastures and woodlands.
Ironically, in the same issue you talk about introducing Rocky Mountain elk (an exotic) to Missouri. The elk that originally inhabited our state were a different subspecies.
Dean A. Carroll, Clarence
Editor's note: Some experts believe Rocky Mountain elk and eastern elk, which originally inhabited this area, should be grouped into the same subspecies; others believe they are distinct.
Harry Wolfe of Keytesvile is dwarfed by a sycamore tree that has a circumference of 17 feet, 9 inches at shoulder height. The tree sits at the foot of a steep hill near Musselfork Creek in Chariton County. Wolfe said that when he was young he would go to the Grand River bottom to shoot sycamore seed balls--his favorite target. He also recalled the mistake of using sycamore leaves to mulch a strawberry bed. The acid killed every plant.
I was surprised and thrilled to find "The Rainbows of Crane Creek" in the January issue. I grew up in Wichita, but in the 1950s and 1960s we made many trips to visit my grandma and several cousins who lived in Crane.
Wading Crane Creek was a favorite pastime of the Robb cousins and, after I send out copies of this article, there will be many warm smiles all over the country.
Cheryl Keimig, Parkville
I noticed in the February issue of the Conservationist that the Youth Deer and Turkey Hunting Permit information was listed under changes within the regulations for the year 2000. I also noticed that there was no mention of the supervising adult being required to have hunter education certification. Was this simply a misprint or was this requirement removed from the regulation?
Michael Ohlms, Old Monroe
Editor's note: New wording addressing the Youth Deer and Turkey Hunting permit in the 2000 Code Book eliminates the reference to muzzleloading, which is now included in firearms deer hunting. Nothing else has changed. The accompanying adult must be properly licensed adult and possess a valid hunter education certificate. Due to space, the magazine article listed Wildlife Code changes, but not the complete wording of regulations. We're sorry to have caused confusion.
Less than 48 hours after reading Craig Anderson's excellent piece, "The Traveler," on the northern harrier, I was fortunate enough to observe one on the prowl less than two miles from my home. The adult female was hunting over a farmer's field in the Lyon area of Franklin County.
Peter K. Connolly, New Haven
I've read the Conservationist for 55 years and still look forward to every issue. I enjoy all the features, but I am most impressed by the quality of photography by Jim Rathert. From many wildlife shots I've taken, I know how much skill, attention to detail, planning and mastery of photo techniques his pictures require.
Bill Elder, Columbia
In the February Conservationist you say that the Conservation Department reviewed, then modified their policy for trails use, including some opportunities for horse riding in most conservation areas. Is horseback riding now permitted in the Fuson Conservation Area?
James Atteberry, Elkland
Editor's note: Our article may have misled you. Horse Trails are considered only where they would not conflict with the Conservation Department's primary mission and would enhance recreational opportunities. Horseback riding on the Fuson Conservation Area is allowed only with a special use permit.
Q: During the extended snow goose season, hunters can use unplugged guns and electronic calls, and there are no limits on the number of snow geese taken. How about lead shot? Is it legal?
A: No, lead shot may not be used for the hunting under the conservation order currently in effect for light (snow, blue and Ross) geese. Only non-toxic shot may be used. The effort to reduce light goose numbers to preserve fragile nesting lands in the north began Feb. 1 and will continue through the end of April. Hunters of light geese must have a Migratory Bird Hunting permit. For more information, please see page 32 or visit online.
Ombudsman Ken Drenon will respond to your questions, suggestions or complaints concerning Conservation Department programs. Write him at P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180, call him at (573) 751-4115, ext. 848 or e-mail him at <Ken.Drenon@mdc.mo.gov>.
Editor - Tom Cwynar
Managing Editor - Jim Auckley
Art Editor - Dickson Stauffer
Designer - Tracy Ritter
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Photographer - Jim Rathert
Photographer - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Staff Writer - Joan McKee
Composition - Libby Bode Block
Circulation - Bertha Bainer