The Next Generation of Conservation at Work
Ever since voters first established the Conservation Department by voting for a constitutional amendment in 1936, generations of Missourians have pulled together to protect our state’s fish, forests and wildlife.
A new strategic plan, The Next Generation of Conservation, leads the Conservation Department’s staff and resources into the future. Like the strategic plans that preceded it, The Next Generation outlines how the Conservation Department will fulfill its constitutional mandate to serve Missourians by protecting the state’s fish, forest and wildlife resources.
The new strategic plan gives our generation of conservationists a path to success. Through partnerships, sound scientific data, respect for public opinion and a dedication to public service, we can fulfill our obligation to protect and manage our natural resources for the benefit of future generations.
The Next Generation of Conservation starts with a vision of the future. Not content with the status quo or to rest on its many achievements, the Conservation Department created a plan that paints a picture of how Missouri’s plants, wildlife and people could be better served.
Naturally, we have to start with healthy, sustainable plant and animal communities throughout the state. The Conservation Department has been protecting our fish, forest and wildlife resources since it was established, but this plan envisions improving those resources so that they are in “appreciably better condition tomorrow than they are today.”
Improvement will come from working closely with our most important partner, the people of Missouri. We might have a hard time persuading every person in the state to plant a tree or pick up trash along a river, but we can gain people’s support for conservation action.
It’s enough if Missourians recognize that conservation is one of the state’s best investments. People pay a tiny fraction of their taxes for the everyday advantages of beautiful scenery, clean waterways and a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities. Beyond improving our quality of life, conservation also gives a lift to the state’s economy. In fact, Missourians and travelers from other states spend much more money on outdoor recreation than we spend for conservation of those resources that make outdoor recreation possible. Conservation pays for itself.
The vision would not be complete without underscoring the value of partnerships. Call partnerships the power of many. Working together, people, organizations, local governments and agencies can create a Missouri that our children and their children can love and enjoy. They will thank us for planning ahead on their behalf.