“I remember spending every summer as a kid with my grandparents on the Current River catching grasshoppers and whatever else we could get our hands on, and fishing for goggle-eye or whatever we could catch,” recalls the Missouri Conservation Commission’s newly appointed commissioner Don Bedell. “I’ve always had a love for the outdoors. I’ve duck hunted all of my life, since I was big enough to carry a shotgun. And now I’ll be able to help the people of Missouri make sure the outdoors we love will be here for our kids and grandkids and their grandkids.”
Gov. Jay Nixon announced the appointment of the 68-year-old Sikeston businessman and longtime conservationist on July 30 for a term that expires July 1, 2015. Bedell will fill the role of Commissioner Lowell Mohler whose term expired July 1.
Bedell brings a depth and breadth of experience to the Commission. In addition to being an accomplished businessman who has founded more than 100 companies and has sat on numerous boards of directors, he is an avid conservationist and enthusiastic sportsman. He is a Life Sponsor of Ducks Unlimited, a Life Member of Quail Unlimited, Inc., a Sustaining Member of the Conservation Federation of Missouri, a Diamond Sponsor of the National Wild Turkey Federation and a Life Member of Safari Club International.
“From overwhelmingly supporting the constitutional amendment that created the agency back in 1936 to passing the sales-tax funding in 1976, it speaks well of the people of Missouri that they are leaders in the efforts to provide the funding and resources necessary for the Department to do the work it needs to do.” He adds, “Through my experiences of being on boards and working with a great variety of people, I believe I can reach out to people for their ideas, take an in-depth look into things and provide a different perspective.”
Bedell served at his first Commission meeting on Aug. 13 and 14 at the Department headquarters in Jefferson City. Bedell’s appointment to the Conservation Commission is subject to confirmation by the Missouri Senate.
Current commissioners are William “Chip” McGeehan of Marshfield, Don Johnson of St. Louis and Becky Plattner of Grand Pass.
Missouri voters established the Conservation Commission with Constitutional Amendment 4 through the initiative petition process in 1936. Under that amendment, the governor appoints commissioners to six-year terms. No more than two commissioners may be from the same political party. The commission carries out duties associated with the control, management, restoration, conservation and regulation of the bird, fish, game, forestry and all wildlife resources of the state.
In April, Missourians picked up 111,134 bags of trash—plus numerous truckloads of items too large to fit into bags— as part of the annual No MOre Trash! Bash. It was an amazing citizen effort. However, litter is a year-round problem and the success of No MOre Trash! depends most on citizens’ everyday choices and volunteer clean-up groups.
The No MOre Trash! campaign is a litter-prevention partnership of the Missouri departments of Conservation and Transportation and thousands of volunteers. Litter poses health risks, harms water quality and wildlife habitat, is associated with increased crime, creates an ugly and disheartening environment, and costs lots of money and time to clean up.
The Missouri Department of Transportation spends $5.8 million annually to clean litter from Missouri highways, money that would be better spent improving Missouri roads. Adopt-A-Highway volunteers provide another $1 million worth of litter pickup, and Missouri Stream Teams pick up tons of trash from rivers and streams every year. Litter is a serious problem in Missouri, and we need your help to keep our state clean and our habitats healthy.
You can pitch in by setting a good example for others by not littering and by discouraging others from littering. You can also conduct a cleanup or educational program to educate your community about the damage caused by littering, or become an Adopt-A-Highway or Stream Team volunteer. To learn more about the No MOre Trash! program and how you can help, visit online or call, toll free, (888) ASK-MODOT (275-6636).
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