the individual, family, community and state levels. The combined numbers generated by hunting and fishing, wildlife watching and forest industries show the importance of conservation in our state. It supports approximately 95,000 Missouri jobs, involves many Missourians through active participation and generates positive business revenue for the state of more than $11.4 billion annually.
Looking back, America’s brush with an unwise management approach of natural resources certainly kindled a passion for wildlife stewardship. Conservationist Aldo Leopold noted that this zeal seemed to burn intensely in Missouri. Speaking at a gathering in 1947, he said: “Conservation, at bottom, rests on the conviction that there are things in this world more important than dollar signs and ciphers. Many of these other things attach to the land, and to the life that is on it and in it. People who know these other things have been growing scarcer, but less so in Missouri than elsewhere. That is why conservation is possible here. If conservation can become a living reality, it can do so in Missouri. This is because Missourians, in my opinion, are not completely industrialized in mind and spirit, and I hope never will be.”
If you agree with Aldo Leopold and are not yet “thoroughly industrialized,” find a way to get involved locally in conservation. You will be joining a long line of Missourians who have made the Show-Me State a beacon of conservation achievement for the rest of the world. Visit mdc.mo.gov to learn about conservation opportunities throughout the state.
As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the formation of the Conservation Department, such a milestone offers an opportunity to reflect upon past challenges and chart a course for future opportunities. Through the years, the men and women who have contributed to the conservation movement have changed. But the Department’s mission is still the same—to manage and protect the forests, fish and wildlife of the state. It’s a mission that provides Missourians the opportunity to enjoy our natural resources today while leaving those resources in better shape for future generations.
The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation
The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation is an important set of conservation principles, policies and philosophy that has led to the protection, conservation and restoration of wildlife populations in North America. The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation is built on a foundation of principles, called the Seven Pillars:
- Wildlife as a public trust resource - Wildlife belongs