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Firewise Communities

I applaud the efforts of the Missouri Department of Conservation and the support they provide to the fire departments of Missouri.

They provide valuable training, equipment and grant money. The fire departments in Missouri have been overwhelmed, yet again this summer, due to an extreme drought. This summer’s wildland fires have taken their toll on equipment, personnel and budgets. Although fire departments do an exceptional job at dealing with these fires, there are only so many trucks and/or personnel that are available to respond to calls. As a homeowner and firefighter, I can’t always rely on someone to respond to a wildland fire that may be threatening my home.

The first line of defense to protect your own property lies with the homeowner. There are programs, such as Firewise Communities/USA, that offer homeowners a variety of ways to protect their homes from wildfire. The Firewise Communities/USA program recognizes small communities for efforts they have taken to create a more defensible area in their community. For more information, go to firewise.org or contact the Department of Conservation.

Todd Chlanda, central region Firewise advisor National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

Editors’ Note: The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Firewise Communities program encourages local solutions for wildfire safety by involving homeowners, community leaders, planners, developers, firefighters, and others in the effort to protect people and property from wildfire risks. The program is cosponsored by the USDA Forest Service, the US Department of the Interior, and the National Association of State Foresters.

Welcome Hunters

I just returned from a Missouri dove hunt this morning. Left at 3:30 a.m. and got home at noon. A friend came down from Des Moines, and we drove down to Rose Pond this morning and had a great hunt. He was working in Kansas City this week and bought a license at Cabela’s, but they didn’t sell him a migratory bird license so we purchased that and my licenses online from my home last night. Wow, what a great convenience.

We hunted about an hour this a.m. to get our limit. One of your officers did a permit, gun and bird check at our vehicle. He was training a new officer fresh out of the academy. They were very professional and friendly. They visited with us for awhile and then went on with their business. They did a great job. We thought we had a limit of 12, only to find out that it’s actually 15, but a wonderful time was had by both of us. Lots of shooting mixed in with some hits and, of course, ribbing about the misses.

We stopped at Wayland and had breakfast on our way home. So we helped with some economic development while visiting for hunting. One of the benefits for business in your state from the work that you do.

I am continually impressed with the access and facilities that you provide for all people in Missouri. Keep up the great work.

Brian Rose, Ottumwa, Iowa

MO Fun Facts for All

I recently began to utilize some of the resources provided by the Department of Conservation, including the Conservationist and Xplor. I learned from an old issue that the alien-looking formation in a local lake was a bryozoan, that bears don’t only sleep in caves, and recognized the importance of reading bears’ and mountain lions’ behavior. I am continually passing along your information to people I know.

My children and I look forward every month to the publications’ arrival. I learn just as much from their magazine as my own, and I am proud that my children have the opportunity to learn so much interesting and valuable information. Your materials are high quality and underappreciated, and I thank you for your high standards.

Jennifer Campbell, Moberly

Reader Photo Red-Tailed Hawk

Edward Vagen of St. Louis County captured this photo of a red-tailed hawk. In this photo, Vagen combined two of his great loves: nature photography and golf. He took the photo at a golf course he works at part time since retiring. “I am always interested in photographing nature,” said Vagen. “I hike frequently in the parks around St. Louis, and I especially like taking photos of birds and deer. Second only to our American eagle, I think the hawk is a very impressive bird.”

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http://mdc.mo.gov/node/19435