A Strategy for Conservation Success
residents will continue to be able to obtain conservation information from the Conservationist, the "Missouri Outdoors" television program, numerous free publications and an ever-expanding amount of material on the Conservation Department's Website at www.mdc.mo.gov.
Help Landowners Manage Their Land for Sustainable Resources
During its long history, the Conservation Department has worked with landowners to improve wildlife habitat on private lands. Last year, however, the Department organized a separate Private Land Services Division to more efficiently provide Missouri's 300,000 private landowners with information, technical assistance and cost-sharing funds.
The new division reflects a more active desire to form partnerships with landowners than at any other time in our history.
If a majority of landowners in the state managed their property with an eye to leaving a little bit for wildlife habitat, we would see a great change in Missouri's landscape. Thanks to satellite imagery, we will even be able to track the changes.
Most landowners would like to increase wildlife habitat, but aren't sure how. Private land conservationists have been posted throughout the state to help local landowners. These experts can provide technical assistance and valuable information about the many programs, grants and cost-sharing arrangements that are available.
Already these private land conservationists have helped farmers and livestock producers riprap eroding stream banks, build dikes, fence stream banks and install solar-powered watering systems.
This initiative was only recently launched, but the number of landowners seeking assistance and the number of acres enrolled in cooperative projects is growing daily. Among its many benefits, the program should help reverse the overall decline in quail and rabbit numbers.
Private land conservationists also can help make your woodlands more productive and profitable. Missouri's forests are increasing slightly, but they must be managed properly to keep them in peak condition. A private land conservationist can help you achieve whatever you want from your forest, whether your goal is income, recreation or wildlife habitat.
Public Land that Invites Public Use
The Conservation Department does not hoard the land it owns and manages. It preserves habitats and natural communities for the public good and for public use. Conservation areas are great for camping, boating, fishing, hiking, family picnics and myriad other wholesome outdoor activities.
Design, construction and development accounts for nearly a fifth of the Conservation Department's budget each year. Much of this money is spent on boat accesses, fishing platforms, pond and lake renovations, trails, roads, privies and parking lots for conservation areas.
At the recently purchased