Up Front With Sara Parker Pauley

By Sara Parker Pauley | September 1, 2021
From Missouri Conservationist: September 2021
Body

I was utterly depressed as my husband and I drove home after a week of meetings in the West. We thought we’d return through the Rockies for a view of scenic vistas, but our timing coincided with a thick fog from California wildfires, and we could barely see the mountains. The trip also coincided with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest report, which relayed even greater doom, about the fate of our planet due to intensifying impacts of climate change.

Someone once suggested I take a more serious tone in my Upfront column — to lay out the cold-hard reality about the state of conservation. There is no doubt we have challenges before us, including increasing impacts from climate change, loss of habitat and species, and even 12,000 species identified in this country as rare or in decline. But I also choose to find hope even in the darkest hours. Here in Missouri, there are signs of hope everywhere. We see promising restoration efforts like elk, ruffed grouse, and our newly reintroduced brown-headed nuthatch. We also see partners doing their part to steward our resources every day.

We have much to be thankful for in Missouri where support for conservation remains strong. I smiled as we crossed the state line back into the Show-Me State. The haze had lifted. It was good to be home.

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