Note To Our Readers
Missourians have led the state’s conservation effort for generations and they continue to be conservation leaders today. This month, the Conservationist highlights Chelsey Kroese, a high school student who interned on a black bear project. Chelsey helped measure bear dens, in addition to many other research duties, and she co-authored the article on Page 22. University of Missouri graduate student Alicia Burke is featured in the “I Am Conservation” segment (back cover). Alicia’s work with neotropical birds is helping the Department learn about the unique interconnectivity of forest ecosystems.
Alicia represents Missouri at its best as she served eight years in the United States Navy and one of her life goals is to be a wildlife biologist on a military base.
Help us celebrate the Department’s 75th anniversary by participating in the photo contest (Page 8). Entries in seven different categories will be accepted through May 15. Missourians will select the “Best of Show” photograph from the seven winners. All the winners will be highlighted in the October issue of the magazine. The Department regularly receives outstanding photographs from Missourians and their outdoor adventures, so dust off those cameras and send us your best shots!
Enjoy this issue’s 75th anniversary article: Healthy Forests for Generations (Page 10). The article walks us through the abundance to ashes period of Missouri’s forest history and then back to abundance today, which is due to citizen involvement.
From the late 1800s and early 1900s, which produced millions of railroad ties, to the Showboat era of informing and educating people, to the firefighting era, to today’s sustainable forest products industry, Missouri forests are a resilient, renewable resource.
Today’s Missouri forests support 41,200 jobs and contribute $7.3 billion to Missouri’s economy.
Healthy forests for future generations are vital to Missouri’s economy and quality of life. They are sustainable resources that can be managed in perpetuity.
Healthy forests provide:
- Clean water.
- Clean air.
- Livable communities.
- Wood products & jobs.
- Habitat for wildlife.
Healthy forests need to be renewed. Careful harvesting of mature and overcrowded trees renews the forest, creating the next generation of woods. Managing public and private forests through science helps conserve woodlands for future generations, create jobs and enhances Missouri’s economy.
Foresters and citizens have worked side by side to improve Missouri’s forests on both private and public land. The Department is better equipped today to manage Missouri’s forests with improved scientific knowledge. Our staff is building on the hard work and enthusiasm of past foresters to ensure Missouri continues to enjoy healthy and sustainable forests.
Missouri’s conservation future is bright with students like Chelsey Kroese and Alicia Burke helping us learn more about our state’s natural resources. Missouri citizens have worked together to create a conservation legacy admired and copied around the world. As Missouri citizens work toward conservation goals, our collective natural resource future rests on making informed, science-based conservation decisions that enhance our quality of life, economy and state.
Tim D. Ripperger, deputy director