Up Front with Sara Parker Pauley

By Sara Parker Pauley | February 1, 2022
From Missouri Conservationist: February 2022

Now comes February — the month we celebrate love’s splendor, and the season of the in-between when one might just as easily find a late winter blizzard as a warming breeze that brings with it the sound of spring peepers and chorus frogs, whose melodious notes mark the hope of winter’s end and nature’s resilience.

Nature is full of such in-between or transitional features. “It is the nature of a stone to be satisfied,” noted poet Mary Oliver. “It is the nature of a river to want to be somewhere else.” And then there are these mystical transitional zones in between land and water that we call wetlands (i.e. swamps, marshes, fens, vernal pools, riparian forests) that display distinct characteristics of both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and are among the earth’s most productive and diverse habitats.

In this month’s issue, you’ll read the first in a series of three feature articles scheduled for 2022 on the critical roles these “in-between” ecosystems play (Page 10) — from providing homes for wildlife, recreation for birdwatchers and waterfowl hunters, sponge and purifier of our waterways and more. These ecosystems are so vital, and yet according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the United States is still losing wetlands at the alarming rate of 13,800 acres annually, after already losing more than half of our original wetlands since the 1780s.

Come join us this year in our pilgrimage to learn more about these precious habitats and discover the mysteries of these places in-between.

Sara Parker Pauley, Director



This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Larry Archer
Photography Editor - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Staff Writer – Dianne Van Dien
Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation - Laura Scheuler