The Next Generation of Conservation at Work
citizens voted into existence in 1936 when they approved Constitutional Amendment No. 4, oversees the operations of the Missouri Department of Conservation. The four-member Commission operates under directives outlined in the Constitution of Missouri. These directives are:
- Members are appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. No more than two of the four shall be from the same political party.
- Members of the Conservation Commission need to have knowledge of and interest in wildlife conservation.
- Each commissioner serves a term of six years, beginning on the first day of July of consecutive odd years.
Conservation Commissioners shall receive no salary or other compensation, but they shall receive reimbursement for travel and other expenses.
Duties of the commission include serving as the Department’s policy makers, approving Missouri Wildlife Code Regulations, appointing the Department’s director, developing budgets, making major expenditure decisions and helping to develop and approve strategic plans.
Commissioners were engaged in the entire 18-month development process of The Next Generation of Conservation strategic plan, which concluded with their final approval of the plan in the April 2006 Commission meeting. Current members of the Commission are Stephen C. Bradford of Cape Girardeau, William F. “Chip” McGeehan of Marshfield, Cynthia Metcalfe of St. Louis and Lowell Mohler of Jefferson City. All four agree that The Next Generation of Conservation is a sound strategic plan that incorporates both professional expertise and public opinion.
“It’s a strategic plan that lays out very clearly a road map for the future of conservation priorities that this Department has established and this Commission has approved,” Mohler said. “It gives a lot of support to partnerships and the importance of us [the Department of Conservation] teaming up with many others to make this plan work.”
“The important thing about The Next Generation plan is the recognition it gives to the wonderful natural diversity of our state, as well as to the diversity of interests and the importance of nature to our citizens,” Metcalfe said.
“In the 1970s, we came out with Design for Conservation,” McGeehan said. “The Next Generation is a great road map to continue the quality of life for the residents of Missouri in regard to their enjoyment of our fish, forest and wildlife.”
“I think the citizens of Missouri can take comfort in the fact that the Department of Conservation staff will, indeed, implement this program just as they did the Design for Conservation,” Bradford said.—Francis Skalicky