Up Front With Sara Parker Pauley

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From Missouri Conservationist: August 2017

I suppose it’s human nature to try to improve upon the world around us, however one defines “improve.” From the newest iPhone to the latest model of GPS-steered tractors, we’ve all benefitted from our human need to advance the day. But sometimes the original was the best model after all. I haven’t been able to improve upon my mother’s brisket recipe, for example, or my grandfather’s way of growing roses.

I had the privilege of traveling to north central Missouri recently where neighbors are returning their land to its original model — that of deep soil prairie. It started with one single pioneering landowner. Then, as neighbors saw the sheer beauty of his land return — with its variety of wildflowers, vibrant prairie grasses, and abundance of wildlife — they began to do the same with their properties. Now with an estimated 10,000 acres in this area, the landscape has returned to its original and intended state. And for other landowners, the value is not just for sheer natural beauty and wildlife, but for the livelihood of their livestock as well (see Native Grasses for Livestock Producers).

As it turns out, sometimes the original is the best version after all, or as this landowner told me during our visit, “Sometimes a place is meant to be what it is.”

Sara Parker Pauley, Director

This Issue's Staff

Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld

Associate Editor - Bonnie Chasteen

Staff Writer - Larry Archer
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek

Creative Director - Stephanie Thurber

Art Director - Cliff White

Designer - Les Fortenberry
Designer - Marci Porter

Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner

Circulation - Laura Scheuler