Note To Our Readers

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From Missouri Conservationist: Feb 2016

A Job Well Done: Conservation Volunteers

Last summer, my son and several of his friends took a hunter education class and skills session. I was amazed by the passion and interest of the class volunteer instructors. They’ve probably taught this class a hundred times, but they were still excited about teaching new hunters. I see the same excitement in conservation volunteers at Department nature centers and staffed shooting ranges or when I see a picture of a Stream Team cleaning up a small creek. Department volunteers love what they do.

Volunteering can be a great experience. It fosters community support, helps save precious resources, makes a difference, and much more. It also gives volunteers an opportunity to learn more about themselves, stay active in the community, and develop new friendships.

Volunteers are an important part of the work the Department does each year. They provide essential training to future hunters, anglers, and birdwatchers; offer a smiling face or helpful hand at a nature center or shooting range; and help complete habitat work or bird monitoring on conservation areas. Looking back over the past year, the accomplishments of conservation volunteers cannot be overlooked in helping advance conservation. A few examples include:

  • Hunter Education Program: Volunteer instructors contributed more than 13,000 hours and helped complete 1,080 classes. This is one reason why Missouri is a national leader in hunter recruitment.
  • Stream Teams: Currently there are 4,088 active Stream Teams that donated 132,984 hours of service during the 25th anniversary year of this incredible program.
  • Missouri Master Naturalist: Last year 12 community-based chapters donated more than 62,000 hours to conservation projects from bird monitoring to tree planting to native seed collection.
  • Volunteers at nature centers, staffed shooting ranges, and interpretative centers contributed over 60,000 hours of service by leading programs and helping visitors at Department facilities.
  • 126 protection volunteers donated nearly 7,000 hours of service this past year, assisting conservation agents with various educational programs, wildlife surveys, and media events.
  • The Missouri Forestkeepers Network spent more than 5,500 hours on activities such as tree plantings, forest monitoring, and habitat management.
  • Discover Nature — Fishing Program helped teach nearly 6,000 novice anglers in 329 fishing classes in both urban and rural Missouri.

A sincere thank you to our conservation volunteers who make a difference by helping advance conservation in Missouri.

I encourage each of you to consider becoming a conservation volunteer. To find an opportunity that matches your interests, skills, and schedule, visit to learn more.

Aaron Jeffries, deputy director

This Issue's Staff

Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Art Director - Cliff White
Associate Editor - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Les Fortenberry
Designer - Marci Porter
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Circulation - Laura Scheuler