Annual Report Fiscal Year 2009–2010

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This summary of the Annual Report highlights the Missouri Department of Conservation’s accomplishments and expenditures from July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2010. These accomplishments are based on the nine goals established in The Next Generation of Conservation. Not only does this summary highlight the accomplishments of the Department, but it emphasizes that Missourians care about conserving forests, fish and wildlife; that we work with Missourians and for Missourians to sustain healthy forests, fish and wildlife; that we help people discover nature; that conservation makes Missouri a great place to hunt and fish; and that conservation pays by enriching our economy and quality of life.

Plants & Animals

Natural communities
At the end of FY10 there were 180 Missouri Natural Areas totaling 70,759 acres. These areas represent the best examples of healthy natural communities within the state. During the last fiscal year the Twenty-Five Mile Prairie Natural Area (120 acres) in Polk County was added to the Natural Area System.

Partnerships aid birds
In 2010, the 55 Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative (MoBCI) partner organizations were involved in nine projects across Missouri. MDC grant funds ($100,500) were leveraged to produce a total contribution of $345,150 dollars in cash and match for project work. Each of the nine projects involved two to seven partners who have a common goal to provide habitats suitable for a wide range of bird species. Each year MoBCI plays a bigger role in linking Missourians with national and international bird-related initiatives.

State Wildlife Grants
This year is the 10th anniversary of State Wildlife Grants (SWG). Since its inception, SWG has enabled our conservation community to make significant contributions to therestoration and management of habitats and their associated fish, forest and wildlife. Missouri has accomplished more than $45.8 million in conservation actions since 2002 through SWG and its associated grants.

Clean Water

Stream Stewardship Trust Fund
The Stream Stewardship Trust Fund is available to restore, enhance and/or protect stream systems and associated riparian habitats. The program and funds are administered by the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation, and MDC applies for grants. In FY10, five projects costing $707,000 were approved to protect Missouri’s stream and riparian corridor.

Stream Teams
Missouri Stream Team grew to 4,115 teams throughout the state. A total of 132,283 volunteer hours were committed to enhance and restore Missouri streams.

River basin management
MDC participated in various interstate working groups to implement ecosystem-based management necessary for the conservation and enhancement of natural and recreational resources of the Missouri, Mississippi and White rivers and their floodplains. MDC helped direct the implementation of $24.6 million available through the Mississippi River Environmental Management Program (EMP) for biological monitoring and habitat restoration, and $6.3 million available for planning efforts within the proposed Mississippi River Navigation and Ecosystem Restoration Program. Both programs are funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Community Conservation

Community Assistance
Through the Community Assistance Program (CAP) and the closely related Corporate and Agency Partnership Program (CAPP), MDC enters into agreements (usually 25-year) with cities, counties, state and federal agencies, businesses, foundations, schools and colleges. Under these agreements, MDC provides fisheries management at existing lakes and ponds and cooperatively develops and maintains facilities for anglers and boaters at lake and stream areas. MDC has agreements with 117 partners for the cooperative management of 170 public lakes, 42 stream-access areas, four lake-access areas and eight aquatic resource education ponds.

Volunteer fire departments
MDC, in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service, provided $298,894 in grants to 144 volunteer fire departments. These grants help fund protective clothing, equipment and training. We also provided equipment to fire departments through two federal programs. We obtained equipment valued at $189,205 through the Federal Excess Property Program. The new Fire Fighter Program obtained equipment valued at $15,515,088.

Venison donation
Conservation agents coordinate and support the Share the Harvest program with the Conservation Federation of Missouri, local charitable organizations and local meat processors. Together, these groups have supported the donations of more than 234 tons of meat during the past two years. During FY10, approximately 4,450 hunters donated 205,153 pounds of venison to less-fortunate Missourians. Healthy Forests Forest Resource Assessment and Strategy Missouri’s Forest Resource Assessment and Strategy (FRAS), was adopted in June 2010. FRAS is an evaluation of conditions, trends, threats and opportunities facing our forests. FRAS is guided by three important priorities: conserving working forest landscapes, protecting forests from harm and enhancing public benefits from trees and forests. This assessment will be an effective tool for conservation planning and implementation, and integrating priority projects and initiatives with partners and other agencies.

Wildfire prevention
MDC endorsed a third-party U.S. Forest Service Hazard Mitigation Grant to the Southwest Resource Conservation and Development Program. This area was hit by the January 2007 ice storm and a subsequent tornado. Heavy wood debris in area forests makes wildfire suppression more difficult and hazardous to firefighters. Educating residents about the increased fire risk and how to properly manage or dispose of damaged trees helps reduce fuels. Fire departments were also compensated for working with communities to perform risk assessments and to apply practices to reduce their fire risk.

Conservation easement grant
The USDA Forest Service’s State and Private Forestry program awarded a $190,000 grant to MDC to facilitate the protection of high-priority privately owned forest land by providing funding to land trusts to secure conservation easements. MDC approved and paid stewardship fees and closing costs on three tracts of land, protecting 1,443 acres located in Stone, Montgomery and Warren counties. Keeping these tracts intact will help to ensure that they remain working forests, provide wildlife habitat to species requiring large blocks of contiguous forest and minimize negative effects of fragmentation (exotic plants, wildfire, insects and diseases, etc.).

Outdoor Recreation

Fishing
MDC strives to provide high-quality fishing opportunities for all Missourians. MDC’s warm water hatcheries produced enough fish to meet stocking needs in Missouri in 2009. By the end of 2009, 8.9 million fish were stocked in public and private waters, including more than 144,000 keeper-sized fish stocked in 53 urban lakes.

Archery in schools
Missouri students in grades 4–12 learn target archery in class in the Missouri National Archery in the Schools Program (MoNASP). The number of schools enrolled in the program has doubled each year since MoNASP began in 2007. There are now 121 schools in the program. More than 20,000 students have participated in MoNASP, which has proven to improve kids’ lives not only at school, but at home and in the community. Many schools received reimbursement grants up to $500 toward NASP-approved archery equipment.

New hunters and anglers
MDC and volunteers provided more than 2,400 programs with instruction in hunting, fishing, trapping and shooting sports. More than 126,000 people took part in these programs. We offered about 900 Hunter Education classes, certifying 24,733 students.

Conservation Education

Master Naturalist
The Master Naturalist program added another 200 participants to this community-based, volunteer service program that totals 680 people and 11 chapters. Volunteers participated in more than 5,000 hours of advanced training and donated more than 20,000 hours of volunteer service.

Discover Nature Schools
In 2010, more than 39,000 Missouri children were connected with nature through Discover Nature Schools instructional units and grants. Thus far, 104 schools have adopted the middle-school aquatic unit, 109 schools have taught the elementary habitats unit, and 91 have schools engaged students through our Conservation K–3 Field Trip Grant. This year a high school ecology unit, Nature Unbound, was completed, and a kindergarten through second-grade unit is in development. Conservation grants supporting Discover Nature Schools totaled $134,724.

Citizens enjoying nature
More than 850,000 visitors explored the trails, programs and exhibits at our conservation nature and education centers throughout the state.

Landowner Assistance

Financial assistance
Approximately 328 private landowners received nearly $520,000 in cost-share funds to implement beneficial habitat management practices for fish, forest and wildlife resources. The funds helped install 549 individual conservation practices, impacting nearly 9,000 acres.

Partnerships
MDC developed approximately 41 partnerships with federal, state and non-governmental organizations. These relationships helped us enhance technical and financial assistance and equipment support to landowners. Through the partnerships, we assisted Missouri USDA with developing and applying $170 million in Farm Bill conservation programs, including more than $2 million in staff time. We also leveraged staffing, equipment and enhancement funds with conservation-habitat organizations.

Technical assistance
MDC provided timely and responsive service through 71,886 rural and urban landowner contacts, including 23,228 on-site landowner visits. We also answered 5,371 requests for wildlife nuisance assistance, including 1,000 on-site visits.

Wetland restoration assistance
Since 1992, MDC has assisted the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service in restoring critical wetland habitat. To date, Missouri has recorded 982 easements through the Wetland Reserve Program that covers 141,358 acres. These restored wetlands provide critical habitat and store water during floods—alleviating pressure downstream on levies, communities and crops.

Places to Go

Land acquisition
Approximately 804 acres of land in six counties were acquired by purchase and donation. Acquisitions included an addition to the recently designated Spring Creek Ranch Natural Area; land lying in close proximity to Hickory Canyons and Pickle Springs natural areas containing glade and woodland habitats; and land providing habitat for prairie-chickens and grassland wildlife.

Land management
MDC has maintained a high level of active management in the past few years on MDC lands—especially for quail and grassland birds. During FY10, MDC staff conducted habitat management activities on more than 200,000 acres of public land with an additional 95 miles of edge habitat. Staff spent more than 423,000 hours department-wide on conservation area and equipment maintenance.

Forest Best Management Practices
Implemented and maintained soil and water conservation Best Management Practices (BMPs) for all forest-management practices on conservation areas. MDC monitors and documents BMP compliance on all MDC timber sales. In addition, approximately 10 percent of these sales are audited each year. In FY10 we reviewed 67 sites on 6,623 acres for proper BMP implementation and effectiveness.

Accounting for Department Operations

Listened to Missourians
We conduct a variety of scientifically sound, unbiased and representative efforts each year in an effort to understand public opinions, expectations and recreation participation. This information guides decisions about regulations and fish, forest and wildlife management. In FY10 there were 26 activities that involved 66,752 people. These included surveys, focus groups, public meetings and ombudsman contacts.

Forestry technical-training academy
The MDC forestry-training academy provides a consistent standard of training to new forestry employees. During FY10, four academy training courses were offered, with 122 students in attendance.

Internal audits
Internal auditors issued five internal audits to ensure that public funds were expended in a responsible manner. There were no major findings.

What the Money Bought—Fiscal Year 2010

County Assistance Payments—$1,476,299 Included payments to Missouri’s counties for levee and drainage district taxes, forest cropland payments, payments in lieu of real estate taxes and county aid road trust payments. Since 1980, more than $14.48 million has been paid to Missouri counties in lieu of real estate taxes.

Capital Improvements—$18,865,390 Work included fish hatchery improvements, river access development, wetland renovations, shooting range construction, nature center improvements, land acquisition transactions and renovation and repair of facilities statewide.

Fisheries—$12,712,809 Maintained and improved sport fish populations, aquatic biodiversity and aquatic habitats. Managed 933 impoundments and stream areas for public fishing, and provided stream and lake management assistance to 7,204 private landowners. Stocked approximately 9.7 million fish in public lakes and streams.

Forestry—$16,158,171 Fostered a healthy and growing forest resource. Examples include distributing about 3.8 million seedlings for planting to 9,700 landowners, provided forestry assistance on more than 61,000 acres of private land and to more than 200 municipalities, managing 438,700 acres of public forestland, monitoring insect and disease threats and facilitating development of the state’s forest industry.

Wildlife—$16,953,315 Worked toward ensuring wildlife populations are in harmony with habitat and human enjoyment. Managed more than 525,000 acres of public land and implemented programs to maintain and restore natural communities and wildlife diversity across Missouri’s landscape.

Outreach and Education—$14,796,239 Sustained Missourians’ connection to the outdoors through more than 1 million visitors to conservation nature centers and shooting-range/outdoor-education centers, nearly 500,000 subscribers to the Missouri Conservationist magazine, Web-based information, grants to schools exceeding $200,000, conservation curriculums for schools, outdoor skills programs and hunter education.

Private Land Services—$6,658,121 Helped private landowners to achieve long-term natural resource conservation objectives. Provided service through 31,400 rural and urban landowner contacts; affected 280,155 acres through technical assistance to landowners; provided habitat management workshops to 40,486 attendees; assisted USDA with enrolling 90,000 acres of cropfield reflooding in the Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative; and assisted 5,607 private landowners in controlling nuisance wildlife.

Protection—$14,845,064 Paid for law enforcement in every county as well as resource management, information, education and public service contact activities conducted by conservation agents who directly contacted more than 660,000 people. Coordinated the Share the Harvest Program through which 4,450 deer hunters donated 205,153 pounds of venison to less-fortunate Missourians. Conservation agents, along with 1,800 volunteer instructors, conducted 945 hunter education classes, certifying nearly 30,000 students.

Resource Science—$11,455,046 Provided the science-based information needed to effectively manage Missouri’s natural resources. Resource Science monitors the status of Missouri’s fish, forests, plants and wildlife, recommends conservation actions, evaluates these actions and reports the results. In addition to surveys of fish and wildlife, tens of thousands of Missourians were contacted to determine their outdoor activities and opinions about conservation programs.

Regional Public Contact Offices—$2,911,354 Provided regional public contact offices.

Administrative Services and Human Resources—$26,582,346 Paid for human resources, hunting and fishing permit point-of-sale system, fiscal services, distribution center, print shop, fleet management, vehicle and equipment maintenance centers and information management and technology. Also includes other agency appropriations, Department-wide equipment and other essential services.

Design and Development—$11,757,655 Provided engineering, architectural, surveying and construction services for conservation programs and maintenance of conservation areas and facilities.

Administration—$4,157,143 Paid for audits, legal counsel and the coordination of strategic planning, federal reimbursement administration, environmental policy development, cultural resource reviews, public involvement and river basin management.

Receipts

Conservation Sales Tax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $93,854,189
Permit Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $32,517,080
Federal Reimbursements . . . . . . . . . . . . . $21,475,595
Sales and Rentals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $7,047,300
Other Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2,402,727
Interest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $512,827
Total Receipts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $157,809,718

Disbursements

County Assistance Payments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.92%
Capital Improvements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.84%
Fisheries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.98%
Forestry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.14%
Wildlife . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.64%
Outreach and Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.29%
Private Land Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.18%
Protection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9.32%
Resource Science . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.19%
Regional Public Contact Offices . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.83%
Administrative Services & Human Resources 16.68%
Design and Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7.38%
Administration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.61%

Missouri State Budget

Health & Social Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38.5%
Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27.2%
Government Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20.6%
Transportation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.4%
Natural & Economic Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.7%
Conservation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.6%
MDC represents less than 1% of the total state budget
Total State Budget . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $24,880,542,354

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