Tuesday, June 17, 2014

IOWA PHEASANTS FACED TOUGH WINTER, WET SPRING

Common Pheasant
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Iowa’s unseasonably cold and snowy winter and wet spring is not likely to boost its pheasant population. 
Pheasants typically show population increases following mild winters with spring that are warmer and dryer than normal. Based on that weather model, the western third of Iowa has the best chance to see an uptick in pheasants due to below average snowfall and less than eight inches of spring rain.
The weather model predicts the rest of the state to see either no population increase or fewer birds than last year. The nesting forecast will be updated by the August roadside survey, which is the best gauge of what pheasant hunters can expect to find in the fall.
Todd Bogenschutz, upland wildlife biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, said while the weather is not what upland bird hunters had hoped for, there is some progress on pheasant habitat. Landowners began enrolling in continuous CRP on Monday.
“This is great news for Iowa’s new pheasant recovery continuous CRP practice designed specifically to help recover pheasant numbers,” Bogenschutz said. Iowa has 45,000 acres available on a first come, first served basis.
“There will not be a general CRP signup this year so this is an option that landowners with expiring general CRP should consider,” he said.
Information on Iowa’s pheasant recovery continuous CRP is available online atwww.iowadnr.gov/habitat.
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MDC offers Bowhunter Education Certification Course for Southeast Region

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will host a Bowhunter Education Certification Course, June 21, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Elk’s Lodge in Perryville.
According to DeeDee Dockins, an outdoor skills specialist with the MDC, this will be the only Bowhunter Education Certification Course offered this year in the southeast region.
“Most of the demand for bowhunter certification stems from hunters who are traveling out of state to bow hunt, because Missouri doesn’t require bowhunter education,” Dockins said. “As of now, 20 states have regulations requiring bowhunter education certification in order to purchase permits.”
Dockins said she encourages all bow hunters to attend the class.
“The number of tree stand accidents continues to rise and we address safety issues when hunting from an elevated position,” she said.
The course provides comprehensive information about the knowledge, skills, safety and additional opportunities available to bow hunters.   Topics covered include different types of bows and equipment, opportunities available to the bow hunter, safety information related to hunting from an elevated platform,  the role of the hunter and hunting in wildlife management and conservation, responsibilities of the outdoorsman, distance estimation, ethical practices of the hunter, and much more.
Those successfully completing the course will receive a Bowhunter Education Certification Card from the Missouri Department of Conservation. Students must be 11 years of age or older to attend.
Pre-registration is required. To register, visit mdc.mo.gov. For further information, call the MDC Southeast Regional Office at (573) 290-5730.
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Monday, June 16, 2014

Early summer fishing can be good in ponds and small lakes

 First there’s a splash and then rings of ripples move outward. Ponds and lakes become lively
places in early summer as bluegills and bass chase bugs and minnows, a good thing for anglers. June and early July are good months to fish from shore in small waters. Insects, frogs and small fish are moving about in the shallows. Skillet-worthy fish are feeding on them and within casting distance.
    The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) manages many small impoundments to provide good fishing for those who fish from shore as well as with boats. Many areas also have docks or trails easily accessed by those who use wheelchairs or who have mobility challenges. Fishable waters are found close to home or within easy driving distance for those who enjoy daytrips.
   For example, Pony Express Lake Conservation Area offers two lakes. This venerable area in DeKalb County west of Cameron has hosted anglers from the Kansas City and St. Joseph regions since the 1960s. The 245-acre Pony Express Lake opened to fishing in 1966, and MDC opened the 45-acre Buffalo Bill Lake in 1990. Building a lake is just a first step, though. Area managers monitor fish populations and lake conditions. For example, they sometimes add fish habitat such as underwater brush piles as lakes age.
   “The best bets at Pony Express are probably channel catfish because they are regularly stocked,” said Jerry Wiechman, an MDC fisheries management biologist, “and largemouth bass are found associated with brush piles and stumps.”
   Casting lures or bait to standing trees or brush piles is a good technique at any MDC lake, though fish may roam along any banks in early summer. In late summer they may move to deeper water with cooler temperatures.
   The James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area is an old standby fishing destination in the Kansas City metro area with a history dating to the 1950s. Area managers keep the lakes fishy with improvements such as vegetation management or adding underwater habitat such as brush piles. The Reed Area has 11 fishable lakes and anglers might catch largemouth bass, channel catfish, crappie, bluegill, green sunfish, redear sunfish, and bullheads. Some lakes are stocked with striped bass hybrids, a powerful fish that can test your tackle when hooked. The Reed Area borders Lee’s Summit and Greenwood in eastern Jackson County and the front entrance is on Southeast Ranson Road, almost a mile south of U.S. 50.
   Both the Kansas City and northwest regions offer many other lakes and ponds open to the public for fishing. Some are at conservation areas. MDC also partners with cities and counties to manage community lakes for good fishing.
   MDC’s Find MO Fish application for mobile digital devices helps anglers find public fishing areas, locate maps for areas, check for services such as fishing docks or launch ramps, get fishing reports and buy permits. Check out the app at http://mdc.mo.gov/mobile/mobile-apps/find-mo-fish. Information is also available online at http://www.mdc.mo.gov. The conservation areas tab on the home page is a quick link to find a place to fish in your community. Whether you travel near or far to whet a line, June is a fine time to go fishing.
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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Discover Nature Fishing sessions offered in KC area

Kansas City, Mo.  ̶- Fishing is a great way for people to enjoy nature, especially children. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is offering a new program to help kids and
families gain angling skills and confidence. MDC’s Discover Nature Fishing Program is free and teaches participants about fishing tackle, methods and where to go.
   Discover Nature Fishing will be offered in the Kansas City area as a series of four classes. The two-hour class sessions will cover all aspects of fishing. They include:
·        Session one: equipment, casting and proper fish handling.
·        Session two: how to rig a pole with tackle such as hooks, sinkers and bobbers, and how to bait a hook and what bait works for which fish species.
·        Session three: aquatic biology, ecology and conservation.
·        Session four: how and when to use various types of artificial lures to catch fish.
    Sessions one and two will be presented 9 a.m. to 12 noon on Saturday, June 21, at the Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center in Blue Springs. These sessions are limited to the first 25 people to register. Participants may register by calling 816-622-0900.
   Discover Nature Fishing will be an ongoing program statewide, so watch for notices of future sessions.  MDC also welcomes volunteer instructors to teach fishing skills to others. Those interested in volunteering may also call MDC’s Kansas City Regional Office at 816-622-0900.
   Fishable waters are often found close to home, even in urban areas. Time and expense need not be barriers to going fishing. Tackle choices and methods can be simple and effective for catching fish. MDC’s Discover Nature Fishing Program is open to anyone who wishes to learn about the sport. Fishing is fun and gets people outdoors in fresh air and nature.
   One advantage, Missouri is a great place to fish. For more information on fishing and conservation see http://www.mdc.mo.gov.
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Saturday, June 14, 2014

June 2014 Conservation Action

Actions of the Conservation Commission at its June meeting.

Conservation Action
June 2014 
The Conservation Commission met June 5 and 6 at Conservation Department Headquarters in Jefferson City. Commissioners present were:
Don C. Bedell, Sikeston, Chair
James T. Blair, IV, St. Louis, Vice Chair/Secretary
Marilynn J. Bradford, Jefferson City, Member
David W. Murphy, Columbia, Member 
REGULATIONS
The Conservation Commission received a report from Dr. John Fischer, College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia, Athens, and director of the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, regarding a national overview of chronic wasting disease (CWD) and deer health issues. The Commission also heard reports from Protection Division Chief Larry Yamnitz and Resource Science Division Chief Mike Hubbard regarding proposed regulation changes related to captive-deer facilities and received comments on the proposed regulation changes from individuals listed below who submitted written requests prior to the meeting, representing several organizations and thousands of Missourians.
  • Tony Kalna, Missouri Deer Hunter Magazine, Dittmer, Missouri
  • Chris Kossmeyer, Marceline, Missouri
  • Kathy Etling, Osage Beach, Missouri
  • Matt Ross, Quality Deer Management Association, Clifton Park, New York
  • Robert Brundage, Missouri, Conservation Federation of Missouri Chronic Wasting Disease Committee, Jefferson City 
  • Dick Wood, Sappington, Missouri
  • Earl Cannon, Jefferson City, Missouri
  • Thomas Rizzo, Quality Deer Management Association, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Elsa Gallagher, Pheasants Forever, Inc., and Quail Forever, Excello, Missouri
The Conservation Commission approved Regulations Committee recommendations that will:
  • Require new applicants for Class I Wildlife Breeder Permits to hold white-tailed deer, white-tailed deer-hybrids, mule deer, or mule deer-hybrids (deer), to pass a written examination provided by the Department and have an on-site inspection prior to and after construction of the breeding facility as part of the application process.
  • Prohibit importation of live white-tailed deer, mule deer, or their hybrids into the state.
  • Prohibit the display of live deer other than as is listed on permits.
  • Prohibit the construction of any new Class I or Class II wildlife breeding facilities for deer within 25 miles of a location where CWD-positive animal or animals have been confirmed by the Conservation Department.
  • Require Class I and Class II wildlife breeders and big-game hunting preserves to test all mortalities of deer that are older than six months for CWD.
  • Require Class I and Class II wildlife breeders that hold deer to report confirmed positive-disease results to the Conservation Department.
  • Require Class I and Class II wildlife breeders to comply with a herd-disease response plan approved by the Conservation Department in the event that CWD is discovered.
  • Require Class I and Class II wildlife breeders that hold deer to maintain participation in a United States Department of Agriculture-approved CWD herd certification program.
  • Establish a stipulation that the Conservation Department can require additional disease sampling and testing during disease investigations or morbidity/mortality events at Class I and Class II wildlife breeders that hold deer.
  • Require source herds for deer and elk at Class I and Class II wildlife breeder facilities that hold deer to be enrolled in a United States Department of Agriculture-approved CWD herd certification program.
  • Establish a requirement for Class I and Class II wildlife breeders that hold deer to conduct an annual herd inventory in the presence of an accredited veterinarian during the annual inventory, the signature of an attending accredited veterinarian on herd records, individual animal identification, and individual animal documentation including results of CWD testing.
  • Set a minimum period of time that records must be kept by Class I and Class II wildlife breeders that hold deer.
  • Prohibit the propagation, holding in captivity, and hunting of hogs within a big-game hunting preserve unless already approved by a specific date.
  • Set a requirement for holders of Licensed Big Game Hunting Preserve Permits to conduct disease testing, report disease test results, maintain movement documentation, adhere to fencing standards, and comply with a disease response plan in the event CWD is discovered.
  • Set a minimum period of time that movement records must be kept by holders of Licensed Big Game Hunting Preserve Permits.
  • Prohibit the use of imported deer or elk (cervids) in a licensed big game hunting preserve.
  • Prohibit the construction of any new big-game hunting preserve within 25 miles of a location where a CWD-positive animal or animals have been confirmed by the Conservation Department.
  • Require source herds for deer and elk at big-game hunting preserves to be enrolled in a United States Department of Agriculture-approved CWD herd certification program.
  • Establish a requirement for more information within inventories and record keeping for cervids on big-game hunting preserves.
  • Require a minimum period of time that records must be kept for cervids on big-game hunting preserves.
In approving the changes, the Commission emphasized the importance of an informed, involved public to ensure the health of Missouri’s deer herd now and in the future. Details of the proposed regulation changes will be published in the Missouri Register. A presentation regarding captive-deer regulation changes is available at mdc.mo.gov/node/28400. The Conservation Department encourages Missourians to review this presentation and comment on the changes. Comments can be submitted online at mdc.mo.gov/deerhealthor on comment cards available at Conservation Department regional offices and nature centers. 
ADMINISTRATION
The Commission:
  • Received presentations from:
    • Approved the sale of the 5-acre Brookfield Maintenance Center in Linn County.
    • Approved the purchase of 240 acres in Shannon County as an addition to Sunklands Conservation Area (CA).
    • Approved the purchase of 635 acres in Shannon County as an addition to Sunklands CA.
    • Approved the purchase of 2,053 acres in Texas County as an addition to Sunklands CA.
    • Approved the exchange of 59 acres of a disjunct tract of Sunklands CA in Shannon County for 205.5 acres in Franklin County and a lease of 1,241 acres in Cole County.
    • Approved entering into a contract with Martin General Contractors, L.L.C., Eolia, Mo., for the construction of the Conservation Commission Headquarters Ground Coupled Heat Pumps for C, D, and F Buildings project in Cole County, at a total estimated cost of $393,510.40.
    • Approved entering into a contract with Cannon General Contractors, Inc., Troy, Mo., for construction of the Rocky Forks Lake Conservation Area (CA) Range Upgrade project in Boone County, at a total estimated cost of $223,016.
    • Approved the Fiscal Year 2015 Internal Expenditure Plan.
    ·        Approved recommendations for the 2015 Conservation Employees’ Benefits Plan.
    • Approved the advertisement and sale of estimated 939,003 million board feet of timber on 331 acres on Compartment 14 of Indian Trail CA in Dent County.
    • Suspended hunting, fishing, and/or trapping privileges of 22 Missouri residents and three nonresidents for Wildlife Code violations. Those whose privileges were suspended are:
    Michael J. Abounader, Kirkwood, hunting, 4 years
    Shawn Berryhill, Arcadia, all sport privileges, 1 year
    Wyatt E. Callen, Rolla, hunting, 3 years
    Erik E. Casas, Wheaton, hunting, 2.5 years
    Carrie L. Covington, Rush Hill, all sport privileges, 1 year
    Bruce A. Crump, Mineral Point, hunting, 2 years
    Damien Q. Dinh, Sutter Creek, Calif., hunting, until 3-7-15
    Karl J. Dinwiddie, Elkland, hunting, 1 year
    Kenneth C. Drewes, Troy, hunting 1 year
    Nick W. Edwards, Boonville, hunting and trapping, 1 year
    Norman F. Glazier, Sedalia, fishing 2 years
    Tyler A. Gordy, Huntsville, hunting 3 years
    Garry W. Hayes, Buckner, hunting 3 years
    Thomas A. Howard, Hamilton, hunting and trapping, 4 years
    Kyle J. Kettwig, Doniphan, hunting, 3 years
    Steven L. Krider, Independence, hunting and fishing, 1 year
    Brenden L. Macomber, Annapolis, hunting, 1 year
    Andrey Marchuk, Springfield, fishing 4 years
    Curtis D. Matheney, Centertown, hunting, 1 year
    Wayne E. Mosier, Bismarck, hunting, 4 years
    Jeffrey R. Reid, Loranger, La., hunting, 2 years
    Alex A. Shuda, Sedalia, fishing, 1 year
    Brandon L. Snyder, Minburn, Iowa, hunting, 1 year
    Calvin J. Speckhals, Jefferson City, all sport privileges, 1 year
    Franklin D. Surratt, Aurora, hunting, 2 years
    • Approved the suspension or revocation of all hunting and fishing privileges of 309 people who are not in compliance with applicable child-support laws. Privileges suspended for noncompliance are reinstated once the Division of Child Support Enforcement notifies MDC that suspendees have come into compliance with the required laws.
    • Suspended privileges of 387 nonresidents under the provisions of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.
    • Set its next regular meeting for July 10 and 11.
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    Friday, June 13, 2014

    MDC Leads Efforts to Protect Deer

    Proposed regulations are designed to prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD).  Informed citizen involvement is critical to success.
    JEFFERSON CITY–The Conservation Commission voted to approve proposed amendments
    to regulations regarding the operation of hunting preserves and wildlife breeding facilities that hold white-tailed deer, mule deer, their hybrids, and other members of the deer family, known as cervids. The changes would become part of the agency’s strategy to minimize fatal disease risks to the state’s deer herd. 
    Actions recommended by the Commission include:
    • Banning the importation of live white-tailed deer, mule deer, and their hybrids from other states.
    • Improving fencing requirements for captive-cervid facilities.
    • Requiring all deer 6 months or older that die in a Conservation Department-licensed facility to be tested for CWD.
    • Establishing better record-keeping requirements for Conservation Department-licensed captive-cervid operations.
    • Prohibiting any new captive-cervid facilities within 25 miles of where CWD has been confirmed. 
    The proposed amendments are designed to ensure the health of Missouri’s entire deer herd, which includes free-ranging and captive-cervids. These proposed amendments work to reduce the risk of this fatal disease (CWD) from spreading beyond the limited area where it has been found, while minimizing the economic impact on the captive-cervid industry and the communities and businesses that benefit from deer hunting and deer-related activities.
    CWD is a fatal disease that affects members of the deer family, collectively called cervids. It is different and unrelated to the recent outbreak of hemorrhagic diseases. Those diseases – blue tongue and epizootic hemorrhagic disease – are caused by viruses and are often not fatal. Their effects are short-term and localized. However, hemorrhagic diseases have been in Missouri for years, and white-tailed deer are adapted to cope with them.
    Over 500,000 citizens enjoy deer hunting, sharing their hunting heritage and passing that heritage on to future generations. Missourians consume millions of pounds of venison and share with neighbors in need through the Share the Harvest Program. The spread of CWD could negatively impact deer-dependent businesses that support more than 12,000 Missouri jobs and generate over $1 billion in economic activity annually.
    Proposed changes to the Wildlife Code of Missouri would give white-tailed deer an extra measure of protection against this fatal disease. The Missouri Department of Conservation stresses that success depends on an informed, involved public.
    Now that the Conservation Commission has approved proposed amendments to the regulations, they will be published in the Missouri Register. There will be a 30-day public comment period beginning July 16, and any comments on the proposed rule changes will be forwarded to the Conservation Commission for its consideration. Those comments will be reviewed prior to deciding whether the rules will be adopted, amended, or withdrawn. To comment go to www.mdc.mo.gov/deerhealth.
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    Thursday, June 12, 2014

    Missouri Outdoor News for June 12, 2014

    Missouri State Parks
    Missouri State Parks (Photo credit: XPI3 Beqy)
    Missouri State Parks is getting out the word for the Great American Backyard Campout on June 28th at Prairie State Park, and the signup deadline is June 14. To register, call 417-843-6711.  Prairie State Park is located at 128 NW 150th Lane in Mindenmines.

    There is an informational meeting at Table Rock State Park on June 17th.  This is your chance to hear about Missouri State Park's plans and to offer any suggestions of your own.  The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the shelter house and more information can be had by calling  417-334-4704.

    The Missouri weekly fishing report for this week is HERE


    Wildflower Hike at Prairie State Park June 14

    As summer gets started, the prairie is ablaze with color. Join a park naturalist on Saturday, June 14 at 10
    a.m. at the Prairie State Park Nature Center in Mindenmines for a walk among green grasses and colorful flowers to learn more about the amazing prairie ecosystem.

    It is suggested that visitors dress for the weather and hiking across the prairie. Long pants and sturdy shoes are recommended as well as insect repellant. The hike will last about two hours covering one and a half to two miles.

    Prairie State Park is located at 128 NW 150th Lane, Mindenmines. For more information about the event, contact Prairie State Park at 417-843-6711. For more information on state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
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    MDC holding deer open houses in Springfield, Joplin

    SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites the public to

    attend either of two deer management open-houses in the southwest part of the state in June.
    A deer management open house will be held in Springfield from 3 to 8 p.m. on June 17 at Missouri State University, Christopher Bond Learning Center, 2401 S. Kansas Expressway. The next day, June 18, a deer open house will be held in Joplin at Missouri Southern State University’s Cornell Auditorium in Plaster Hall, 3950 Newman Road. This event will also be from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. These meetings are two of numerous open houses being held by the Department across the state to discuss deer management with citizens.
    Attendees will be able to visit booths focusing on the history of deer management in Missouri; the state’s new deer management plan; possible regulation changes and disease management efforts related to Chronic Wasting Disease and other infectious diseases; hunter retention and recruitment, landowner and non-resident permit privileges, urban deer management, and other deer-related issues.
    The open-house format lets attendees concentrate on their particular interests, asking questions and discussing their ideas one-on-one with biologists and other key staff. Conservation Department Deputy Director Tom Draper says the goal of the meetings is to provide information and get feedback.
    “We need people to tell us what they want Missouri’s deer population to look like and what combination of hunting seasons, bag limits, and hunting methods they want the Conservation Department to use to achieve their goals,” says Draper.
    Deer hunting is an important part of the state’s outdoors heritage. Generations of Missourians have enjoyed this activity and deer season is still an event hunters of many ages participate in annually.Missouri has nearly 520,000 deer hunters and almost two million wildlife watchers who enjoy deer. Activities related to deer hunting and watching annually generates $1 billion in economic activity for thousands of Missouri businesses and hundreds of communities around the state, and support more than 12,000 Missouri jobs. The appreciation people have for deer is further proof of what many state residents already know: Missourians care about conserving forests, fish and wildlife.
    If people want more information about these open houses or are unable to attend but still want to review the information presented and provide comments, they can go online tohttp://www.mdc.mo.gov/DeerOpenHouse.
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    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

    Informational Meeting at Harry S Truman State Park on June 14

    The public is invited to bring their ideas to an informational meeting at Harry S Truman State Park near
    Warsaw onJune 14. The informational meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the campground amphitheater.

    Park representatives will provide information on recent accomplishments and future plans for the facility and will be available to answer questions. Visitors are invited to share comments and suggestions about park services and operations. This informational meeting is part of an ongoing effort by Missouri State Parks to ensure citizens have input regarding the facilities and services offered in state parks and historic sites.

    Harry S Truman State Park is located at 28761 State Park Road West in Warsaw. Individuals requiring special services or accommodations to attend the meeting can make arrangements by calling 660-438-7711. For information about state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.    
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    MDC holding deer management open house June 24 in Jackson

    Stop by to learn about Department management goals and share your opinions.
    CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites the public to a deer management open-house in Jackson from 3 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 24, at the Knights of Columbus Hall, at 3305 North High Street. This meeting is one of numerous open houses being held by the department across the state to discuss deer management with citizens.
    Attendees will be able to visit booths focusing on the history of deer management in Missouri; the state’s new deer management plan; possible regulation changes and disease management efforts related to Chronic Wasting Disease and other infectious diseases; hunter retention and recruitment, landowner and non-resident permit privileges, urban deer management and other deer-related issues.
    The open-house format lets attendees concentrate on their particular interests, asking questions and discussing their ideas one-on-one with biologists and other key staff. Conservation Department Deputy Director Tom Draper says the goal of the meetings is to provide information and get feedback.
    “We need people to tell us what they want Missouri’s deer population to look like and what combination of hunting seasons, bag limits, and hunting methods they want the Conservation Department to use to achieve their goals,” says Draper.
    Deer hunting is an important part of the state’s outdoors heritage. Generations of Missourians have enjoyed this activity and deer season is still an event hunters of many ages participate in annually. Missouri has nearly 520,000 deer hunters and almost 2 million wildlife watchers who enjoy deer. Activities related to deer hunting and watching annually generates $1 billion in economic activity for thousands of Missouri businesses and hundreds of communities around the state, and support more than 12,000 Missouri jobs. The appreciation people have for deer is further proof of what many state residents already know: Missourians care about conserving forests, fish and wildlife.
    If people want more information about these open houses or are unable to attend but still want to review the information presented and provide comments, they can go online tomdc.mo.gov/DeerOpenHouse.
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    Tuesday, June 10, 2014

    Informational meeting at Pomme de Terre State Park June 13

    The public is invited to bring their ideas to an informational meeting at Pomme de Terre State Park near
    Pittsburg onJune 13. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the Hermitage Area campground amphitheater located off of CR 246, and is open to the public.

    Park representatives will provide information on future plans for the facility and answer questions from community members. Visitors are invited to share comments and suggestions about park services and operations. This informational meeting is part of an ongoing effort by Missouri State Parks to ensure citizens have input regarding the facilities and services offered in state parks and historic sites.

    Pomme de Terre State Park is located on Hwy. 64B. Individuals requiring special services or accommodations to attend the meeting can make arrangements, or request more information, by calling 417-852-4291. For information about state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. 
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    MDC holding deer management open house June 16 in Rolla

    Stop by to learn about Department management goals and share your opinions.

    ROLLA, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites the public to a deer management open-house in Rolla from 3 to 8 p.m. on Monday, June 16, at Rolla Junior High School Cafeteria, 1360 Soest Road. This meeting is one of numerous open houses being held by the department across the state to discuss deer management with citizens.
    Attendees will be able to visit booths focusing on the history of deer management in Missouri; the state’s new deer management plan; possible regulation changes and disease management efforts related to Chronic Wasting Disease and other infectious diseases; hunter retention and recruitment, landowner and non-resident permit privileges, urban deer management, and other deer-related issues.
    The open-house format lets attendees concentrate on their particular interests, asking questions and discussing their ideas one-on-one with biologists and other key staff. Conservation Department Deputy Director Tom Draper says the goal of the meetings is to provide information and get feedback.
    “We need people to tell us what they want Missouri’s deer population to look like and what combination of hunting seasons, bag limits, and hunting methods they want the Conservation Department to use to achieve their goals,” says Draper.
    Deer hunting is an important part of the state’s outdoors heritage. Generations of Missourians have enjoyed this activity and deer season is still an event hunters of many ages participate in annually. Missouri has nearly 520,000 deer hunters and almost two million wildlife watchers who enjoy deer. Activities related to deer hunting and watching annually generates $1 billion in economic activity for thousands of Missouri businesses and hundreds of communities around the state, and support more than 12,000 Missouri jobs. The appreciation people have for deer is further proof of what many state residents already know: Missourians care about conserving forests, fish and wildlife.
    If people want more information about these open houses or are unable to attend but still want to review the information presented and provide comments, they can go online tomdc.mo.gov/DeerOpenHouse.
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    Monday, June 9, 2014

    Watershed Committee of the Ozarks to receive $255,551 for Little Sac River restoration project

    The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has announced a $255,551 grant to the Watershed
    Committee of the Ozarks for restoration and improvements to the Little Sac River. The funding is provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act.

    The project will focus on reducing bacteria in the Upper Little Sac River basin. The pollution reduction will be accomplished through implementation of recognized practices to reduce pollution from stormwater runoff.

    The Watershed Committee of the Ozarks will provide a contribution of $172,910 over the life of the project, bringing the total cost of the project to $428,461. The project is expected to be completed in the Spring of 2017.

    Water quality improvement efforts will include streambank stabilization, prescribed grazing systems, bank vegetative buffers and alternative livestock watering sources. Project partners will assist with implementation and performance monitoring of the selected practices.
               
    The Department of Natural Resources will administer the funds and is committed to working with communities and businesses to assist with efforts to improve water quality in Missouri. For more information, visit the department’sWater Protection Program online.
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    Sunday, June 8, 2014

    Janzow photo exhibit highlights southeast Missouri diversity

    River scenes and mountain views will catch the attention of visitors to the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center in June. The center will feature work by photographer and
    The Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center's
    June photo exhibit by photographer and wildlife biologist,
     Marcus Janzow, will feature the rich
    biodiversity of southeast Missouri.
    wildlife biologist, Marcus Janzow, in the monthly art display.
    Janzow’s exhibit, titled “Diverse Landscapes of Southeast Missouri,” focuses on the extreme natural diversity of the southeast Missouri region, from the St. Francois Mountains and the Mississippi River hills to springs and streams of the Ozarks and the sand prairies of the Bootheel.
    The focus for all activities and exhibits at the Nature Center is ‘Connecting people to the land’ and Sara Turner, the manager of the nature center, said Janzow’s photographs go a long way toward highlighting the great diversity of land and natural resources that abound throughout southeast Missouri.
    “These natural communities are prime targets for the lens of a camera, and we hope our community will be inspired to connect with the land by visiting these places after they view this June exhibit,” Turner said.
    The exhibit is free and available to view any time during normal operating hours at the nature center, Tuesday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information on other programs at the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center, go online to mdc.mo.gov.

    Saturday, June 7, 2014

    Outdoor adventures await in Missouri State Parks

    Limestone Cliff Overlooking Valley of Missouri...
    Limestone Cliff Overlooking Valley of Missouri River (Photo credit: ConanTheLibrarian)
    With summer around the corner, there are plenty of opportunities to get outside and enjoy nature in Missouri’s state parks and historic sites.  Spending a night under the stars, hitting the trails and enjoying a day on the water are all options for guests enjoying Missouri State Parks.  
    “Whether your family has a tradition of enjoying the outdoors, or you have yet to explore the natural wonders on display in our state parks, I’d like to invite all our guests to try a fun new activity in Missouri State Parks,” said Bill Bryan, director of Missouri State Parks. “It’s a great time to try kayaking, enjoy s’mores around the campfire or simply visit a park you’ve never experienced before.”
    While planning a trip to a state park or historic site, guests can view parks by region and by activities available at mostateparks.com/find-a-park. Trail options, lodging opportunities and fishing types are among the topics users can select to find the perfect location for their next state park visit. 
    Many state parks are located on lakes and offer easy access to water activities at Lake of the Ozarks, Table Rock Lake, Stockton Lake, Pomme de Terre Lake, Truman Lake, Long Branch Lake, Mark Twain Lake and Lake Wappapello.  Guests interested in kayaking can take advantage of two new water trails at Stockton State Park near Stockton and Finger Lakes State Park north of Columbia. 
    State park campgrounds offer a variety of amenities ranging from basic campsites for tent campers to campsites with sewer/electric/water hookups for recreational vehicles. Campgrounds offer hot showers, laundry facilities, dump stations and other amenities. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis or can be reserved in advance.  Starting at noon on May 23, campers can enjoy the re-opened campgrounds at Big Lake State Park in northwest Missouri and Viney Creek Recreation Area in southwest Missouri. 
    In 2013, Missouri was named the best trails state in the nation by American Trails, a national, nonprofit organization working on behalf of the nation’s hiking, biking and riding trails.  Missouri State Parks includes nearly 1,000 miles of trails for guests to discover and is proclaiming 2014 the “Year of the Trail”.  The celebration includes trail-related special events and programs as well as a new GeoChallenge on the Missouri State Parks mobile app that challenges guests to navigate to trailheads in state parks and historic sites. 
    In March, Gov. Jay Nixon and First Lady Georganne Nixon launched the second year of the 100 Missouri Miles Challenge. The challenge encourages Missourians to complete “100 Missouri Miles” of physical activity by walking, running, biking, rolling, paddling or hiking throughout Missouri, including Missouri’s state parks. To sign up for the 100 Missouri Miles Challenge and begin logging miles, or to continue an existing account, visit 100MissouriMiles.com.
    From nature programs to guided hikes, guests can also enjoy upcoming special events taking place day-to-day in Missouri State Parks.  On June 7, family-friendly activities throughout parks and historic sites will mark the country’s largest celebration of trails, National Trails Day.  On June 28, guests will join thousands of people across the nation for the Great American Backyard Campout.   
    For more information on Missouri state parks and historic sites, to find a special event near you, or to make a camping reservation, go to mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.