Note To Our Readers
Listening Is Critical To Success
Whether it’s the “peent” of a spring woodcock, the gobble of a wild turkey, the drumming of a ruffed grouse or the call of a bobwhite quail, listening is a blessing and an important sense in the outdoor world. Listening to our state’s citizens is a critical component of successfully managing Missouri’s and the nation’s natural resources.
This spring we will be conducting 15 waterfowl workshops across Missouri. In these workshops we will present waterfowl season options within the federal framework and listen to waterfowl enthusiasts who are excited about fall migrations. Public meetings will be held on invasive species to inform and listen concerning this difficult and important issue. Monthly Regulations Committee meetings are open to the public and offer a regular opportunity for input into the rule-making process.
Thousands of public meetings and events will be held by Department staff throughout the state this year to promote conservation. Some will be small gatherings, such as garden or civic club meetings, while others will be large events such as Eagle Days and Great Outdoor Days. We will be sharing the latest conservation information and education at these meetings. More importantly, we will be listening intently to each of you as you pass on your ideas to improve Missouri’s conservation system.
On March 1 the Department implemented an online e-Permits system that lets you buy and immediately print permits from any computer. Missourians were asking for this technology, and we listened. As with any new system there will be challenges such as printing permits on nondurable paper. Help us solve this challenge as we look for economical opportunities to help hunters with deer and turkey tagging procedures.
We will continue to actively engage Missouri citizens in conservation decisions and provide the best on-the-ground conservation program in the nation. If the Department doesn’t always take your suggestion or idea, please don’t assume we are not listening. Managing natural resources and promoting citizen participation is a complex business. Our goal is to listen intently and carefully, and to consider both human dimensions components and the best scientific management practices to conserve natural resources.
As we have listened to you, we’ve developed some mutual goals:
- To increase citizen involvement on conservation areas, nature centers and shooting ranges
- To increase youth participation in the outdoors
- To increase and enhance access to conservation areas
- To increase our responsiveness to Missourians.
Recent surveys indicate we are doing well together. Gallup polls show nine out of 10 Missourians are interested in fish, forests and wildlife. Eighty-five percent of adult Missourians say the Department of Conservation is a name they can trust. We can and should build upon this successful relationship to improve and conserve Missouri’s resources and outdoor heritage for future generations.
Missourians share a passion and commitment for the outdoors. It’s a lifestyle choice to live in a state with world-class outdoor adventures. Engage the Department, help us, guide us and challenge us to new conservation heights and frontiers. After all, we work for you—the Missouri citizen—to manage and protect Missouri’s outdoor bounty. The future is in our hands together. In order to be successful, we must LISTEN to each other and be a cohesive team for Missouri’s natural resources.
Tim Ripperger, deputy director