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The Promise Continues

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Published on: Sep. 17, 2012

and cost-share programs available to private landowners, are ways for the Department to continue evolving the science of conservation in realtime, as new methods and approaches to forest, fish and wildlife management are refined.

“Future conservation success will only be as good as the information we use to make our management decisions,” says Dennis Figg, MDC wildlife programs supervisor. “Good conservation is a result of both science-based information and citizen participation. As the human population grows, the Missouri landscape continues to change and the challenge of sustaining fish and wildlife is increasingly difficult. Science-based conservation continues to benefit the state’s forest, fish and wildlife resources through the continued involvement of the public, landowners and our partners.”

A Changing Missouri

When the Department began in 1937, the state’s population was mostly rural. Now, the majority of Missourians live in cities and suburbs. As many of today’s Missourians become more removed from the seasonal harvesting of food and fuel from the outdoors, conservation can take on a different meaning for them. This demographic shift presents a tremendous opportunity for Missourians to improve their local forest, fish and wildlife resources at the community level. MDC provides information, technical support, funding and recognition programs to help Missouri’s communities learn about and conserve wildlife habitat, and enjoy the benefits of “green infrastructure.” For more information on community conservation opportunities, visit mdc.mo.gov/node/3118. To keep Missourians connected to the outdoors, the Department provides close-to-home outdoor experiences at nature centers, conservation areas, shooting ranges, and through outdoor skill programs. For more information on MDC facilities and Discover Nature programs, visit mdc.mo.gov/node/3116.

The changing face of Missouri’s rural landowners also marks a turning point for Missouri’s forests, fish and wildlife. “Many of Missouri’s landowners will be transferring management or ownership of their property to a younger generation in the next decade,” says MDC Deputy Director Tom Draper. “A strong conservation ethic in this younger generation of landowners is the key for conservation to continue to work in Missouri.”

Because more than 90 percent of Missouri is privately owned, ultimately the success of conservation depends on the strong partnership between citizens, landowners and the Department. The Department partners with numerous state and federal agencies and conservation groups to provide technical and financial assistance to landowners interested in improving habitat on their farms. Each year the Department provides timely and responsive service to more than 70,000 urban and rural landowners, including

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