Note To Our Readers

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From Missouri Conservationist: Jun 2014

Opportunities for Every Citizen

Every citizen should have the opportunity to enjoy Missouri’s natural resources and the outdoors. Making the outdoors accessible and providing opportunities for all citizens is an important objective of the Department. It’s the light in someone’s eyes, the smiles on faces, or the simple knowledge that people are enjoying some facet of Missouri’s outstanding outdoor opportunities that spur Department employees to increase accessibility.

The Department has made a longtime commitment to increasing accessibility to Missouri’s Outdoors through paved hiking trails at nature centers, fishing docks accessible for everyone, paved fishing jetties, boat ramps designed for disabled accessibility, accessible shooting range facilities, and waterfowl hunting and viewing blinds on large waterfowl conservation areas.

Special programs like a children’s camp for the hearing impaired, Wounded Warrior events, Hunting for Heroes programs, special programs for kids with disabilities, and senior fishing programs, are just a few examples of events supported by or put on by Department staff.

The Wildlife Code of Missouri offers exemptions for persons with disabilities on permits and methods. In addition, Missouri resident hunters with disabilities can receive automatic inclusion into many of Missouri’s managed hunts. Special fishing permits are granted for supervised groups in rehabilitation programs or therapy.

One of the newest Department projects is a disabled-accessible fishing ramp and platform at Bennett Spring. The Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation led a fundraising challenge and raised more than $50,000 from private citizens and businesses to increase accessibility at this location.

The Department works with cities, counties, and other entities around Missouri to provide close-to-home fishing opportunities. The Community Assistance Program provides many disabled-accessible opportunities for anglers, boaters, and nature enthusiasts at lake and stream areas in their hometowns.

Many conservation areas like Mark Youngdahl in St. Joseph, Burr Oak Woods in Kansas City, Columbia Bottoms in St. Louis, the Cape Girardeau Nature Center in southeast Missouri, and the Andy Dalton Shooting Range and Education Center in southwest Missouri all offer wonderful opportunities to experience the outdoors. Whether it’s gazing at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, shooting a firearm at one of the ranges, or enjoying an outdoor hike, Missouri’s natural resources await and abound with opportunities.

All Missouri citizens should have the opportunity to feel a fish fighting on the end of their line; enjoy the outdoors through harvesting wildlife such as deer, turkey, or doves; to simply get outside in nature and marvel at the sights and sounds of our natural world; and to appreciate the entire scope of Missouri’s outstanding outdoor opportunities.

The Department produces a Disabled-Accessible Outdoors booklet that lists and highlights facilities that offer accessible opportunities throughout the state. To order a free copy, send your name and address to, or mail your request to Publications, Missouri Department of Conservation, PO Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180. For additional information on Missouri’s disabled-accessible outdoors go to

Tim Ripperger, deputy director

This Issue's Staff

Editor In Chief - vacant
Managing Editor - Nichole LeClair Terrill
Art Director - Cliff White
Staff Writer/Editor - Brett Dufur
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Circulation - Laura Scheuler