Up Front With Sara Parker Pauley

By Sara Parker Pauley | August 1, 2021
From Missouri Conservationist: August 2021
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Sitting around a firepit on a cool summer evening recently, one of our friends jumped to his feet and pointed to the western sky. We all jumped up, uttering words of amazement, as we witnessed a long linear string of SpaceX’s Starlink satellites orbiting the earth. They disappeared almost as quickly as they appeared.

I admire the determination of visionaries like Elon Musk — for his space-age satellites and his next quest to develop rockets bound for Mars. But like Dorothy, I tend to think there’s no place like home … as in planet Earth. We have plenty of work to do here to ensure we have a livable planet for those of us who decide to remain.

This question about our future came to mind when I read this month’s article on the magnificent murals of Charles W. Schwartz depicting the last two centuries of the conservation story in Missouri — its challenges and successes I wondered what future murals might reveal about how we faced the conservation challenges of today and tomorrow, such as species decline, habitat loss, relevancy of nature to a changing society, and a changing climate.

Yes, we have a lot to tackle, but the future depends on our continued commitment to action today. And looking to Schwartz’s murals and the long history of public commitment to conservation in Missouri, my optimism endures. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer noted, “The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world it leaves its children.”

Sara Parker Pauley, Director

SARA.PAULEY@MDC.MO.GOV

This Issue's Staff

MAGAZINE MANAGER
Stephanie Thurber

EDITOR
Angie Daly Morfeld

ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Larry Archer

PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR
Cliff White

STAFF WRITERS
Bonnie Chasteen
Kristie Hilgedick
Joe Jerek

DESIGNERS
Shawn Carey
Marci Porter

PHOTOGRAPHERS
Noppadol Paothong
David Stonner

CIRCULATION MANAGER
Laura Scheuler