Note To Our Readers

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From Missouri Conservationist: May 2013

Conservation Priorities

As we round out the Missouri Conservation Department’s 75th Anniversary, we are reminded of the firm foundation on which your Conservation Department has been built.

A foundation built by the hands and hearts of generations of conservation partners.

A foundation built to serve nature and you. A foundation built from a base of core values that staff members and thousands of volunteers remain committed to as we plan for the future.

These core values include:

  • Excellent public service is essential — we work to deliver more than is expected.
  • All citizens are important — we treat citizens the way we would want to be treated.
  • Missourians are partners to achieve conservation success — we communicate openly and look for ways to make it easier to partner.
  • Fairness, objectivity, sound science, integrity, and accountability guide our actions.
  • Employees are the Department’s most important asset — we all work to advance conservation by being results driven, working as a team, serving as ambassadors for conservation, and living out the conservation ethic through our actions.

Based on these values, the Department works with you under five major goals (or areas of responsibility) to:

  • Ensure healthy and sustainable forest, fish, and wildlife resources throughout the state
  • Manage lands held in public trust and associated infrastructure to ensure continued benefit to citizens and to forest, fish, and wildlife resources
  • Ensure sound financial accountability and transparency in all areas of operation
  • Provide opportunities for active citizen involvement in services and conservation education in both rural and urban areas
  • Engage partners at all levels (individual, community, county, state, federal) to enhance natural resources and effective delivery of conservation services

Under each of these five goals, the Department has identified specific challenges that will receive priority attention during the next 36 months. This commitment will help ensure long-term success by focusing staff and financial resources on high priority challenges.

Challenges facing forest, fish, and wildlife resources are diverse. Select examples include diseases, invasive species, balancing the needs of rare and abundant wildlife, ensuring appropriate water allocations in streams, ensuring landscape-scale habitat management, and ensuring public access to resources. We also need to engage a more diverse and growing citizenry. It is an important and exciting time to be working to advance conservation. The Department’s website offers a short video providing additional information on the Department’s goals and challenges to receive priority focus. To view the video, visit

Consistent with the Department’s history, as challenges are faced and addressed, the role of citizens remains critically important. From resource user or landowner, to a conservation commissioner, citizens are the foundation of our state’s successful conservation story. As a result, educating citizens in way that instills a land-stewardship ethic — changing one’s approach and mind-set — remains essential for long-term conservation success.

I offer a sincere “thank you” to all citizens who have been involved in conservation efforts. You have made a positive difference. I encourage all citizens to stay engaged. Your partnership efforts continue to make Missouri a national leader in forest, fish, and wildlife conservation.

Robert L. Ziehmer, director

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