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Published on: Aug. 17, 2010

Walking on a Trail

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Trail Building

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Playing in Leaves

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Turkey Hunting

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Planting a Seedling

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pests pose a great threat to Missouri’s trees and forests. One of the primary ways that some forest insect pests spread is through the transportation of firewood. In fact, there is currently great concern that the movement of firewood could spread emerald ash borer to the point that we won’t have any ash trees in the future. There is nothing wrong with using firewood. However, we strongly encourage people to obtain it locally where you plan to use it.

Consider a Career as a Forester

If you’re looking for a future career path, consider a career in forestry. Forestry is exciting, enjoyable and rewarding. Foresters work with private landowners, cities and communities. They manage lands to ensure that forest resources remain healthy, productive and wildlife friendly and provide the myriad of benefits we have come to expect from them. Foresters also engage in demanding physical work, such as fighting fires and conducting forest inventories.

To many people, forestry careers provide the perfect combination of outside work and technically demanding labor. Currently, foresters are needed in both the public A family plants spruce in their backyard. Planting trees can make important contributions to forest sustainability. and private sectors. Requirements typically include a four-year college degree in forestry.

Volunteer Your Labor and Expertise

The need for volunteers for conserving and sustaining Missouri’s forests is huge, and opportunities are incredibly diverse. Here are a few examples of opportunities:

  • Fire departments are often trying to recruit volunteers to help with wildfire suppression efforts.
  • You can join a Master Naturalist chapter to obtain valuable conservation training, and use this knowledge to assist with various conservation projects.
  • You can volunteer for your local city tree board to help ensure that trees are an important consideration in your city.
  • Your local Audubon chapter, the Conservation Federation of Missouri, the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Ozark Regional Land Trust or The Nature Conservancy offer a number of volunteer opportunities. There are comparable organizations to suit almost any interest. For example, you can join the Native Plant Society, the Show-Me Missouri Back Country Horseman or the Gateway Off-Road Cyclists.

A little Internet research or some social networking among people who share your interests is likely to reveal an organization that suits you and provides you with the opportunity to make a difference in Missouri’s forests.

Forest Sustainability

Although we all want our forest resources to be sustainable, it is not always clear what sustainable means. The Seven Criteria of Forest Sustainability, established through an international process in 1993, serves as one of the best and most prominent definitions of forest sustainability to this day:

  1. Conserve forest diversity
  2. Maintain forest productivity
  3. Maintain forest health and vitality
  4. Conserve and maintain soil and water resources
  5. Maintain forests contributions to global carbon cycles
  6. Maintain and enhance the socioeconomic benefits to meet the needs of communities
  7. Provide legal, institutional and economic framework for forest conservation and sustainable management.

No person, business, agency or organization can single-handedly ensure a sustainable future for Missouri’s trees and forests. In fact, one of the primary motivations for establishing Missouri’s Forest Resource Assessment and Strategy was the acknowledgment that the Conservation Department cannot by itself secure the future of our forests. It is critical for us to recruit help from numerous partners and all Missouri citizens.

To learn more about Missouri’s Forest Resource Assessment and Strategy and find out how you can get involved, visit or contact your regional Conservation Department office (see Page 3).

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