Annual Report Fiscal Year 2001–2002

By | May 25, 2010
From Missouri Conservationist: Jan 2003

This summary of the Annual Report is a snapshot of the Conservation Department's financial transactions and year-long accomplishments from July 1, 2001, through June 30, 2002. The Conservation Department made $576,070 in payments to Missouri counties in lieu of taxes, and also paid $312,800 for land in the Forest Cropland Program.

  • Continued offering landowner deer and turkey permits for qualifying nonresidents at reduced price. Beginning with the spring 2001 turkey season, qualifying nonresident landowners were able to purchase deer and turkey hunting permits at reduced prices. To qualify, nonresidents must own a minimum of 75 contiguous acres within a single management unit.
  • New look for hunting, fishing and trapping permits. In response to users' preferences, the Department redesigned its hunting, fishing and trapping permits for 2002. The new permits are printed with black ink on bright yellow paper. Adhesive paper replaced the old cash register receipt format. The new format is larger, more durable and easier to read.
  • Improved status of some rare species. This past year MDC staff, along with partners from universities, non-profit organizations and other government agencies, restored habitat that improved the status of prairie chickens, scaleshell mussels, Topeka shiners, and Niangua darters. We also discovered new populations of Hine's Emerald dragonflies, Hall's bulrush, Indiana bats, and Illinois chorus frogs, as well as augmented populations of declining black sandshell and snuffbox mussels. Greater efforts were made to provide management assistance and financial incentives to private landowners who voluntarily participated in the recovery of some of our rare species.
  • Celebrated the 25th Anniversary of "Design for Conservation." In 1976, Missouri voters approved a landmark, 1/8th of one-cent sales tax dedicated solely for conservation of Missouri's fish, forest and wildlife resources. The Department outlined its goals for the tax in a broad plan called Design for Conservation. Funds generated by the sales tax have been used for land acquisition, improving public access to streams, developing public fishing opportunities, building fish hatcheries, developing nature centers and other educational resources, and research.
  • Protection agents made 216,311 resource contacts, noted 24,417 wildlife violations, issued 3,897 written warnings and made 7,214 arrests. In addition, agents held 6,193 youth meetings, displayed 1,761 exhibits, made 9,877 appearances on radio/TV programs and certified 34,088 new hunter safety students in 1,051 hunter education classes.
  • Operation Game Thief continues to grow in terms of number of calls received and percentage of calls resulting in arrests. In 2001, Operation Game Thief produced 194 court cases completed from 664 telephone calls. Also, 1,623 hunters donated more than 76,000 pounds of venison to the needy through the "Share the Harvest" program. Fifty-one processors participated in the program.
  • Conducted the Second Youth-Only Spring Turkey Season. During the special, two-day turkey season for resident youths age 15-years and younger, 16,882 participants harvested 3,102 birds, of which 70 percent were mature. There were no reported accidents.
  • Introduced a Youth-Only portion of the firearms deer hunting season. During the inaugural 2001 season, nearly 40,000 youth hunters went afield and took 6,451 deer. There were no reported accidents.
  • Managed Deer Hunt Program. The Department provided additional deer hunting opportunity through the Managed Deer Hunt Program. Overall, 5,849 hunters harvested 2,256 deer during 65 hunts at 33 locations.
  • The Natural Areas system was expanded by 1,184 acres and now contains 180 areas with 57,214 acres protecting the best examples of Missouri's terrestrial and aquatic natural communities.
  • Additional protection for bats. In cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Natural History Division staff assisted with the construction of cave gates to protect endangered bats at Rocheport and Great Spirit Caves, completing the largest two cave gating projects in the world.
  • Expanded cooperative partnerships. The Natural History Division led the Department effort to provide grants to conservation partners for 12 Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Program projects using federal funds available for the management of rare species and for outdoor recreation facilities.
  • Opened Rudolf Bennitt Lake to fishing. This new Department lake is located on the Rudolf Bennitt Conservation Area about 30 miles northwest of Columbia. Construction of the 48-acre lake was completed in January 1999. In spring 1999, the lake was stocked with fingerling largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, black crappie and channel catfish. Lake facilities include a disabled accessible boat ramp, fishing dock, privy and parking lot. A courtesy dock is also available for the use of boaters and anglers.
  • Improved access at Roaring River Trout Park: A cooperative project between the Department of Conservation and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources improved access facilities at this highly popular trout fishing destination. Workers removed the grouted rip-rap, built a new bridge, and built 900 feet of disabled-user-accessible walkway adjacent to the stream. Also installed were 1,250 square feet of "grass pavers" to reinforce a stream bank. Parking facilities were also improved. The MDNR paid for 70 percent of the $540,000 project. The Conservation Department designed the project, supervised construction and provided the remaining funding.
  • Lake Taneycomo is again one of the nation's finest tailwater trout fisheries. New regulations were implemented for the upper three miles of Lake Taneycomo. Adjustments were also made in seasonal stocking. Recent samples collected by Department fisheries biologists contained more and larger rainbow trout than at any time in the 24 years that the fishery has been monitored using standard, late-summer electrofishing. Almost 60 percent of the population in the upper portions of the lake exceeded 13 inches, and 12 percent were 16 inches or longer.
  • No More Trash Campaign: In April, Governor Bob Holden launched Missouri's first statewide, anti-litter campaign. The departments of Conservation and Transportation coordinate the effort, which includes a Litter Advisory Board, a website and a comprehensive public awareness campaign.
  • Making Mussels: During 2001-2002, a group of dedicated biologists from the Missouri Department of Conservation and other organizations produced and released nearly 200,000 juvenile mussels of the scaleshell and pink mucket (both federally endangered), the Neosho mucket (federal candidate), snuffbox (state endangered), and black sandshell (state species of conservation concern). In January 2002, researchers recaptured juvenile Neosho muckets that had been stocked in 2000, providing exciting evidence that propagated juvenile mussels are surviving and growing in the wild.
  • National Fire Suppression: The MDC supplied 104 firefighters to assist with national fire emergencies. This included 80 employees who worked on 11 separate inter-agency crews and 24 who served in overhead, support and supervisory positions. Department personnel contributed to fire suppression efforts in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
  • Discovery Center Opens: The Conservation Department's Discovery Center opened in April, housing personnel from the departments of Conservation and Natural Resources. Six hands-on workshops provide urban students, teachers and others a chance to learn how to conserve and enjoy Missouri's fish, forest and wildlife resources. Five workshops are also available to registered families and youth group on Saturdays.

What the Money Buys - Fiscal Year 2001 - 2002

  • Forests - $14,779,428 Conservation Department programs foster a healthy and growing forest resource. Examples include distributing 7 million seedlings for planting to nearly 13,725 landowners, developing 99 Landowner Forest Stewardship Plans, bringing an additional 16,550 acres under total resource management , managing 438,700 acres of public forest land, developing the state's forest industry and conducting research on trees and forests.
  • Wildlife - $13,322,731 Conservation Department programs ensure wildlife populations that are in harmony with habitat and human enjoyment. Examples are: management of about 501,066 acres of public land, research and population monitoring of game and non-game species, wetland development, wildlife restoration and wildlife damage control.
  • Fisheries - $13,939,371 Fishing is one of the most popular outdoor activities in Missouri. In 2001, the Conservation Department sold 1,439,201 resident and non-resident fishing permits and tags of all types to 721,037 people. The agency produced 7,294,188 fish for stocking in various waters. The Conservation Department manages 849 public impoundments totaling 277,055 acres of water.
  • Natural History - $2,084,402 Coordinates and provides overall and specialized services to the Department's natural areas, endangered species programs, wildlife diversity and natural community conservation and management programs, as well as programs to promote public appreciation of natural resources.
  • Law Enforcement - $14,781,070 Paid for law enforcement, resource management, information, education and public service contact activities conducted by 200 conservation agents. Conservation agents, along with 2,053 volunteer instructors, conducted 1,051 classes and certified more than 34,000 students.
  • Outreach and Education - $13,050,891 Paid for education materials and contacts with Missouri schoolteachers, the Missouri Conservationist magazine, films, videos, postage and informational programs.
  • Private Land Services - $5,371,201 Newly established division provides resource education and technical assistance to private landowners to conserve forest, fish and wildlife resources.
  • Administration - $6,664,129 Paid for legal counsel, auditor, summer help and an expanded array of other administrative functions.
  • Administrative Services and Human Resources - $28,499,622 Paid for human resources, federal reimbursement administration, fiscal services, aviation services, fleet management, building and grounds maintenance, planning, environmental coordination, information management and technology and other essential services.
  • Land Acquisition, Landowner Assistance, In-Lieu Taxes - $4,838,696 In lieu of tax payments, which included levee and drainage district taxes, totaled $576,070.08 to 112 counties. The four largest payments were to Shannon ($80,782), St. Louis ($50,192), Reynolds ($30,904) and Vernon ($25,593) counties. Since 1980, more than $8.77 million has been returned to Missouri counties under the Payment in Lieu of Taxes program.
  • Construction & Development - $13,329,929 Paid for outstate service centers, hatchery improvements, wetland development, river access site development and other construction.
  • Design and Development - $8,903,709 Paid for engineering, construction administration and architecture.

This Issue's Staff

Editor - Tom Cwynar
Managing Editor - Bryan Hendricks
Art Editor - Dickson Stauffer
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Photographer - Jim Rathert
Photographer - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Staff Writer - Joan McKee
Circulation - Laura Scheuler