I am honored and humbled to have been asked by the Conservation Commission to serve as the Department of Conservation’s interim director.
As the Commission works through the process of hiring a new director, my goal is to make this time of transition as seamless and as productive as possible.
I have great confidence in Department staff’s abilities to help me achieve this goal. As this month’s feature lineup indicates, staff is hard at work every day and in every community. Kristie Hilgedick’s feature, To Protect and Conserve, shows the commitment our conservation agents bring to serving local needs and protecting Missouri’s fish, forests, and wildlife.
In addition to staff, we have an army of volunteers to help Missourians discover nature and conserve it, too. Larry Archer’s story, Fashionably Late, shows how hunter education volunteers and Department outdoor skills specialists help citizens take up hunting at any age and stage of life.
A diverse array of partners also helps us work smarter, especially to eliminate threats to wildlife and habitat. A Sounder Approach to Feral Hog Control by Matt Hill and Mark McLain features innovations and techniques that improve multilateral efforts to eradicate destructive feral hogs from our state.
With the help of excellent staff, dedicated volunteers, and committed partners, I know that important conservation work will be a daily occurrence at the forks in the road all across our great state.
With these collective efforts, I have no doubt Missourians will continue to have great trust in their Department of Conservation.
—Tom Draper, interim director
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Art Director - Cliff White
Associate Editor - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Les Fortenberry
Designer - Marci Porter
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Circulation - Laura Scheuler