SPRINGFIELD, Mo – Missouri Governor Jeremiah “Jay” Nixon recently honored the Missouri Conservation Commission and Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) for 75 years of serving nature and Missourians. The Governor presented a proclamation honoring MDC for its 75th anniversary to Conservation Commissioners Don Bedell of Sikeston, James T. Blair, IV, of St. Louis, Don Johnson of Festus and Becky Plattner of Grand Pass, along with MDC Director Robert Ziehmer, at the Commission’s Oct. 18 meeting in Springfield.
“Missouri is a national leader in conservation because of the work of the Department and support and dedication of citizens. Conservation efforts over the past 75 years have created healthy forests, abundant fish and wildlife, and productive waters,” said Governor Nixon. “Conservation also benefits Missourians’ quality of life. Millions of people in Missouri enjoy hunting, fishing, trapping, wildlife watching and other outdoor activities. These activities, along with forest industries, support about 95,000 Missouri jobs and generate more than $11.4 billion annually to state and local economies.”
“On behalf of the Commission and Department of Conservation, we are deeply honored by this recognition,” said Commission Chairman Bedell. “Over the past 75 years, Department of Conservation staff have worked with countless other Missourians to make the Show-Me State a great place to hunt and fish, to transform our once-decimated forests into a sustainable industry, to help private landowners create and sustain wildlife habitat, to bring conservation to major urban areas, to develop public lands and facilities around the state, to encourage participation in the outdoors by all Missourians, and to partner the entire way with citizens, conservation-related organizations and communities.”
In September 1935, Missouri sportsmen formed the Restoration and Conservation Federation of Missouri to protect, conserve and sustain Missouri’s fish, forest and wildlife resources. These resources were nearly gone by the 1860s from unchecked hunting, fishing, logging and burning of land. The group drafted an amendment to the Missouri Constitution aimed at creating an apolitical conservation agency. On Nov. 3, 1936, voters approved Amendment 4 to the Missouri Constitution, creating the Conservation Commission and Missouri Department of Conservation.