Note To Our Readers

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Conservation = Summer Fun

As I write this editorial, summer is upon us. The cycle of the four seasons, and the notable vast diversity each season brings, makes Missouri a great place to live. This fact combined with our high quality and abundant natural resources including productive water, healthy forests, abundant fish and wildlife, and rich soils provides almost unlimited opportunities for outdoor activities.

The Conservation Department works to fulfill Missourians’ expectations for a wide array of forest, fish and wildlife-related services. Some examples include:

  • Farm and forest services available for private landowners.
  • Fishing and hunting seasons among the most popular and successful in the nation.
  • About 800,000 acres of conservation land and water available for public use.
  • Conservation education available for all ages and abilities.
  • Statewide network of nature centers serving urban and rural citizens.

As summer sets in, I challenge all Missourians to spend time afield with family and friends. From grass-covered prairies to streams and ponds, to rugged forest land to big rivers and lakes, wherever you live, Missouri offers adventures both close to home and in remote corners.

The Department’s Community Assistance Program (CAP) was initiated in 1980 to provide close-to-home fishing and outdoor opportunities in communities across the state. Through this program, the Department enters into agreements with cities and counties. Under these cooperative agreements, the Department provides fisheries management (including appropriate stocking, habitat improvement and special regulations) on lakes and ponds, enforcement of wildlife and area use regulations, and assists with development of facilities for area users. The partners, in return, assist with facilities development, allow free public use of the area, and provide routine maintenance. There are currently 115 CAP locations providing citizens of all ages close-to-home outdoor opportunities in a cost effective way.

For citizens seeking options involving more remote locations, consideration should be given to Missouri’s designated natural areas. These sites are known for their outstanding biological and geological features—offering diverse habitat types showcasing native plants and animals. Providing an array of recreational opportunities including hiking, birding, nature study and photography, as well as hunting and fishing, natural areas are worth visiting. The Department has a publication entitled Discover Missouri Natural Areas — A guide to 50 great places that identifies and highlights some of the best natural areas within specific regions of our state.

To find fishing and outdoor opportunities throughout the state, visit our online atlas at mdc.mo.gov/node/8911. To find Community Assistance Program locations near you contact a regional conservation office (phone numbers available on Page 3). Wishing you a summer filled with enjoyable outdoor memories.

Robert L. Ziehmer, director

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