People have strong feelings about winter — you either love it or you survive it. But by the time February rolls around with its endless weeks of gray, cold weather, we’re all desperate for longer daylight hours and more outdoor time. While some may wish away winter in the hopes of spring, there is something renewing about the work that happens in winter. As American travel writer Paul Theroux wrote, “Winter is a season of recovery and preparation.”
Winter is a season of great partnerships. In this issue of the Missouri Conservationist, you’ll see the incredible partnerships between Missouri landowners and natural resource managers as they work together to protect Missouri streams and rivers. They’re also improving the health of woodlands and grasslands on 63,000 acres of private and public lands. This is just one part of a bigger success story in the Conserving Missouri’s Rivers and Streams article.
Year-round preparation and hard work goes into the regulations process for the Wildlife Code of Missouri, created to keep Missouri’s wildlife and habitat healthy. The Department’s Regulations Committee is responsible for rules in the Code. The Regulations Committee, a diverse team of resource management staff from Fisheries, Forestry, Wildlife, Protection, Resource Science, and Private Land Services divisions, is a strong conduit for citizens to ensure their voices are heard throughout the entire process. Regulations Committee meetings are open to the public, and members of the public can request time to address the committee directly. If you’ve ever wondered how regulations are made, be sure to check out the Regulations Update (Page 24) for more insight.
Last, but certainly not least, one of my favorite seasonal highlights is also right around the corner with the trout opener on March 1 at Missouri’s four trout parks. With a horn or shot in the air, it kicks off with a bang, signaling to all anglers wading patiently in the water that a new season has started. All their prep work during the winter, including fly tying and casting practice, is about to pay off. You can just feel the excitement in the cold morning air.
Thank you for being such a strong partner to the Department in every season. Your caring, contribution, and concern for conserving the fish, forest, and wildlife resources are what matters most. I look forward to hearing from you — maybe even stream side at a trout opener! Get your gear and tackle ready. Spring is coming before you know it!
—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