Letters

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Safety First

I just want to expand upon your article Tips for a Safe and Ethical Deer Season [November]. You properly state “If you hunt on private land, be sure to obtain permission from the landowner and respect his or her property as if it were your own.” However, some may construe that to mean they can hunt any public or state property. That is not true. I work at a state facility that is surrounded by multiple acres of woods. We occasionally encounter a hunter. Not only is hunting forbidden here, but merely trespassing or having a weapon will get you in legal trouble.

Joanne M Schrader, Youth Specialist II Fulton Treatment Center, Fulton

A Lone No More

My husband and I frequently go to Lone Elk Park to enjoy the elk there. So this summer, when I rode my motorcycle to Harrison, AR, I made sure one of my early morning rides went by Buffalo National River Park. How thrilling, as the early morning fog lifted, to spy the elk herd grazing.

From reading my Conservationist magazine, I now learn that within the year, my amazing Conservation Department is bringing 150 elk to my state! Missouri’s History With the Elk; [December]. Thank you, MDC.

Linda Warren, Florissant

Blue Star Natives

I want to thank you for acknowledging veterans and the folks who memorialize them with Blue Star memorials Shepherd of the Hills; [November]. The memorials attract people from all walks of life who may not realize what the memorials are about. Thanks for bringing that to your reader’s attention.

You mentioned in the article that the memorial was “surrounded by…native stone and native wildflowers.” The last time I checked, marigolds and portulaca were not considered “native wildflowers” by your standards. I appreciate the Department’s support of landowners planting natives, but please be vigilant in your editing and educational efforts.

Hopefully the plan for the Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery memorial is to include native wildflowers next year.

Ted C. Fry, via Internet

Manager’s note: Currently, there is indeed a combination of native and non-native species around the memorial. While the long-term goal of the memorial landscaping is to have a completely native landscape, I and the SOTH Garden Club made a conscious effort to temporarily use some nonnative plants for two main reasons:

1) Some of the native plants, which were originally planted in the landscaping, died or were accidently removed by visitors. This left several unsightly ‘bald’ spaces that took away from the look and honor of this memorial. Having already expended budgeted funds for native plants for this project, the SOTH Garden Club stepped up and donated the non-native plants to fill the spaces until native plants could be obtained in the next budget cycle.

2) Plants around the margins of the memorial were intentionally planted with non-natives like marigolds to take the brunt of accidental walking and small children (who did not know better than to pick our flowers). The ultimate goal is indeed to have 100 percent Missouri/Ozark native plants for the landscaping of this memorial. However, this may take a couple of years to attain. I hope that you get the opportunity to see our memorial in person in the next few years to see the transition to the native landscape. Until then, we want to keep our promise to honor veterans by making this memorial as beautiful as possible using both native and non-native species.

John Miller, visitor center manager

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