By MDC | April 1, 2022
From Missouri Conservationist: April 2022

Letters to the Editor

Submissions reflect readers’ opinions and may be edited for length and clarity. Email or write to us:

Missouri Conservationist
PO Box 180
Jefferson City, MO 65102

Red Crown

I am familiar with the western kingbird, but have not seen that red marking on the forehead before [March cover]. Love the Conservationist. Great job!

Bob Karel, via email


I read with interest Missouri’s Least Wanted [February, Page 8] on garlic mustard. I believe invasive species are as much to blame for the decline in bird numbers as urban sprawl. I don’t see any way to get on top of the invasion other than gathering an army of concerned citizens to fight the invasion. I hope to see more articles on invasive species and a call for volunteers to tackle invasives.

Tom Crawford, Excelsior Springs


Thank you for reminding us about the importance of wetlands and their vital contributions to a healthy ecosystem [Meaningful Connections, February, Page 10]. I was shocked to read in Up Front [Page 3] that our country is losing wetlands at an alarming rate of 13,800 acres annually.

Sadly, that reminded me of the warning so eloquently given over 50 years ago by conservationist Leonard Hall in his book Stars Upstream: “The need to preserve areas that are wild and natural increases in America with each day that goes by; for it has been truly said that wilderness is a resource which can shrink but never grow. The danger to wild areas is the ‘juggernaut called progress, which takes no account of natural values’.’’

Dudley McCarter, St. Louis

Meaningful Connections by Frank Nelson was perfectly timed for me. Having just finished the book Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner, I am acutely aware of the wetlands issue in this country. The statement by Nelson that “wetlands have a long history in the U.S. as being undervalued and disregarded” is a huge understatement. There are now about 90,000 dams in this country, virtually all built in the last 100 years and all of which destroy riverbeds, riparian landscapes, and wetlands in the name of flood control, hydroelectric power, irrigation, and water storage. We are now irrigating millions of acres of arid land west of the 100th meridian that is marginal for raising cattle and mostly unable to support farming. And, more to the point of Nelson’s article, there are alternative ways to control river flooding than building a dam, like wetlands.

I commend MDC for working with farmers and landowners to better understand the importance of and to maintain the ecology of our waterways, riparian corridors, and wetlands.

Max Arens, Kirkwood

For the Birds

About 3 years ago, we included native plants to attract birds and other wildlife to our property. We also decided to put up two bluebird houses. Within about 20 minutes, we had a pair moving into one of the boxes. By the next day, the other box was occupied as well. In the last two years, we have watched 16 fledgling birds make their way out into the woods around us. It felt cool to have a small part in the bigger picture of these beautiful birds’ lives.

Brian Wiest, via email

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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