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From Missouri Conservationist: Sep 2012

MDC firefighters

I live within a half-mile of the area in Mark Twain National Forest, in Christian County, that burned on July 5. I would like to thank all who were involved and contained that fire so quickly.

Several firelines were established around our houses/property, keeping fire away from our homes. Even though our house was not in direct harm’s way of the fire, we were told to evacuate, and I’m smart enough to realize it would have been consumed in a short time without the Forestry staff/Conservation Department there that day, establishing those lines and bringing in the helicopters.

The magnitude of equipment and people who spent many hours and did not leave it unattended for any amount of time was unbelievable and amazing. There were two houses and a garage that were in extreme danger of catching on fire and I do not know how they prevented it from doing so. I do realize that the local fire departments played a massive role as well, and my thanks go out to them, too.

Those men and women fought this fire in extreme heat, with impressive knowledge and a no-nonsense approach to the situation. That is what saved all of our homes.

Rhonda Cook, Bradleyville

Ombudsman’s Note: Thank you for taking the time to thank those involved in the recent wildfire suppression. We share your relief that the loss of property was not greater. Our field staff have considerable experience in fighting fires in Missouri and in the western U.S. Those professional skills are of great benefit when needed here at home. —Tim Smith

Snakes Alive

Wow! I really enjoyed the wonderful photo taken of the prairie ring-necked snake [Reader Photo; August]. I Wish the accompanying info about this snake would have said if it is venomous or not.

Also, I read “More Turtle Tips” in the August Letters and want to share a personal experience. I found an injured turtle on the road and took it to the wildlife rehab on Little Brennan Rd. in High Ridge. They told me they do not take care of turtles but were able to call their herpetologist to come and get it. My suggestion is to phone ahead if bringing in a special critter such as a turtle.

Barbara Doshi, Fenton

Editors’ Note: The prairie ring-necked snake is nonvenomous and can be found throughout the state. Learn more about these colorful reptiles at mdc. mo.gov/node/6538. For information on other Missouri snakes visit mdc.mo.gov/ node/6646. Also, it is always a good idea to call wildlife rehabilitators before bringing in animals. Thank you for the tip.

Pickles on a pontoon

Can I take my glass jar of pickles on my 24-foot pontoon boat while boating on Lake of the Ozarks?

In the June issue, in No MOre Glass [Agent Notes], it states that if I am traveling on waterways by vessel I can’t have glass containers unless it holds a substance prescribed by a licensed physician.

In the handbook of Missouri boating laws it states that the glass container law applies only to vessels that are easily susceptible to swamping, tipping or rolling (such as canoe, kayak or inner tube). Which is it? All vessels or easily tipped vessels?

Lawrence Schlipp, Lebanon

Ombudsman’s Note: That article failed to make clear that the Missouri law regarding glass containers in boats does only refer to boats that are easily tipped, such as canoes, kayaks and rafts. The law does not apply to pontoon boats. Don’t forget your pickles! For the complete law, visit: moga.mo.gov/ statutes/C300-399/3060000325.htm.

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 - Mark Raithel
Circulation - Laura Scheuler