The Promise Continues
individual, community, county, state and federal levels to enhance natural resources and effective delivery of conservation services.
“Our state’s conservation success depends on continued citizen support,” Ziehmer says. “The Department must cultivate citizen interest, support and trust.”
The Future of Conservation is You
The future of Missouri’s outdoors begins with a question: What do you want the future to look like?
“The future will be what Missourians want it to be— what citizens, landowners and the Department invest in now creates that future,” says Conservation Commission Chair Don Bedell. “All you have to do is look back and see the great conservation successes we have created together. Citizen input and participation has and will continue to play an important role in advancing our conservation legacy.”
The most significant thing we can do to ensure a bright future for conservation is to provide all Missourians with the opportunity to learn about and understand our natural world. Only then will the next generation be prepared to face tomorrow’s conservation challenges. Experience tells us that this effort starts with individuals, spreads to communities, and eventually influences society’s decision-making.
“Mentoring is one of the most effective ways to pass on an interest in the outdoors,” says Ziehmer. “The Department will continue to emphasize the importance of mentoring through a variety of programs. The Department has also developed educational units so that students can better understand the connections between conserving Missouri’s forests, fish and wildlife and the quality of their own lives.”
Recruitment, retention and education of hunters and anglers, as well as other outdoors enthusiasts, are critical for future wildlife management. “We are fortunate in Missouri to have one of the highest hunter and angler recruitment rates in the nation. That is a result of the actions of our citizens and conservation leaders,” says MDC Deputy Director Tim Ripperger. “Citizens and the Department have created a state like no other that encourages family participation in outdoor sports and time-honored traditions through dedicated funding, ease to begin hunting at any age, low-priced permits and continual habitat work.”
You can help connect other Missourians to the outdoors. Explore volunteer conservation, education and mentoring opportunities at mdc.mo.gov/node/4668, and visit:
- Stream Teams: mostreamteam.org
- Forestkeepers: forestkeepers.org
- Hunter Education: mdc.mo.gov/node/3722
- Nature and Interpretive Centers: mdc.mo.gov/node/4439
- Discover Nature Schools: mdc.mo.gov/node/9019
The challenges to continuing Missouri’s conservation legacy