2009 Regulations Update
doesn’t receive funding from property tax, which funds local schools and other local government programs. Many Missourians feel that nonresidents should pay more because they do not contribute to the sales tax throughout the year. In setting the cost of nonresident permits, the Department tries to balance the desires of those wishing to return to Missouri to hunt with family and friends with a fair cost for the premier deer and turkey hunt opportunities Missouri provides. Our nonresident permits continue to be priced lower than most surrounding states.
Light goose permit funds survey and Web site
The new Conservation Order Permit will be required for residents and nonresidents age 16 and older to pursue, take, possess and transport blue, snow or Ross’s geese beginning with the 2010 Conservation Order. The $5 fee for residents and $40 for nonresidents will help offset costs associated with administering the Conservation Order in Missouri. Costs include providing public hunting opportunities on conservation areas, conducting a post-season survey, obtaining and reporting information as required by the federal government, maintaining a Web site and enforcement.
Protecting native species
Sometimes regulations celebrate wildlife success stories. This year the barn owl, bald eagle and Western foxsnake were removed from the list of endangered species in Missouri. The bald eagle has made a dramatic comeback across the United States. Reported sightings of the Western foxsnake have increased, probably due to successful wetland restoration projects. Barn owls remain rare in Missouri, but nest box programs are helping to offset local population declines when old barns and sheds are torn down.
To help protect Missouri’s native species, black carp, a snail- and mussel-eating fish from China, has been added to the list of species that cannot be brought into the state. Also, quagga mussels, an exotic species similar to the zebra mussel, have been put on the prohibited species list. Both of these species could harm native mussel populations and change the ecology of our rivers, streams and lakes.
Wild ginseng now may be purchased, sold, transported or exported in dried form only from Sept. 15 through March 15. The two-week delay for selling dry roots will bring Missouri’s regulations in line with most other states that allow ginseng harvest and may reduce the amount of illegal digging of wild roots before the Sept. 1 harvest date.
Worldwide demand for caviar continues to generate substantial commercial harvest of roe-bearing fish. To allow Missourians to harvest bowfin and paddlefish as well as shovelnose sturgeon, the Resident Shovelnose Sturgeon Commercial Harvest Permit was changed to Resident Roe Fish Commercial Harvest Permit. Recently established roe harvester permits in Illinois allowed Missouri to recognize reciprocal fishing privileges for Illinois commercial fishers in Missouri with the Nonresident Mississippi River Roe Fish Commercial Harvest Permit. The price was raised to match the price of the Illinois nonresident permit. Also, a Roe Fish Dealer Permit was established to help track commerce in roe, and it matches similar permit requirements in other states and assists enforcement efforts.
More recreational options for conservation areas
Geocaching and letterboxing are popular outdoor activities. To provide Missourians additional opportunities to enjoy conservation areas, these activities will be added to the list of recreational opportunities allowed by Special Use Permit starting April 30. These permits, which allow a person to set up a geocaching or letterbox site on appropriate conservation areas, will be available from the area managers. Some areas, such as natural areas, may not be suitable for geocaching and letterboxing.
How regulations are set
Each year the Regulations Committee reviews the Wildlife Code of Missouri to ensure the state’s forests, fish and wildlife are protected. Here’s how the process works.
- Changes proposed by the public and by staff are brought to the committee to review.
- The committee researches the effects of the proposed regulation changes. Information reviewed may include costs to the taxpayers, effects on wildlife populations, user group surveys, public comments and feasibility studies.
- When research shows a change could improve management of a species or provide more opportunities for Missourians to enjoy the outdoors, a proposed regulation change is sent to Director John Hoskins.
- If the director approves the change, he submits the proposal to the Conservation Commission, four citizens appointed by the governor.
- If passed by the Commission, the proposed changes are filed with the secretary of state and published in the Missouri Register.
- The filing begins the 30-day public comment period. If no comments are received, the final regulation is filed and becomes effective either 30 days after publication in the State Code of regulations or on the date specified in the proposal.
- When comments are received, the proposal is reviewed. Based on the public’s comments, the Commission may decide to drop, modify or implement the regulation.