Missouri’s fish and wildlife. When a person purchases a hunting or fishing license, they are investing those dollars in conservation for the benefit of all Missourians and future generations.
And in the end, every Missourian is a partner in conservation thanks to the conservation sales tax, which allocates 1 penny to conservation efforts for every $8 of taxable items purchased. This dedicated sales tax provides consistent funding for the long-term efforts required for the conservation of fish, forests and wildlife.
Organizations Partner for Conservation Success
Some of MDC’s partners work on continental-scale conservation, like Ducks Unlimited, the U .S. North American Bird Conservation Initiative and Partners in Flight. Other partners, such as Joint Ventures and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, take a more regional approach. Some MDC partners work on specific groups of species or specific habitats, such as Audubon Society, Quail Forever, Trout Unlimited, the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and The Nature Conservancy, to name but a few. Still other partners focus specifically on conserving habitat for Missouri fish and wildlife, such as the Missouri Prairie Foundation, Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative, Missouri Stream Teams, Master Naturalists and many more. All of these diverse organizations, plus many others, work together with Missourians in a meaningful way to encourage conservation where it is needed most.
“Partnerships between government and citizen conservation groups make it possible to achieve things beyond our separate means. It is a model that has proven successful time and time again and is responsible for Missouri’s— and America’s—greatest conservation success stories,” says MDC Director Robert L. Ziehmer.
Agencies Partner for Conservation Success
MDC also partners with state and federal agencies. Missouri state agency partners include the Department of Agriculture, Department of Transportation, Department of Natural Resources, the Highway Patrol and others. Federal partners include the U .S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U .S. Forest Service, the U .S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Park Service.
Through the Farm Bill, the U .S. Department of Agriculture administers the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) and Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to help Missouri’s landowners protect, restore and enhance wildlife habitat. Missouri is one of the top ten states in the nation in acres of habitat conserved in both programs.
Another important federal partnership is with the U .S. Fish and Wildlife Service. MDC receives funds from the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration programs, which are also celebrating 75 years of success. Federal excise taxes paid by sportsmen and fishermen in the state on firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, fishing tackle, motorboat fuel, electric outboard motors and sonar equipment are returned to MDC to restore, conserve, manage and enhance fish and wildlife, develop motorboat accesses and shooting ranges, and to help fund angler, hunter and aquatic resource education.
Celebrating partners all year
Many important conservation partnerships will be highlighted in the Conservationist during MDC’s yearlong celebration its 75th anniversary. The December Conservationist highlighted the lasting contributions of Ducks Unlimited to continental-scale waterfowl conservation success. This article highlights the important role of Missouri’s largest membership-driven conservation group—the Conservation Federation of Missouri, as well as the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation, which funds conservation work throughout the state.
Future issues will feature important partnerships such as:
- February: Missouri’s Rural Fire Departments, Missouri Forestkeepers Network, Forest Releaf of Missouri, Missouri Community Forestry Council and the National Arbor Day Foundation
- March: Trout Unlimited
- April: National Wild Turkey Federation and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
- May: The Nature Conservancy and the Missouri Prairie Foundation
- June: Stream Teams and the Department of Natural Resources
- July: U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service and the LAD Foundation
- August: Nature center volunteers and hunter education instructors
- September: University of Missouri–Columbia and Missouri State University