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From Missouri Conservationist: January 2017

Buy Native Trees and Shrubs from State Forest Nursery

Native trees and shrubs can help improve wildlife habitat and soil and water conservation, while also improving the appearance and value of private property. The Missouri Department of Conservation’s George O. White State Forest Nursery offers a variety of low-cost native tree

 cover, and other purposes.

The State Forest Nursery provides mainly 1-year-old bare-root seedlings with sizes varying by species. Seedling varieties include pine, bald cypress, cottonwood, black walnut, hickory, oak, persimmon, birch, maple, willow, sycamore, blackberry, buttonbush, holly, dogwood, hazelnut, redbud, spicebush, sumac, wild plum, and others.

Seedlings are available in bundles of 10 or 25 per species. Prices range from 16–80 cents per seedling. Sales tax of 6.1 percent will be added to orders unless tax exempt. There is an $8 handling charge for each order. Receive a 15 percent discount up to $20 off seedling orders with a Heritage Card or Conservation ID Number.

Orders are being accepted now through April 15. Supplies are limited, so order early. Orders will be shipped or can be picked up at the State Forest Nursery near Licking from February through May.

Find images and information on available items, along with ordering instructions, in the Department’s 2016–2017 Seedling Order Form, available at Department regional offices and nature centers, online at, or by contacting the State Forest Nursery at 573- 674-3229 or

Tour Your State Forest Nursery

Curious about how the Conservation Department’s State Forest Nursery operates? Department staff will offer behind-the-scenes public tours this spring. Tours will showcase how the nursery grows, stores, and ships almost 3 million seedlings each year. The open house is scheduled for Saturday, April 1, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. To reserve a spot on the tour, call 573-674-3229, ext. 0.

Give the Gift of Christmas Trees Back to Nature

A Christmas tree’s work need not be done when the holidays are over. Recycle live evergreens as fish habitat, plant protection, or backyard wildlife cover.

Place a live Christmas tree at the bottom of a stream or pond to give fish a place to rest, nest, and escape predators. Multiple live trees make the best cover so work with friends, family, and neighbors to combine efforts. Anchor the trees with concrete blocks and sink them at a depth of about 8 feet with the trees placed in a row.

Cut branches placed over plants can provide a bit of insulation during the winter and add organic matter as the needles fall.

A cut tree can also offer a bounty of gifts to wildlife for the coming year. Just set it out in the yard and it becomes cover for birds and small mammals. Or set it up and decorate it with peanut butter-covered pinecones, fruit slices, or suet baskets to help provide food for birds.

Winter Trout Harvest Begins Feb. 1

Conservation Department staff stocked 73,000 rainbow trout in 32 urban-area lakes around the state for winter trout fishing beginning last November. Many of these areas allow anglers to harvest trout as soon as they are stocked, while other areas are catch-and-release until Feb. 1. Find locations at

Beginning Feb. 1, all of the urban-area lakes allow the harvest of trout. The daily limit at these locations is four trout with no length limit. All Missouri residents older than age 15 and younger than age 65 must have a fishing permit. All nonresidents over age 15 must have a fishing permit. To keep trout, all anglers regardless of age must have a Missouri trout permit.

Get Your 2017 Permits

Many hunting and fishing permits expire at the end of February, including 2016 permits for small game, fishing, trout fishing, and combination hunting and fishing permits.

Buy Missouri hunting and fishing permits from one of many vendors around the state, online at, or through the Conservation Department’s free mobile apps, MO Hunting and MO Fishing, available for download through Google Play for Android devices or the App Store for Apple devices.

Save time by buying permits for yourself, family, and friends in a single transaction. Select the “Additional Customer” option during your permit purchase.

Commercial permits and lifetime permits can be purchased only through the Department’s Permit Services Unit by calling 573-751-4115.

Discover Nature at Eagle Days

Discover nature with the Missouri Department of Conservation at Eagle Days events around the state, or enjoy eagle viewing on your own. Eagle Days events for January and February are listed below. They include live captive-eagle programs, exhibits, activities, videos, and guides with spotting scopes. Be sure to dress for winter weather and don’t forget cameras and binoculars.

  • Kansas City: Jan. 7 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Jan. 8 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Smithville Lake Paradise Pointe Golf Course Clubhouse north of Kansas City. Call 816-532- 0174 for more information.
  • St. Louis: Jan. 14 and 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge south of I-270 off Riverview Drive. Call 314-877-6014 for more information.
  • Springfield: Jan. 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Jan. 22 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center with viewing opportunities at the nearby Lake Springfield Boathouse and Marina. Call 417-888-4237 for more information.
  • Jefferson City: Jan. 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Runge Conservation Nature Center with wild eagle viewing at the nearby Marion Access. Call 573-526-5544 for more information.
  • Clarksville: Jan. 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Jan. 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lock and Dam 24 and Apple Shed Theater. Call 660-785-2420 for more information.
  • Puxico: Feb. 4 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Mingo National Wildlife Refuge near Puxico. Call 573-222-3589 for more information.

Can’t make an Eagle Days event? Other hot spots for winter eagle viewing include:

  • Lake of the Ozarks at Bagnell Dam Access, east of Bagnell
  • Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area on Route K, southwest of Columbia
  • Lock & Dam 20 at Canton
  • Lock & Dam 24 at Clarksville
  • Lock & Dam 25, east of Winfield
  • Moses Eagle Park at Stella Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary, east of West Alton
  • Schell-Osage Conservation Area, north of El Dorado Springs
  • Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, south of Mound City
  • Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge, south of Sumner
  • Table Rock Lake, southwest of Branson

For more information, visit Reservoir, west of Warsaw

What is it?

American Bison | Bos bison

Extirpated from Missouri, bison were reintroduced to Prairie State Park in Barton County and The Nature Conservancy’s Dunn Ranch in Harrison County. The small herd of about 100 bison at Prairie State Park is considered wild because they reproduce naturally and graze freely. Bison are the largest mammal that still survives in North America, weighing between 900 and 2,200 pounds. Bison have a dark brown, shaggy coat. Both males and females have short, upcurved horns. Juveniles are lighter in color. Bison graze on grasses, sedges, and other plants. Because their herds can completely graze an area quickly, they migrate constantly. Mating occurs in late summer, and one calf is born the following spring. Calves nurse for a year, becoming mature at age 3. At this time, males leave their mothers and live alone or join a bachelor herd. Upon breeding season, herds of males and females approach each other again.

—photograph by Noppadol Paothong

Did You Know?

We help people discover nature and conserve it, too.

Lots of Volunteer Opportunities Near You

If you’ve resolved to do more for conservation in 2017, become a conservation volunteer. The Missouri Department of Conservation needs skilled outdoor enthusiasts to lead naturalist programs, teach hunter education, serve at shooting ranges, teach fishing skills, and help deliver conservation programs statewide. Call your regional Department office for more information about volunteer opportunities near you.

  • If you enjoy teaching others about the natural world, consider volunteering at a conservation nature center or interpretive site. Volunteers work closely with Department staff to provide a fun learning experience for visitors. Volunteers can help plan interpretive programs, design exhibits, greet visitors, lead hikes, and maintain trails.
  • Volunteers at shooting ranges and outdoor education centers provide a safe and educational experience for hunters to improve their skills. They also assist with outdoor skills education programs, including firearm instruction, trapping and youth hunting clinics, and archery.
  • Hunter education volunteer instructors and Department staff provide hunter education classes statewide. The hunter safety course teaches students how firearms operate, safe hunting practices, ethics, and responsibilities. This education program is one reason Missouri is a national leader in hunter recruitment.
  • Fishing education volunteer instructors help beginning anglers gain the skills and confidence to go fishing on their own. The fishing education course covers equipment, casting, lures, knot tying, hook baiting, fish identification and handling, and fishing regulations.
  • Your favorite conservation area may have volunteer opportunities. Projects include tree planting, habitat restoration, species monitoring, wildflower seed collection, and trail building.  Find more volunteer opportunities at

Also In This Issue

Sunset over Dunn Ranch, part of the Grand River Grasslands Conservation Opportunity Area
Fiscal Year July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016
Butterfly Weed
Match your toughest landscaping problems with the native plants programmed to handle them.

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