I Am Conservation

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From Missouri Conservationist: March 2017

Ronnie Morton’s land covers part of Shannon and Reynolds counties in southern Missouri and lies in the northern portion of the Missouri elk restoration zone. “I worked with Ronnie extensively before I was involved with the elk project,” said David Hasenbeck, elk program manager with MDC. “Ronnie is a long-time cooperator with the Conservation Department and is not afraid to put significant effort into his habitat management. Now that we have elk in the area, his work is even more important. Partners, such as Morton, provide safe foraging areas for elk in the northern part of the range where grasslands are limited.” Hasenbeck said Morton is also an ally when it comes to tracking elk movement, reporting sightings, and allowing MDC staff access to his farm to monitor elk. “We want our property to be beneficial to wildlife,” said Morton. “We enjoy watching wildlife, and we frequently have visitors who enjoy coming by to see the wildlife, especially elk, bear, turkey, and deer.” Morton has engaged in significant habitat improvements with help from MDC. “His property lies in an area of high ecological importance,” said Hasenbeck. “The wildlife work he is conducting benefits other high priority plants and animals, such as salamanders, bats, woodpeckers, and more.” —photograph by David

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