It’s typically at year’s end that I find myself taking stock, as the saying goes. This time, it began at Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday because extended family gathers from miles and states away. We laugh, eat too much, retell family stories, and celebrate family with all its imperfections. This particular one was bittersweet because just a few months prior, we lost my cousin, Paul, whose humor I adored and courage I admired. After decades of fighting COPD, he’d lost the battle, but had left a legacy worthy of a well-lived life — his beautiful wife and three daughters and their families. One daughter brought a framed picture of her father’s favorite sayings. The print read: Follow Your Dreams; Keep Asking Big Questions; Make Every Day Count; and Always Make Good Choices.
His maxims made me reflect on this past year at the department and how we had been asking and answering big questions about the future of conservation in Missouri, including whether our organization was as prepared as it could be to accomplish its mission. To ensure we were making every day and dollar count, we reassessed priorities and realigned the organization to better deliver on those priorities. This rigorous self-review and subsequent readjustments have not been easy. Change never is. There is still much work ahead this coming year to fully implement our new roadmap, but we’ve taken stock, made tough decisions, and we’re ready to hit the ground running in 2020.
Sara Parker Pauley, Director
Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Larry Archer
Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Art Director - Cliff White
Designer - Les Fortenberry
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation - Laura Scheuler