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From Missouri Conservationist: May 2008

Prairie spirit

I just had to drop you a line and let you know that I really enjoyed the prairie chicken feature in your recent magazine.

I was an engineer on the former Missouri Pacific Railroad (now Union Pacific) and am currently an engineer for the Missouri & Northern Arkansas Railroad. In the late 1970s, on our trips north out of Carthage, we would routinely see prairie chickens just north of Sheldon in the large fields of prairie grasses. It’s been years since I have had the pleasure of seeing these magnificent birds. Noppadol Paothong is a real asset to your staff. His photographs and article were world class [Spirit of the Prairie; March].

It would be a real shame to lose these birds in our great state. I hope you can do what it takes to keep these wonderful birds alive and well in Missouri.

Rick Pendleton, Carthage

As always, I enjoyed the March Missouri Conservationist. I grew up and lived in Missouri for 30 years, and while I do not hunt or fish, I am an avid outdoorsperson and enjoy learning about the MDC’s efforts. I was particularly engaged by the article about prairie chickens.

I have risen at 4:00 a.m. on a spring morning to watch prairie chickens booming. Their ritual is incredible to observe, and Noppadol Paothong did a wonderful job capturing this dance in photos and prose.

Kudos for helping Missourians and others learn about nature and the importance of its preservation in this way!

Camille Consolvo, Bowling Green, Ohio

Flashback: 1970

On my initial scan of the April Conservationist a name from my past jumped off the pages, and for a moment I closed my eyes, as a smile began to grow. The “Time Capsule” review of Edible Wild Plants by Wendell Jeffery brought back memories long ago stored away.

In 1970, before moving on to work for the Conservation Commission, Mr. Jeffery was my 8th grade biology teacher in Ozark. Wearing his white shirt and black tie and black-framed glasses, he planted a seed, sparking in me a lifelong interest and love of nature.

Sometimes we let a name or a face slip by the wayside and yes, I admit I had done so, too. However, never again will Mr. Jeffery and what he taught be a forgotten memory. From the heart, thank you Mr. Jeffery.

Tony Shawley, Ozark High Class of 1975

Hunt for family time

Thank you for the article in the March issue about the mother who hunts with her sons [The Family That Hunts Together by Lynn Youngblood]. I have always believed in hunting with my three daughters and two sons. It is a time to find out what is going on with their lives, to teach them about nature and to make our bond stronger. Many times we don’t get anything, but we have fun and see a lot of wildlife. Their father also takes the kids hunting, and it is always an adventure they talk about for weeks. Keep encouraging parents to get out with their kids.

Julie A. Brown, Boonville

Balancing act

I wanted to respond to the letter titled “Hunting Heavy” in the March issue. As an avid hunter and fisherman I read the magazine mostly for articles relating to those pursuits, and I find that sometimes there isn’t much because of the variety of other articles you print. In fact, I highly commend you for the variety of topics you cover, and what I consider to be great balance. Surely some issues will have more of one than the other, but overall you do an excellent job. Also, conservation is the wise use of resources, including wildlife and fish, and articles regarding such use do fit in any such magazine.

Colin Comer, Fulton

Submissions reflect readers’ opinions and may be edited for length and clarity.

This Issue's Staff

Editor In Chief - Ara Clark
Managing Editor - Nichole LeClair
Art Director - Cliff White
Writer/Editor - Tom Cwynar
Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Ruby
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Circulation - Laura Scheuler