The start of a new year offers the opportunity to reflect back on the successes and challenges of the previous year and to set goals — or resolutions — for the year ahead.
In this issue of Missouri Conservationist, we take a look back at last year in Fiscal Year 2016 Annual Review (Page 9). It highlights the issues and activities that made the past year the challenging and successful year it was, including wildlife issues, such as chronic wasting disease and feral hogs; outreach programs, including Discover Nature — Fishing, Missourians For Monarchs and the Great Missouri Birding Trail; cutting edge research and restoration efforts, including projects benefitting creatures ranging from the American burying beetle to elk; and much more.
Looking forward, the Department continues to charge ahead with its mission of protecting Missouri’s fish, forests, and wildlife, and to continue providing the opportunity for Missourians to use, enjoy, and learn about these resources. I hope in pursuit of our resolutions, we can help you with yours as well.
If your resolution involves getting more active, consider taking advantage of the trails at your nearby conservation area or nature center. Did you know most Missourians are within a 30-minute drive of a conservation area? So most of us are without excuse! An hour on one of our trails will provide good exercise, fresh air, the beauty of nature, and a level of mental relaxation not found on a treadmill.
For many, spending time with family and friends is another important goal. The Department offers a variety of outdoors skills courses and events throughout the state (find one near you online at short.mdc.mo.gov/ZJC). All of our facilities and classes are free so you can enjoy that time with family while addressing another common resolution — spending less money.
It’s an exciting new year. I hope you will take advantage of all the Missouri outdoors has to offer. Hope to see you out there — on the trail.
—Sara Parker Pauley, 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