Monday, May 27, 2013

Managing Missouri's Public Land for All

View towards the Saint Francois Mountains of t...
View towards the Saint Francois Mountains of the Missouri Ozarks from the top of Knob Lick Mountain. 

In an article in the June/July 2013 issue of "Outdoor Life," called "Silent Autumn,"
the author (Frank Miniter) details on a broad scale the issue of how public forests are being managed (or mismanaged) with regard to hunting.  He calls out Missouri as one of the states that is doing a better than average job in its management practices.  So today, I thought we would begin a series of articles exploring some of the issues facing land practices in Missouri.  Some of these issues, I am well-versed in.  Others will require extensive research and discussion with foresters from the Missouri Department of Conservation, United States Forest Service, as well as hunting groups, conservation groups, and environmental groups.

In other words, we recognize that there are diverse interests in how Missouri's
public lands can and should be managed.  The question is how are the lands being managed now?  Are there specific interests that are receiving the lion's share of consideration by management agencies?  If so, is this excessive consideration for one of the groups at the expense of the needs of the others, and specifically to the needs of the environment and wildlife populations.

It has been our experience for example that though the Missouri Ozarks region is
absolutely beautiful, perhaps the management practices are not ideal for deer, turkey, quail, and other game populations.  We engage in this process with an open mind, and will report what we find. 

We would love input from our readers.  If you have a specific thought on these matters, or an area you would like us to research, please use the comment section at the bottom of the page.