Our Precious Forests

By Gus Raeker | August 16, 2010
From Missouri Conservationist: Sep 2010

Missouri’s forests make possible, or at least provide a backdrop for, almost all outdoor experiences. Missouri’s 15.4 million forested acres are a precious resource. Our forest resources, which cover more than one third of our state, provide us with clean air and drinking water, lumber and heat, habitat for an incredible diversity of plants and animals, a myriad of recreational opportunities and—of course—scenic beauty.

In today’s fast-paced, high-tech world, we sometimes lose sight of the fact that it’s our trees and forests that often support our quality of life. It is even easier to forget that our actions or inactions with respect to trees on our private and public lands can have powerful effects on these important resources.

Forest Resource Assessment and Strategy

Put simply, Missouri’s Forest Resource Assessment and Strategy is an evaluation of conditions, trends, threats and opportunities facing our forests. It’s also a comprehensive strategy for sustaining these resources and the benefits and services we expect from them.

There are three important themes in Missouri’s Forest Resource Assessment and Strategy:

  • Missouri’s trees and forests contribute greatly to our quality of life. Additionally, depending on how they are managed, trees and forests offer tremendous potential to help alleviate many of our state’s biggest social, ecological and economic challenges.
  • Our forests are changing rapidly, and how we address these changes will largely determine their capabilities in the future.
  • Missourians play a critical role in determining how Missouri’s forests will look and function into the future.


We hope to reacquaint Missourians with the trees and forests upon which we all depend, explore the forces that are changing them and highlight ways to ensure that future generations can enjoy the same forest benefits that we enjoy today. We encourage you and your family to rediscover the splendor of Missouri’s majestic woodlands.

This Issue's Staff

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