A Summary of the Missouri Department of Conservation's Annual Report

By Jim Auckley | January 2, 1996
From Missouri Conservationist: Jan 1996


The Status of some of Missouri's natural resources are improving, while others continue to decline, largely because of the loss of habitat brought about by development. Forest cover has actually increased because of changes in land use, while prairie acres continue to decline. Consequently, forest species, like deer and wild turkeys, are generally doing well, while upland species, like prairie chickens and quail, show losses. More Missourians are involved than tin the past, joining Stream Teams and participating in Operation Game Thief.


Forest Cover Area

  • 1972 12.9m acres
  • 1990 14m acres

Natural Wetlands

  • 1980 643,000 acres
  • 1994 1,500,000 acres

Miles of River Adopted

  • 1980 108 miles
  • 1994 5,355 miles

Wildlife At Risk

Endangered Species

  • 1984 293
  • 1995 306

Rare Species

  • 1984 109
  • 1995 193

Prairie Chickens (based on booming males)

  • 1986 818
  • 1995 332


Quail Harvest

  • 1980 1,527,369
  • 1994 1,107,111

Turkey Harvest

  • 1980 16,722
  • 1994 37,918

Deer Harvest

  • 1980 49,421
  • 1994 162,120

Waterfowl Harvest (all)

  • 1980 423,952
  • 1994 183,700

Law Enforcement

Calls made to Operation Game Thief

  • 1982 375
  • 1994 1,314

Number of Arrests Made

  • 1982 98
  • 1994 283

Reward Money Paid

  • 1982 $8,800
  • 1994 $12,050
  1. Continued to buy flood lands from willing sellers, such as the 1,112-acre Frost Island tract located along the Des Moines River in Clark County.
  2. Formed a council to advise the Conservation Department on access and reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities.
  3. Made $494,054.57 in payments to Missouri counties in lieu of taxes.
  4. Also paid counties $334, 580.67 for land in the Forest Cropland Program
  5. Celebrated the 50th anniversary of modern deer hunting seasons in Missouri.
  6. Provided a $500,000 grant for construction of a new Natural Resources building on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus.
  7. Announced that, in less than 5 years, the Conservation Department and the Conservation Federation have chartered more than 540 groups as Missouri Stream Teams whose combined membership tops 25,000 people.
  8. Suggested changes in management of the flood-prone Missouri River to provide habitat for fish and wildlife while maintaining the commercial navigation channel.
  9. Opened two new public shooting ranges near Springfield and St. Louis.
  10. Held a series of meetings statewide to gather comments from citizens on a long-term conservation program called Coordinated Resource Management.
  11. Some 13 bald eagle nests fledged 25 young eagles in a Conservation Department restoration program.
  12. Released a new video "Where Eagles Soar," which tells about the bald eagle's brush with extinction and its return to the lower 48 states, including Missouri.
  13. Published "Missouri's Conservation Atlas," a compilation of maps of all 114 counties that show the location of public lands managed by the Conservation Department.
  14. Began a process to inventory and set management plans for the state's 40 stream basins with a completion date in the year 2,000.
  15. Announced a new distribution system to sell fishing and hunting permits that will take a dramatic step forward in speed and convenience.

What the Money Buys - Fiscal Year 1995

Forests - $15,955,445

  • The Conservation Department programs that foster a healthy and growing forest resource. Examples are: growing and distributing 4.1 million trees for public and private land, assisting private forest landowners.

Wildlife - $14,974,366

  • Conservation Department programs ensure wildlife populations that are in harmony with habitats and human enjoyment. Examples are: management of 464,342 acres of public land and assistance to private landowners.

Fisheries - $12,038,154

  • Maintains the aquatic resources enjoyed by one million Missouri anglers. Examples are: spawning, rearing and stocking about 10 million fish, fisheries management of all public fishing areas, assistance and incentives for landowners, fish kill investigations, research and monitoring of fish populations and stream stewardship programs.

Natural History - $3,215,904

  • Many Conservation Department programs relate to non-game resources and interpretation. Examples are: interpretive programs conducted by nature centers and other naturalists' efforts, monitoring populations of non-game species.

Law Enforcement - $11,807,506

  • Paid for law enforcement, resource management and public contact activities conducted by 193 conservation agents, hunter education programs administered by 11 hunter skills specialists.

Education and Information - $7,573,481

  • Paid for education materials and contacts with Missouri schoolteachers, the Missouri Conservationist magazine, films, videos, postage and other informational programs.

Administration - $1,395,455

  • Paid for legal counsel, auditor, summer help and other administrative charges.

Support Services - $18,356,242

  • Paid for engineering, surveys, federal reimbursement administration, area maintenance, disabled accessibility and non-discrimination programs, resource planning, human resources, fiscal services.

Land Acquisition, Landowner Assistance, In-lieu Taxes - $8,040,558

  • Paid for new tracts and additions to existing areas totaling 16,929 acres.

Construction and Development - $11,606,538

  • Paid for flood damage, outstate service centers, hatchery improvements, wetland development.

This Issue's Staff

Editor - Kathy Love
Assistant Editor - Tom Cwynar
Managing Editor - Jim Auckley
Art Director - Dickson Stauffer
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Composition - Kevin Binkley
Photographer - Jim Rathert
Photographer - Paul Childress
Staff Writer - Joan McKee
Staff Writer - Charlotte Overby
Composition - Libby Bode Block
Circulation - Bertha Bainer