The Voice for Missouri Outdoors SEPTEMBER 2021 - VOL 82 | NO. 5
Bill Signing a Huge Win Across Missouri’s Outdoors
ecently in July, the Governor signed HB 369 into law, completing a historic legislative session where we had many of CFM's priorities passed for the betterment of conservation and the outdoors in Missouri. I hope you all take time to celebrate such a HUGE victory this year. To put it into perspective, some conservation historians said it was the first conservation omnibus bill signed into law since 1945. Here are a few highlights of the bill. Prescribed Burning - This bill creates the "Prescribed Burning Act", which specifies that any landowner or agent of a landowner will not be liable for damage, injury, or loss caused by a prescribed burn, as defined in the bill, or the resulting smoke of a prescribed burn unless the landowner is proven to be negligent. Additionally, no certified burn manager will be liable if the burn is conducted in accordance with a written prescribed burn plan unless the burn manager is found to be negligent. Feral Swine Language - Any person who recklessly or knowingly releases any swine to live in a wild or feral state upon any public land or private land not completely enclosed by a fence capable of containing such animals is guilty of a class A misdemeanor and may be sentenced to pay a fine up to two thousand dollars. Each swine so released shall be a separate offense. Every person who has previously been found guilty of violating the provisions of this section, shall be guilty of a class E felony. Recreation Use Liability - No owner of land shall be liable for injuries of a trespasser occurring on his or her residential area or noncovered land. If such area or land is adjacent to a park, or a trail, if such trespasser is accessing or accessed the owner's property from the adjacent park or trail. Campground Liability - A private campground owner or an employee or officer of a private campground owner shall not be liable for acts or omissions related to camping at a private campground if a person is injured or killed or property is damaged because of an inherent risk of camping.
Adds Wildlife Management Program to liability exemption - Provides an owner of land who directly or indirectly invites or permits any person to enter his or her land for recreational use, without charge, whether or not the land is posted, or who directly or indirectly invites or permits any person to enter his or her land for recreational use in compliance with a state-administered recreational access or wildlife management program. Game Camera’s on private property - No employee of a state agency or a political subdivision of the state shall place any surveillance camera or game camera on private property without first obtaining consent from the landowner or his or her designee. Antioch Cemetery – Authorizes the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to purchase the Antioch Cemetery that is located near Clinton, Missouri. The incredible work of so many work together to help make this possible. I am very proud that “The Voice for Missouri Outdoors” rang loud and clear this session in the Capitol, and you should be too. Thanks to every one of you that took time to contact your elected officials and engage in this important process. Fall season is approaching, so get outside and enjoy all the wonderful sights, sounds and smells in Missouri and beyond.
Tyler poses with the Governor after the signing of HB 369 in July. (Photo: Jim Kent)
Yours in Conservation, Tyler Schwartze CFM Executive Director SEPTEMBER - 2021
Conservation Federation September 2021 - V82 No. 5
OFFICERS Mossie Schallon - President Vacant - President Elect Zach Morris -Vice President Ginny Wallace - Secretary Randy Washburn - Treasurer
STAFF Tyler Schwartze - Executive Director, Editor Micaela Haymaker - Director of Operations Michelle Gabelsberger - Membership Development Coordinator Colton Zirkle - Education and Communications Coordinator Joan VanderFeltz - Administrative Assistant Emma Kessinger - Creative Director
ABOUT THE MAGAZINE CFM Mission: To ensure conservation of Missouri’s wildlife and natural resources, and preservation of our state’s rich outdoor heritage through advocacy, education and partnerships.
Gardening for Wildlife
How to Transform Food Plots
The Soul of Treasured Memories
In the Company of Birds
Pollinator Garden Menu
A Partnership for the Environment
Hunting Teal with a Young Girl and an Old Lady
Departments 3 8 11 14 36
Director's Message President's Message New Members Affiliate Spotlight Agency News
Highlights 6 13 19 22 25 58
What is CFM Buy it Now Shotgun Calling All Sportswomen CLC River Cleanup CFM Fundraising Dinner Offices of Outdoor Recreation
Conservation Federation is the publication of the Conservation Federation of Missouri (ISSN 1082-8591). Conservation Federation (USPS 012868) is published bi-monthly in January, March, May, July, September and November for subscribers and members. Of each member’s dues, $10 shall be for a year’s subscription to Conservation Federation. Periodical postage paid in Jefferson City, MO and additional mailing offices. Send address changes to: Postmaster Conservation Federation of Missouri 728 West Main Jefferson City, MO 65101
FRONT COVER Current River near Owls Bend Shannon County, Missouri Nikon D7100, 10mm Nikkor lens, f11 @ 1/20 sec This photograph appears on the cover of Matt Miles' book: Missouri, Wild and Wonderful. The book can be previewed at mattmilesphotography.com
Thank you to all of our Business Partners. Platinum
Gold Bushnell Doolittle Trailer Enbridge, Inc.
G3 Boats MidwayUSA Pure Air Natives
Redneck Blinds Riley Chevrolet Roeslein Alternative Energy, LLC
Missouri Wildflowers Nursery Mitico Simmons Sun Solar
Starline, Inc. St. James Winery
Gray Manufacturing Company, Inc. HMI Fireplace Shop Hodgdon Powder Company, Inc. Missouri Wine & Grape Board NE Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.
NW Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. Ozark Bait and Tackle Powder Horn Guns & Archery
Custom Screen Printing and Embroidery Dickerson Park Zoo Farmer’s Co-op Elevator Association Gascosage Electric Cooperative GREDELL Engineering Resources, Inc. Heartland Seed of Missouri LLC Hulett Heating & Air Conditioning Kansas City Parks and Recreation
Lewis County Rural Electric Coop. Missouri Native Seed Association REMAX Boone Realty Tabor Plastics Company Truman’s Bar & Grill United Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Silver Custom Metal Products Forrest Keeling Nursery Learfield Communication, Inc. Lilley’s Landing Resort & Marina
Bronze Association of Missouri Electric Coop. Black Widow Custom Bows, Inc. Burgers’ Smokehouse Central Electric Power Cooperative Drury Hotels
Iron Bass Pro Shops (Independence) Bee Rock Outdoor Adventures Blue Springs Park and Recreation Brockmeier Financial Services Brown Printing Cap America Central Bank Community State Bank of Bowling Green
Your business can benefit by supporting conservation. For all sponsorship opportunities, call (573) 634-2322.
SEPTEMBER - 2021
"The Voice for Missouri Outdoors" Mission: To ensure conservation of Missouri’s wildlife and natural resources, and preservation of our state’s rich outdoor heritage through advocacy, education and partnerships. In 1935, conservationists from all over Missouri came together to form the Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) with the purpose to take politics out of conservation. The efforts of our founders resulted in the creation of Missouri's non-partisan Conservation Commission and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). Since then, CFM has been the leading advocate for the outdoors in Missouri.
Over 100 affiliated organizations Share the Harvest Corporate & Business Partnerships State & Federal Agency Partnerships National Wildlife Federation Affiliate Operation Game Thief Operation Forest Arson David A. Risberg Memorial Grants Missouri Stream Team
Conservation Leadership Corps Missouri Collegiate Conservation Alliance Confluence of Young Conservation Leaders Affiliate Summit Scholarships for youth and students Governor’s Youth Turkey Hunt National Archery in the Schools Grants Conservation Federation Magazine
Legislative Action Center Resolutions to lead change Natural Resource Advisory Committees Conservation Day at the Capitol Staff and members testify in hearings for conservation and natural resources
Conservation Federation of Missouri began
State Wildlife and Forestry Code published
Wildlife and Forestry Act passed
First deer season since 1937
Amendment 4 created Missouri's non-political Conservation Commission
First turkey season in 23 years
First hunter safety program formed
Missouri Department of Natural Resources formed
Urban fishing program formed in St. Louis; first in the nation
Operation Game Thief formed
Design for Conservation Sales Tax passed
Stream Teams formed
Parks and Soils Sales Tax passed
Missouri voters Outdoor renewed Action Parks and Soils Sales Committee formed Tax by 70.8%
Share the Harvest formed
Operation Forest Arson formed
Conservation Leadership Corps formed
Missouri National Archery in the Schools Program formed
CFM Celebrates 85 years
Parks and Soils Sales Tax renewed by voters by the highest percentage to date (80%)
Ways You Can Support CFM Membership
Scholarships and Grant Support
Event Sponsorship and Product Donation
Support our efforts to promote and protect conservation and natural resources in our state. Members will receive our magazine six times a year, event information, our bi-weekly enewsletter, and the opportunity to grow our voice. CFM provides the platform for a diverse group of organizations to have their conservation voices be heard. Affiliates have the opportunity to apply for grants, receive educational training and promote the mission of their organization. CFM provides scholarships to graduates and undergraduates. We also provide grant funds to youth education programs and to affiliate projects. Contributing will help future generations initiate boots on the ground projects.
Become a life member for $1,000. Life memberships are placed in an endowment fund that allows us to continue our work in perpetuity.
Business partners will enjoy recognition in each magazine issue along with opportunities to reach and engage with our active membership. Ask us about our different Business Partnership levels. All of our events have raffles with both silent and live auctions. The contributions of in-kind products and services not only assists in raising funds for conservation, but also promote the businesses that support CFM.
Conservation Federation of Missouri 728 West Main St, Jefferson City, MO 65101 Phone: (573) 634-2322 ~ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.confedmo.org
Become a Member today! ____ ____ ____ ____ ____
Description Individual Supporter Individual Advocate Individual Sustaining Youth/Student Individual Lifetime
Price $35.00 $60.00 $100.00 $20.00 $1,000.00
Name: E-mail: Phone: Address: Credit Card #: Exp. Date:
Join online confedmo.org/join
Reflecting On CFM's Summer
s you are receiving the September & October edition of our CFM magazine, staff and volunteers are wrapping up a busy summer with many initiatives completed; and transitioning to complete more important work in the fall.
A couple of summer highlights: •
On Saturday evening new and returning CLC students enjoyed a catered meal, were introduced to state agency leaders (MDC, DNR, and MDA), and provided an opportunity to network with each other, along with CFM’s Youth Conservation Action committee, myself and Executive Director, Tyler Schwartze. MDC Director Sara Pauley and her husband Scott graciously hosted the students, providing overnight camping/lodging at their homesite. Many thanks to Missouri River Relief, the YCA committee, Colton Zirkle, Education and Communications Coordinator and the Pauley’s!
On September 10, CFM celebrates our 86th anniversary, possibly with less fanfare than the 85th but with the wind at our backs. As our long history reflects, CFM was founded by a citizen-led effort to keep politics out of conservation and preserve our state’s rich outdoor heritage. This effort that started in 1935 resulted in the creation of Missouri’s non-partisan Conservation Commission and the Missouri Department of Conservation. Their foresight enabled Missouri to be the top state in the nation for conservation efforts. CFM continues to be the watchdog over politicians and state agencies to ensure the conservation of our wildlife and natural resources. At this time, we are closely monitoring to be prepared to act in support of the Circuit Court of Cole County’s ruling in favor of MDC to spend their own money to acquire high-quality public lands that all Missourians can enjoy for years to come. The MO General Assembly has appealed the Court’s decision to the Missouri Supreme Court. Although we are confident that the MSC will uphold the Commission’s constitutional authority, we take nothing for granted. We are you! Private citizen volunteers! As a CFM Life Member, currently serving as president, it is my privilege to work with so many passionate Missouri Conservationists who volunteer their time and talent and are willing to pull out the checkbook and give generously. I want everyone to know how much all volunteer efforts are appreciated!
July 10 & 11 Conservation Leadership Corp & Missouri River Relief joined forces to create and host a “Cleanup & Education Weekend,” providing an opportunity for students to experience and improve the Big River!
7/14 House Bill 369 including the Prescribed Burning Act and other favorable conservation legislation was signed by Governor Mike Parson and went into effect August 28. Thanks to all who worked so diligently to ensure this outcome!
Before signing off, as the grandmother of two precious little boys, I am sharing my concerns about the slow pace of Covid Vaccinations in our state. At this writing, Missouri residents with at least one vaccine dose is less than 50 percent while the more infectious delta variant of the coronavirus is quickly spreading among mostly unvaccinated individuals. I urge you to be safe, and if not vaccinated, please consider doing so for yourself and protect others who may be unable to receive the vaccine!
“Volunteerism is the voice of the people put into action. These actions shape and mold the present into a future of which we can all be proud.” – Helen Dyer
Yours in Conservation, Mossie Schallon President, CFM
Shelter Insurance® is a proud sponsor of Share the Harvest & the Conservation Federation. Contact your local Shelter agent to insure your auto, home, life, and your hunting & fishing gear. Find an agent near you at ShelterInsurance.com.
Why I Became a Life Member of CFM: Elizabeth Cook
have spent most of my life in Missouri, growing up in Audrain County on a dairy/row crop farm. My parents were early conservationists of a sort; they were active in soils and water conservation programs to preserve the productivity of their land. However, when I started my first professional job at the Missouri Department of Conservation, just after the passage of the Design for Conservation sales tax, my heart and mind were awakened to a much more extensive view of conservation. Early on, I learned that Missouri is the envy of the country for their funding base, citizen-led support, and healthy collaborations among state, federal and local governments, as well as nongovernmental groups active in conservation programs. The very nature of my work in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) depended on such cooperation to share the extensive costs of digital map development, training, and computing resources through the Missouri Resources Assessment Partnership (MoRAP), Missouri GIS Advisory Council (MGISAC), Missouri Spatial Data Information Service (MSDIS) and others. I worked my entire 37-year career in conservation organizations, retiring in 2016 from the U. S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. In my last few years, I was proud to lead a huge cooperative effort to acquire Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data for the entire State.
Processing, distributing, and training on the use of this valuable source of information about elevation and landforms could never have been achieved without the Missouri model of collaboration. My husband Gene Gardner and I have thought a lot of late about continuing our support and involvement in this Missouri model of collaboration during our retirement years. Becoming lifetime members of CFM was one of our first thoughts because CFM works for and with all aspects of Missouri’s natural resources and citizen conservationists for whom we dedicated our careers. We literally could think of no better conservation organization to support.
Become a CFM Life Member When you purchase a Life Membership with CFM, your money is added to an endowment supporting the administration of the organization in perpetuity. Each year, we draw earnings from the endowment, so your contribution will truly be supporting the CFM for the rest of your life and beyond. This is an important funding source for our Federation. We hope you will consider joining the over 300 dedicated conservationists who have already made a life commitment to the Conservation Federation of Missouri by becoming a Life Member today at www.confedmo.org/join.
Contact CFM at (573) 634-2322 or email email@example.com
WELCOME NEW CFM MEMBERS Ben Alexander, Lake Saint Louis
Bob Peterson, Joplin
Glenn Braun, Rosebud
Mike Reed, Sikeston
Darryl Engelhardt, Jefferson City
Michael Sheridan, Kirkwood
Tim Fleener, Gladstone
Bob Tarrant, Florissant
Francis Hesse, Knob Noster
Dorothy Thurman, Springfield
Gary Marquart, Washington
Nancy Williamson, Washington
Michael Martin, Saint Louis
Jim & Lois Wyman, Union
George Mehlick, Chesterfield Steven Mumm, Saint Louis
CFM thanks the 213 members that renewed since our last publication.
In Memory In Memory of Lloyd E. Abernathy Mr. and Mrs. Billy Rhodes In Memory of Ronald Walter Long Mr. and Mrs. Grover Morgan
In Honor In Honor of Eric Strope Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Strope Family
SEPTEMBER - 2021
Committed to Community & Conservation Owned by the members they serve, Missouri’s electric cooperatives do more than provide reliable and affordable electricity. They are active in their communities, concerned for the wellbeing of their neighbors and devoted to the rural way of life that makes the Show-Me State a special place to live, work and play. Missouri’s electric cooperatives are dedicated to protecting the land, air and water resources important to you and your quality of life. Learn more at www.amec.coop.
Conservation Federation of Missouri th
BUY IT NOW-$699 Celebrate the Conservation Federation’s 85th Anniversary by purchasing a piece of history with this 12 ga. shotgun. This beautifully engraved CZ-USA Model 1012 Shotgun displays both the CFM 85th Anniversary logo and the CFM Seal, in your choice of bronze or OD green Cerakote finish. The shotgun features a Turkish walnut stock and holds up to 3” shells with a 4+1 magazine capacity. It has a 28” barrel length and a 14.5" length of pull. Each shotgun comes with a case and five choke tubes (F, IM, M, IC, C). To order: You may reserve yours today by going online at confedmo.org/buyitnow or call (573) 634-2322. Please allow 12 weeks for shipment, once the order is placed. Orders will be placed every 6 weeks. Shotguns will be shipped to an FFL dealer of your choosing in MO. Local FFL transfer fee may apply.
James River Basin Partnership
ince our inception in 1997, the James River Basin Partnership (JRBP) has worked to preserve and protect water quality within the James River watershed. The James River watershed consists of nearly one million acres of land in portions of eight counties and includes a network of beautiful waterways and unique karst features such as sinkholes, springs, and gaining and losing streams. In the late 1990’s, the water quality in Table Rock Lake began to decline. A major algae bloom occurred in the James River arm of Table Rock Lake - disrupting local ecology, threatening tourism, and raising concerns about local health. The event prompted media attention and citizen action. Through a project of the Southwest Missouri Resource Conservation and Development, a group of passionate citizens formed our non-profit, the James River Basin Partnership in 1997. By August 1999, we became an autonomous grassroots organization, relying on grant funding, memberships, municipality support and donations from individuals and businesses.
Through grants, support from local communities, fundraising, and the generous giving of our individual and business members, the staff, board of directors, and volunteers at JRBP work tirelessly to implement projects and best management practices aimed at improving local water quality. We strive to grow our community of water quality advocates by providing handson opportunities for individuals, families, groups, and businesses to learn about and connect with our local waterways. The James River Basin Partnership (JRBP) is a grassroots, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization. To learn more about how to get involved and details about current projects, visit www.jamesriverbasin.com.
Affiliate Organizations Anglers of Missouri Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives
Missouri Chapter of the American Fisheries Society
Missouri Sport Shooting Association Missouri State Campers Association
Missouri Chapter of the Wildlife Society
Missouri State Parks Foundation
Bass Slammer Tackle
Missouri Coalition for the Environment
Missouri Taxidermist Association
Big Game Hunters
Missouri Community Forestry Council
Missouri Trappers Association
Burroughs Audubon Society
Missouri Conservation Agents Association
Missouri Trout Fishermen's Association
Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation
Missouri Whitetails Unlimited
Capital City Fly Fishers
of Greater Kansas City
Missouri Conservation Pioneers
MU Wildlife & Fisheries
Chesterfield Citizens Committee
Missouri Consulting Foresters Association
for the Environment
Science Graduate Student Organization
Missouri Ducks Unlimited- State Council
Northside Conservation Federation
Columbia Audubon Society
Missouri Forest Products Association
Open Space Council of the St. Louis Region
Conservation Foundation of
Missouri Grouse Chapter of QUWF
Ozark Chinquapin Foundation
Missouri Charitable Trust
Missouri Hunter Education
Ozark Fly Fishers, Inc.
Deer Creek Sportsman Club
Ozark Land Trust
Duckhorn Outdoors Adventures
Missouri Hunting Heritage Federation
Ozark Trail Association
Festus-Crystal City Conservation Club
Missouri Master Naturalist -
Ozark Wilderness Waterways Club
Forest and Woodland Association of Missouri Forest Releaf of Missouri Friends of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park
Boone's Lick Chapter Missouri Master Naturalist Great Rivers Chapter Missouri Master Naturalist -
Gateway Chapter Trout Unlimited
Hi Lonesome Chapter
Greater Ozarks Audubon Society
Missouri Master Naturalist -
Greenbelt Land Trust of Mid-Missouri Greenway Network, Inc. James River Basin Partnership L-A-D Foundation Land Learning Foundation
Miramiguoa Chapter Missouri Master Naturalist Osage Trails Chapter Missouri Master Naturalist Springfield Plateau Chapter
Perry County Sportsman Club Pomme De Terre Chapter Muskies Quail & Upland Wildlife Federation, Inc. Quail Forever & Pheasants Forever River Bluffs Audubon Society Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Roubidoux Fly Fishers Association South Side Division CFM Southwest Missouri Fly Fishers St. Louis Audubon Society Stream Teams United
Little Blue River Watershed Coalition
Missouri National Wild Turkey Federation
Student Air Rifle Program
Missouri Native Seed Association
Tipton Farmers & Sportsman's Club
Mid-Missouri Outdoor Dream
Missouri Outdoor Communicators
Tri-Lakes Fly Fishers
Mid-Missouri Trout Unlimited
Missouri Park & Recreation Association
Troutbusters of Missouri
Midwest Diving Council
Missouri Parks Association
United Bow Hunters of Missouri
Mississippi Valley Duck
Missouri Prairie Foundation
Watershed Conservation Corps
Missouri River Bird Observatory
Wild Bird Rehabilitation
Missouri Association of Meat Processors
Missouri River Relief
Wild Souls Wildlife Rescue Rehabilitation
Missouri Atlatl Association
Missouri Rock Island Trail, Inc.
Wonders of Wildlife
Missouri B.A.S.S. Nation
Missouri Rural Water Association
Young Outdoorsmen United
Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative
Missouri Smallmouth Alliance
Missouri Birding Society
Missouri Society of American Foresters
Missouri Bow Hunters Association
Missouri Soil & Water Conservation
Missouri Caves & Karst Conservancy
SEPTEMBER - 2021
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Calling all Sportswomen! Yes, you heard me correctly, SportsWOMEN!
’d like to tell you about Artemis. Artemis is an initiative of the National Wildlife Federation to engage women in the great outdoors. Through our Partnership with CFM, we want to spread the word to all the ladies out there that hunt, fish, and want to get more involved with conservation projects in our beautiful state of Missouri. I found out about Artemis through The Hunting Public podcast. I was immedietly intriqued as I had never had much luck finding other woman that were as passioniate about hunting and the outdoors as I am. After hunting for 12 years, I had decided it was time to give back more than I take from the woods. That’s where Artemis comes in. Planning to go online and join my local Artemis group was first on my agenda! To my surprise, Missouri did not have an Artemis Ambassador yet. As anxious as it made me to step that far out of my comfort zone, I applied. As women in a sport dominated by men, we all have good stories of being supported and encouraged and just as many bad stories of maybe not being heard or taken seriously. Artemis gives us a voice and a place to learn together and from one another. One thing I have learned during our Artemis Ambassador meetings is that we are all different, we all hunt, fish, forage differently and no one admits to being an expert about any of it, which is refreshing. We support each other and help each other learn in an enviroment of positve women all supporting one common goal. That goal is to be leaders in fish and wildlife fields, protect the wildlife we love and the places they live, and to ensure our future generations can enjoy them as we do.
My first archery whitetail taken ten years ago, fueled my passion for the sport and conservation. (Photo: Courtesy of Artemis)
If you would like to learn more about Artemis and who we are, please visit www.artemis.nwf.org. Please join me in our local Facebook group to find out about conservation projects and events we will be working on this year: www.facebook.com/groups/ artemismissouri/. Happy hunting, ladies and I can’t wait to meet you! Kerry Swayne Artemis Missouri Ambassador
SEPTEMBER - 2021
2021 Events Schedule 85th Annual Convention- March 1 - 6
Let your voice be heard at the Virtual Annual Convention. Meetings, Awards, Auctions, and so much more.
Conservation Day at the Capitol- April 7
Join conservationists from across Missouri on the radio for a day of celebrating and supporting conservation and natural resources. From 6 am to 10 am on 96.7 FM or KCMQ.com
Pull for Conservation: Northwest- April 17
Join CFM for the 6th annual Northwest clay shoot at Boot Hill Shooting Ground in Hamilton.
Conservation Federation Virtual Event- July 22
Join us for this virtual fundraiser and hear updates about all things conservation.
Pull for Conservation: Central- August 14
Take your best shot at the 15th annual Central clay shoot at Prairie Grove Shotgun Sports.
Affiliate Summit- September 9 & 10
CFM affiliate organizations are invited to network and learn with fellow professionals.
Conservation Federation Online Auction- October 4-18 Enjoy a fun and interactive online auction with many great trips and prizes.
Conservation Federation Banquet: Springfield- October 7
Meet fellow conservationists and support CFM at the White River Conference Center next to Bass Pro Shops and Wonders of Wildlife.
Holiday Online Auction- Early December
Bid on many exciting items just in the time for the holidays.
Event dates are subject to change. Please visit www.confedmo.org or follow us on social media for the most up to date schedule.
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CLC Assists Missouri River Relief With River Cleanup 22
he Conservation Leadership Corps (CLC) is a program supported by the Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) that allows students from high school and college to be involved and take action on conservation policy. It allows students to network and develop relationships with other like-minded members and conservation professionals statewide. Each year, members attend a fall workshop to build resolutions that they later present at the spring CFM annual convention held in Jefferson City. Throughout the year students volunteer with other CFM affiliates and develop relationships with each other during special CLC events. CLC members attend an annual camping and floating trip in July. This year, 20 CLC students gathered for the float trip which was their first in-person event since March of 2020! Due to the effects of COVID-19, all CLC events were held virtually over the past 15 months. CLC spent the weekend at Sara Pauley’s, Director of Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), home and got out on the big river with Missouri River Relief to pick up trash and learn more about the river. Students arrived at the Pauley’s home Saturday evening to gather and chat with new and old CLC members. They were also introduced to various professionals who work for the state offices of the Dept. of Natural Resources, Dept. of Agriculture, Dept. of Conservation, and CFM. After a fantastic meal, students explored the Pauley’s native wildflower patch, set up tents, and played games. The next morning members gathered for breakfast before they headed off to the Missouri River. They were fitted with life jackets and loaded onto Missouri River Relief boats to help clean up the river. Missouri River Relief is a program that engages the community and educates the public on the restoration and importance of the Missouri River.
As the CLC students picked up trash, they experienced firsthand the importance of keeping our rivers clean and how it impacts the community around them. After working hard and enjoying a quick lunch, they were back on the river for an official tour. They learned about the Missouri’s former structure of wide and meandering water and how the Corps of Engineers used levees and dikes to alter the river for navigational uses. Students saw boating signs along the banks and were taught about their navigational purposes and discussed other recreational opportunities that the river provides. After the many changes and challenges of COVID that CFM and CLC members had to push through, CLC is happy to soon be celebrating their 20th Anniversary in 2022. There is no better way to near our 20th year than to be surrounded by conservation professionals, spending time outside, and helping the community. Conservation Leadership Corps is looking forward to another amazing year with increased membership and passionate young adults who will be a voice for the outdoors. Ashley Hrdina CLC President (Left) CLC Students hop on a Missouri River Relief boat after filling the other with trash pulled from the banks of the river. (Photo: CFM) (Top) CLC Students gather trash on the bank of the Missouri River near Jefferson City. (Photo: Missouri River Relief)
SEPTEMBER - 2021
Governor Parson signs Prescribed Burning Act
he Conservation Federation of Missouri's (CFM) is pleased to announce that House Bill 369, which includes the Prescribed Burning Act and other favorable conservation legislation was signed by Governor Mike Parson on July 14. Representative Tim Taylor (R-Bunceton) sponsored HB 369 and worked hard with House and Senate members to ensure its passage. Senator Mike Bernskoetter (R-Jefferson City) sponsored a similar bill in the Senate and provided amendments to further additional conservation goals. "The magnitude and impact that this will have on so many Missourians that care about the outdoors are almost unprecedented. CFM applauds the efforts of so many that made this historic legislation a reality. Along with our partners, members, affiliates and so many more, we are proud to help lead the effort to protect and enhance conservation, natural resources, and outdoor recreation for generations to come," said Executive Director Tyler Schwartze. As one of the first conservation-related omnibus bills in decades, HB 369 goes into effect on August 28th to create the "Prescribed Burning Act," which defines liability as it relates to the use of prescribed fire. Before this legislation, Missouri was one of only five states that did not have such a definition in state statute. This will allow landowners and contractors to purchase liability insurance for conducting prescribed burns and increase the use of prescribed fire as a land management tool. HB 369 also creates harsher penalties for the release of feral hogs in Missouri. Repeat offenders can now be charged with a felony for each feral swine that is released. Feral hogs are highly destructive to wildlife habitat and agricultural production alike. The increased penalties will help further reduce the number of feral swine on Missouri's landscapes. CFM President Mossie Schallon said, "With Governor Parson's signature, HB 369 goes into effect next month and removes Missouri from the shortlist of states that do not have a definition for prescribed burning liability in their state statute. Thanks to all who worked so diligently to ensure this outcome."
(Photo: Courtesy of the Governor’r Flickr account)
Also included are several measures that will protect landowners from liability for injuries incurred by recreational users. This benefits landowners adjacent to recreational public lands, campground owners, and those who invite third parties to provide wildlife management services on their property. The Conservation Federation of Missouri, which celebrated its 85th anniversary last year, was founded by a citizen-led effort to keep politics out of conservation and preserve our state's rich outdoor heritage. This effort that started in 1935, has pushed Missouri to be the top state in the nation for conservation. CFM, the voice for Missouri outdoors, is the watchdog over politicians and state agencies to ensure the conservation of our wildlife and natural resources. For more information about the Conservation Federation of Missouri, to sign up for their Legislative Action Center, or to join in their citizen-led effort, visit www.confedmo.org.
David A. Risberg Memorial Grant Fundraising Dinner Join CFM at a dinner to help raise funds for the David A. Risberg Memorial Grant. The grant, which awards money in honor of David A. Risberg, helps to fund projects that CFM believes will have a lasting impact on lives of Missourians for years to come.
October 14, 2021
5:00pm: Cocktails - with music by the Rootdiggers 6:00pm: Dinner - by chef Johnny Graham, a Jefferson City native who has cooked around the world 7:30pm: Speaker - Will Jimeno, World Trade Center North Tower collapse survivor. Since his ordeal and subsequent recovery, Will has become an inspiration to millions, sharing not only the horror of the day, but also the miraculous story of how “Faith, Hope and Love” carried him through the affliction and the many long days of recovery from his massive injuries. His story of 13 hours of being buried alive and the sheer will to survive is a gripping and inspiring testimony.
Maritz Conference Center Atrium 1400 S. Highway Drive, Fenton, MO $150 per person $300 per couple $1,000 for table of 8 Sponsorship opportunities are available. Reach out to CFM.
SEPTEMBER - 2021
Gardening for Wildlife G
ardening for wildlife is easier than you think. Over the last few years, I have slowly added habitat elements on my small suburban lot, and I recently certified my property as wildlife habitat with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). The NWF Garden for Wildlife program encourages landowners to provide four main wildlife habitat elements: food, cover, water, and places to raise young. Each of these elements can be provided easily even on small properties, and the wildlife benefits are huge! NWF offers more information and resources on its website.
In addition, many CFM affiliates and business partners also have resources for landowners, and some even provide native plants for free if you agree to remove invasive vegetation from your property. Below, I have included some of my tips for wildlife gardening on your property. Food: One of the best ways to provide wildlife food on your property is to plant native vegetation. Planting native wildflowers, trees, and shrubs will provide nectar, seeds, and fruit consumed by various insects and birds, including brilliantly colored pollinators and migratory birds.
Feature Story In addition, native wildflowers are surprisingly easy to grow and add a beautiful aesthetic to any home. Consider replacing the non-native shrubs in front of your house with something like New Jersey Tea, which is tolerant of a range of conditions and has brilliant white flowers that attract bees throughout the summer. If you have a larger flower bed, consider planting a mix of native wildflowers. I planted a 100 square foot pollinator patch on my property using seed packets I picked up from a few events over the years, and now I see hundreds of blooms throughout the summer and what seems like a neverending string of bees, butterflies, and moths. If you have room for trees and shrubs on your property, consider planting a wild cherry tree, which will provide a critical early spring nectar source for pollinators and a good source of forage for birds throughout the summer. Native landscaping can also be a great way to utilize wet areas that can be difficult to maintain. For example, buttonbush and rose mallow are larger shrubs with beautiful blooms that thrive in wet areas. Swamp milkweed would be a good choice for these areas as well, and its brilliant pink flowers are a great source of nectar for many pollinators. Cover: Wildlife needs shelter from predators, people, and inclement weather. Natural cover can be provided through native vegetation. A dense pollinator patch or a few healthy native shrubs will provide a place for wildlife to escape predators or take cover in harsh weather. One of the easiest ways to provide cover in the winter is to leave stems and leaf litter in place in your garden or flower bed. Many insect larvae will spend the winter in stems and leaf litter, and dense patches of stems can provide shelter for birds and small mammals. Another good source of cover is a brush pile. If you remove any non-native shrubs, trees, or other vegetation from your property, you can use this material to create a brush pile instead of throwing it in the trash or hauling it to the dump. Finally, if natural cover isn’t suitable for your property, or if you just want to provide additional habitat, you can invest in a bird or bat house.
Water: A water source is an essential element of wildlife habitat that is easy to overlook but simple to provide. There are many different birdbaths available that will complement the look of your native plants. There are many accessories you can add to create moving water or keep your water source from freezing in the winter, but even a simple pan of water placed at ground level in your garden will ensure that you are meeting all the needs of the wildlife using your property. You could even contact a local artist to create something for you that will meet your needs perfectly. A water garden can add some beautiful habitat for the ambitious gardener and serve as a great water source for many different species. Many aquatic plants produce beautiful flowers that will attract a range of pollinators. Whatever your water source, be sure it has gently sloped edges so any wildlife that fall in can escape. For deeper water sources, you can lean a rock or log against the edge to create a ramp that wildlife can use to climb out. Places to raise young: To provide for all stages of the life cycle, you must provide safe places to raise young on your property. Chances are, if you have provided each of the other three elements of wildlife habitat, you have already done so. Dense thickets of shrubs or wildflowers, water gardens, mature trees, and even dead trees all provide places for various species to raise their young. Many wildflower species serve as host plants for caterpillars, an absolutely essential part of the life cycle of native pollinators.
(Cover Left) A hummingbird sphinx moth feeds on nectar from a wild Bergamont plant in the author’s pollinator patch. July 2021. (All photos courtesy of Zach Morris) (Cover Center) A monarch butterfly stops to feed on nectar from a swamp Milkweed plant on the author’s property. July 2020. (Cover Right) A bee stops to rest in the author’s pollinator patch.
SEPTEMBER - 2021
Milkweed plants are readily available from local native plant vendors and provide food for monarch butterfly caterpillars. You may even get to see the caterpillars create a chrysalis and transform into an adult butterfly! You can also install birdhouses, bee houses, or other nesting boxes to provide additional places to raise young.
Anyone can provide wildlife habitat on their property, whether it’s a few native plants or extensive native landscaping. Be sure to check out CFM’s affiliate organizations and the NWF Gardening for Wildlife website for more information. Once your habitat is in place, keep an eye out for wild visitors. You might be amazed at what you see! Zach Morris CFM Vice President A Certified Wildlife Habitat sign installed alongside a bird feeder and an insect house in front of the author’s pollinator patch. (Photo: Zach Morris)
Trapping Events and Demonstrations Coming Up Events are open to all ages and regardless of experience. Learn a new outdoor skill!
espite low fur prices, trapping has had a renewed interest in the past few years. This is primarily a result of landowners wanting to control predators and nuisance wildlife on their property. With trappers’ numbers declining over the past five years or so, the populations of raccoons, coyotes, muskrats, otters, bobcats, and beavers have increased. Only foxes, both red and gray, seem to have low to stable populations. As a result, landowners who depend on the local trapper now have to learn to fend for themselves. With the influx of new landowner trappers, there is a need for more trapping education. The Missouri Trappers Association (MTA) has several upcoming events that you may be interested in attending. The MTA fall rendezvous will be held Friday and Saturday, Sept 17th and 18th, 2021, at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Montgomery City. Activities include 20 plus vendors selling traps, trapping supplies and baits and lures. In addition to the vendors, numerous tailgaters will be selling used traps and equipment. There will be continuous demonstrations by some of the best trappers in the country. These demos last 1 hour each and show some of the best methods for trapping furbearers. So, if you are trying to catch raccoons raiding your bird feeder or wanting to catch muskrat, beaver, otter, coyote, or any legal furbearer, these are the guys that can give you the best methods and tips for catching them. Other activities at the rendezvous include a Friday night fish fry and a Saturday night auction. Food will be available for purchase for breakfast, lunch and dinner both days. Camping is available on site. This is a family event with activities for all ages.
If you have any interest in learning about trapping, this is the event you will want to attend. The second event MTA and MDC have planned is a beginning trapping clinic on Saturday and Sunday, October 9th and 10th, at Whetstone Conservation Area near Williamsburg. Anyone age 8 and up can participate and set traps under the guidance of experienced trappers at this clinic. The event starts at 1 pm on Saturday and goes on until sunset. We will set traps for most species on Saturday and return at daylight on Sunday to check traps. After checking traps and eating breakfast on-site, we will have demonstrations on caring and skinning of the pelts, and participants will have an opportunity to skin an animal they caught. The clinic will conclude at about noon on Sunday. This clinic allows new trappers to become legal and ethical trappers while gaining actual trapping experience. It is limited to 30 participants, and they must register by October 2nd. For more information on either of the 2 events, contact Tom Westhoff at 573-289-0242 or 573-929-3632. Tom Westhoff
SEPTEMBER - 2021
How to Transform Traditional Food Plots
andowners who manage their property for hunting and wildlife are always looking for ways to improve habitat and increase hunting opportunities. Planting food plots to provide cover and high protein sources of forage has created a booming industry to provide seed, fertilizer and herbicides to hunters and small landowners.
Recently there has been increased interest in finding and planting native species that provide some of the same benefits of traditional food plots. Native species can provide advantages over traditional plantings of clovers and brassicas because they are genetically predisposed to thrive in your specific location. Native plant species have deep root systems, making them drought-resistant, while also providing high protein levels. By planting different mixes, you can provide not only a steady food source, but also year-round cover for deer and turkeys as well.
Feature Story No-till methods best do planting native plants. Once you determine the size and location of the area you intend to plant, you’ll need to start with an herbicide application to kill all of the vegetation on the plot. A second application may be necessary to make sure all the vegetation is eliminated. This helps ensure that there is good contact with bare soil when you broadcast seed and decreased competition from weeds. Seed can be broadcast by hand for small areas, or with a tractor-mounted seeder on larger plots. Soil preparation and seedling are best done in late winter or early spring. Some seeds need to go through a period of freezing before germination, so planting may need to be done earlier in the fall. It’s best to check with your supplier for recommended planting times in your climate zone. With native plants, applications of lime, fertilizer or other soil amendments are not recommended, providing initial savings at planting. Once established a native planting requires little maintenance. Most plots take approximately three years to reach maturity. During that time, the area should be mowed at the supplier’s recommended height once or twice a year, depending on your location. Spot spraying of competing weeds or other invasive plants may be necessary for the first year or two until the planting is well established. Native plants benefit from annual controlled burns to reduce the buildup of ground cover and allow seeds to reach open soil for germination. Burns can be conducted in sections, rotating from year to year, to provide a constant source of cover. Native species are long-lasting, and an established plot can last up to 20 years without the need to re-plant. Their deep root systems reduce the need for water, and they help filter run-off and stop erosion, making them ideal for use along streams or hillsides. By transforming traditional food plots, you can provide a steady food source, and year-round cover. (Photos: Mike Capps)
Native plots attract insects and various pollinators, providing a high protein source of food for turkeys and other wildlife. They provide excellent cover for nesting and escape from predators. Many landowners put in a mix of traditional food plots and natives to take advantage of seasonal food sources like brassicas, corn, legumes, and clovers. Planting natives in strips or sections also provides edge cover that is important to many species. The NWTF has several different seed offerings through their partnership with Mossy Oak BioLogic, including native plant offerings. The NWTF website contains articles and a list of other resources to help landowners make habitat improvements on their properties. The NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) makes grants available to help with planting native plots. Their EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentives Program) provides funding to cover costs associated with installing native grasses and plants. Visit their web site at www.NRCS.USDA.GOV for more information about the program to see if you are eligible. With proper planning and execution, landowners can provide a diverse habitat on their properties that will benefit all wildlife while providing better hunting opportunities that can be passed down from generation to generation. Mike Capps SEPTEMBER - 2021
The Soul of Treasured Memories T
he bright, brisk days of autumn stirs those who love the outdoors. To them, the other three seasons are good and they enjoy them but, autumn is special. Autumn is a time that lingers in your heart and mind. Cooler temperatures refresh body and soul. The landscape is awash with the colors of changing leaves. Sunsets are coppery. Something deep within them yearns to be out there, soaking in its many wonders.
Migrating geese fly across the autumn skies in wide V’s, belting out calls of reassurance to one another. The chorus of honks fill the air first softly, then loudly, then fades away. A new group of geese takes up the call and passes too. The V’s continue in the autumn sky.
Feature Story Some folks are called by the water of autumn. Most any water will do for an overnight on a gravel bar or campground away from the craziness of their daily lives. The woods are a kaleidoscope of color reflecting in the water. The woods are also quiet with only the whisper of falling leaves. With the water some degrees cooler, fish life too takes on new vigor. They know it’s time to put on a layer of winter fat and respond accordingly to and enticingly cast a lure or fly. Some will wade and enjoy casting a fly to a rising trout. Some will be in a boat casting a lure to a fighting smallmouth, walleye or crappie. Some will paddle around in a canoe or kayak fishing or not. All will take time to slow down and glory in the turn of the seasons. A colorful autumn camping trip has magic all its own. Late night, hunkered close to the campfire, holds an attraction that’s hard to match. Barred owls up and down the river talk of their plans for the evening. Stars twinkle in the night sky. The flames dance and flicker. Campers shift their cold side to the fire and ponder their place in the world. Days are filled with fishing, hiking, exploring, or just relaxing. Hikers too enjoy autumn. To most, it is by far the best time to hike. The cooler air refreshes as they climb the winding trails. When they reach the top, they are rewarded with a view like a colorful patchwork quilt laid out on the land below them. They take lots of photos and videos to share with others and enjoy themselves. It is one of those times you never forget. To hunters, the autumn season is the most important time of the year—field and forest beckon. Dogs wiggle and squirm at the prospects of a day’s hunt. The upland hunter yearns to see a flushing pheasant or grouse. Deer hunters dream of trophy racks or roast venison. Waterfowl hunters get excited just thinking about ducks coming into their calls. This is the season they live for. Those living in rural communities, small cities, and suburbs but aren’t necessarily outdoor folks enjoy this special season too. Autumn smells are everywhere. Apple cider, the smell of burning leaves, the singed pumpkin smell from a jack-o-lantern plug and wood smoke from chimneys all drift through the air.
The sounds of autumn are distinct for them too. Crickets sing their song of summers ending. Crisp dead leaves begin covering the ground and swish and crunch underfoot. Squirrels chatter and raise a leafy rattle as they scurry for acorns to bury and try to find again as autumn fades into winter. I feel sorry for the big city folks who don’t get to experience what we do as lovers of the outdoors. I have great respect for the Native American Indians and how they lived before the white man came and took their land and their way of life. Their wisdom and love for nature should inspire us all. One of my favorite nature quotes is from Sioux Chief Chased by Bears that says, “When a man does a piece of work which is admired by all we say that it is wonderful; but when we see the changes of day and night, the sun, the moon, and the stars in the sky, and the changing seasons upon the earth, anyone must realize that it is the work of someone more powerful than man.” I agree with his words of wisdom. We all have the freedom to believe what we want. For me personally, I believe God created the outdoors and all of nature for us to enjoy and take care of. The pleasures that come with autumn and all it has to offer is the soul of treasured memories. Larry Whiteley
SEPTEMBER - 2021
MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION MDC Encourages You To Try Agents of Discovery: A New Gaming App
ooking for a new way to explore and learn about Missouri’s outdoors? The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) encourages kids and adults to check out the free mobile gaming app, Agents of Discovery. MDC is partnering with the gaming app to help the public explore natural areas around the state. Discover nature through completing “missions”, all while learning about Missouri’s forest, fish, and wildlife. “Using technology to make people more comfortable in nature is a cool way to reach out to different Missourians,” said MDC Exhibits Coordinator Susie Wachowski. “Users log in to Agents of Discovery and solve challenges using their nature detective skills! And the missions are updated frequently so there is always a new way to play and learn more about Missouri’s great outdoors.” What type of pollinators are found in in the state? How do bald eagles hunt their food? Find out the answers to these questions and more as you navigate Agents of Discovery. Your mission is to discover new and exciting facts about fish, forest, and wildlife in Missouri. Complete nature-based challenges at home, while visiting an MDC nature or visitor center, or while attending MDC events, such as Eagle Days or the Missouri State Fair. Fire up the app and play mini-games to complete a mission. Once finished, users have the opportunity to claim rewards. Gamers can post their challenges on social media using an MDC Snapchat filter, or grab small prizes at an MDC nature center. The more missions you play, the more rewards you can earn. Download the free app and create an Agent profile. Then pick a mission in your area. Download the mission before heading to it, so you can play the game without WiFi or a data connection. Then use your secret agent tools to find and unlock challenges.
While exploring in nature, MDC recommends being aware of your surroundings and staying on the trail at all times. Agents of Discovery is available for download through the App Store for Apple products or Google Play for Android devices. For more information on Agents of Discovery, visit https://discovertheforest. org/activities/agents-of-discovery. Look for MDC’s first missions at Runge, Cape Girardeau, Burr Oak Woods, and Powder Valley Nature Centers beginning June 14. The first eventbased mission will be at the MDC Pavilion during the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia Aug. 12-22. New missions will launch every three months.
MDC Launches New Canine Unit
he Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is set to launch a new canine unit through its Protection Branch this summer. The new unit, consisting of five dogs and their conservation agent-handlers, will be stationed around the state and used as necessary to work throughout Missouri. According to MDC, the capabilities of canines are extensive in conservation-related work, but common uses include tracking, evidence recovery, search and rescue, wildlife detection, and public outreach programs. Another rapidly growing use of canines is in the field of endangered and invasive species. There are currently 36 other states using dogs in their conservation efforts. “Canine programs have been successfully used by conservation agencies since the late 1970s,” said MDC Protection Deputy Chief Dean Harre. “The implementation of this canine program will help continue MDC’s mission of protecting Missouri’s fish, forest, and wildlife resources.”
The approved conservation agent-handlers and canines are: • Cpl. Susan Swem and Lab, Astro, stationed in the southwest region; • Cpl. Justin Pyburn and Lab, Korra, stationed in the Kansas City region; • Cpl. Agent Caleb Pryor and Pointer, Zara, stationed in the northwest region; • Cpl. Don Clever and Lab, Penny, stationed in the northeast region; and • Cpl. Alan Lamb and Pointer, Tex, stationed in the southeast region. The launch of the MDC canine unit is supported through a partnership with both Diamond Pet Foods and Purina, which sponsored the canine team and is providing dog food.
Pictured left to right: Cpl. Alan Lamb and Tex (MDC), Cpl. Susan Swem/Astro (MDC), Conservation Officer Justin Brimhall/ Cooper (Utah Division of Wildlife Resources), Master Officer Jeffrey Milner/Coda (Indiana Department of Natural Resources), Cpl. Don Clever/Penny (MDC), Game Warden Sean Coleman/ Riggs (Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism), Cpl. Caleb Pryor/Zara (MDC), Cpl. Justin Pyburn/Korra (MDC), and Conservation Police David Hennaman/Waylon (Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries).
SEPTEMBER - 2021
Permit Required for Commercial Photography in MDC Areas
he Missouri Conservation Commission gave final approval to the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) on a proposed change to the Wildlife Code of Missouri regulations that would require permits for commercial or for-profit photography and videography on MDC areas. Professional photographers and videographers can apply for MDC's commercial-use permit at https:// mdc.mo.gov/permits/commercial-confined-wildlifepermits. Commercial use is defined as any activity that directly or indirectly results in financial gain, or where money is exchanged in connection with the activity. MDC notes commercial-use permits are not required for news agencies, hobby photographers and videographers, or those taking personal pictures or videos. Photography and filming on MDC areas for non-commercial use have been and remain allowed on MDC areas without the need for a commercial-use permit. Professional, for-profit photography and filming have historically been restricted on MDC areas as “commercial use” activities. The new regulations, effective July 1, will allow commercial photography and filming on MDC areas through new commercial use permits. The new regulations come amidst requests from photographers and videographers to allow commercial photography and videography on conservation areas. A Commercial Photography Permit will be required for commercial photographers on department areas with an associated fee of $100 annually (expires June 30 each year). A Commercial Videography Permit will be required for all commercial videography on MDC areas with an associated fee of $500 per day.
Commercial photographers will also need to apply for a no-cost Special Use Permit in certain situations (allow 30 days for processing): • Special accommodations requested (activities normally not allowed on conservation areas, such as after-hour access, vehicles on nonpublic roads, etc.); • Use of unmanned aerial system (UAS) or drone; • Use of props (larger than average person could carry); • When more than ten people are involved; • On MDC areas associated with nature and education centers, staffed ranges, offices, and on the following department areas: • Burr Oak Woods Conservation Area • August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area • James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area • Rockwoods Reservation Other county, state, and federal land management agencies allow commercial photography and filming on their areas through the use of commercial permits with associated fees. MDC staff reviewed other agencies within and outside the state to determine a price structure. The proposed regulations were initially approved by the Missouri Conservation Commission in September 2020. Following initial Commission approval, the proposed regulations were submitted by MDC to the Office of the Secretary of State for a 30-day public comment period in October 2020. Following a review of comments received, the Commission gave final approval to the proposed regulations in December 2020. The regulations go into effect July 1. For more information on commercial photography and videography permits, visit https://mdc.mo.gov/ discover-nature/activities/photography. Professional photographers and videographers can apply for MDC’s commercial-use permits online at https://mdc.mo.gov/permits/commercial-confinedwildlife-permits. Please allow 10 business days for processing Commercial Photography Permits and 30 days for processing Commercial Videography Permits.
MISSOURI STATE PARKS Keep Safety Top of Mind When Exploring the Outdoors
eing outdoors can be a fun and relaxing experience, and the Missouri State Parks team wants to remind park visitors about the importance of practicing safety measures when visiting a state park or historic site. “The safety of our visitors is our top priority,” says Missouri State Parks Director Mike Sutherland. “While it’s not always the first thing on your mind, practicing safety measures will help ensure your experience is an enjoyable one, and that you keep yourself and others around you safe.” When visiting a Missouri state park or historic site, please remember to wear appropriate clothing, stay hydrated, follow any guidelines posted throughout the park, know your severe weather plan, only swim in designated areas and leave wildlife be. Many of the outdoor features in state parks have conditions that cannot be controlled or managed. To make your experience in Missouri state parks great when enjoying any water-related activity, follow these safety tips: • Only swim in designated areas and follow signage. • Familiarize yourself with the area first before entering the water. • Watch for underwater obstacles (stumps, logs, etc.). • Never swim, wade or access any water feature alone. • Always wear a personal flotation device. • Never leave children unsupervised near the water. • Learn to swim and know your swimming limits. • Never drink alcohol and swim. Knowing the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses, like heat exhaustion or heat stroke, can help you stay safe during extreme heat. Warning signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness and weakness, dizziness or fainting, headache, nausea or vomiting.
To help prevent heat-related illness, follow these safety tips: • Visit the park or historic site during the coolest time of the day. • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. • Wear sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful rays. Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids. • Increase your fluid intake – regardless of activity level. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty. • Avoid drinks containing caffeine, alcohol or large amounts of sugar because they can cause you to lose more fluid. Avoid very cold beverages; they can cause stomach cramps. • Ask your doctor whether medications you take affect your body’s response to heat. For more information and tips on how to be safe in the outdoors, or information on state parks and historic sites visit mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
SEPTEMBER - 2021
NATURE is Healthy
Get healthy in nature this year.
Road trip. We didn’t choose the perfect playlist. Or program the GPS. But we did fuel the car that made you realize there are no wrong turns, only new adventures. When the energy you invest in life meets the energy we fuel it with, amazing journeys happen.
SEPTEMBER - 2021
In the Company of Birds I
never paid much mind to birds as a kid. Alfred Hitchcock altered that view for a time, but after seeing no real attitude change among the feathered denizens of the neighborhood, birds remained a minor part of growing up in the city. A springtime robin’s nest always got attention, especially if a nestling had fledged. Pigeons were fun for testing youthful speed and reflexes, and starlings and sparrows were just unadorned beggars. Nighthawks were probably the most fascinating as they would sweep the evening sky for a meal, peenting above the flat-roofed buildings where they would roost, but for the most part, birds were overlooked background.
In time, however, the flight of birds in my life gradually ascended to a loftier perch. If modernday analytics searched my brain today, key word birds, it would discover a mass of tightly connected, intertwined memories and events; portions of my life can be described through an association to birds. And while I never really got into making a personal bird list, I have a mental flip-book packed with recollections.
Feature Story My first serious introduction to birds was through hunting. Geese, ducks, and pheasants opened my eyes to their beauty, exposed me to the delight of their sounds and unexpected appearances, and of course, their place on the table as food. Today, goose music of any kind always turns my head skyward. The crowing of a distant pheasant reminds me of boyhood hunts near snowy cornfields and cattails, and wild duck is a frequent menu item for as long as the seasonal stockpile holds out. As my bird hunting expanded, so did my general awareness and curiosity, and gradually, binoculars and field guides became as important to me as shotguns. And thus, the lessons commenced, and it is a rarity when a bird does not punctuate my day in some way. A sampling of entries from the pages of my life journal reveals a wealth of experiences courtesy of the avian community. Ruffed grouse – King of the game birds. Difficult to hunt, harder to shoot. Will stop your heart with an explosive flush from the brush, and are exquisite fare for the table. Hear grouse drumming in the spring and you become privy to a secret of the forest; a subsonic serenade. In the deep of winter, I found a snow roost and witnessed an explosion of white powder when the bird emerged, a small hole with feathery prints on either side the only evidence remaining. For two hunting seasons I stalked a bird that could be found on the southern slope of wooded rise. It had the high ground and always evaded my tactical approaches, and I think it enjoyed the game as much as I did. Woodcock – The timberdoodle’s springtime peenting and aerial acrobatics is a grand performance. I once had a college wildlife course intended to instill an appreciation of critters beyond what the gun could teach us. I chose to collect audio recordings of woodcock. I found a spot where woodcock would linger, waited for song and flight, and rushed into the center of the arena. Laying on my back, I pointed a parabolic reflector skyward, following the bird’s trajectory and twittering until it returned to earth landing a few feet from my head. Later I would find the elusive bird on an imperceptible nest among the twigs and leaves, and soon thereafter, the fuzz ball young.
Prairie chickens – A work-study job took me to the ancient booming grounds of Wisconsin where I would witness the springtime dance of chickens. Stomping, booms, and cackles with bright orange inflated air sacs, raised plumes, open fans. Hunkered down inside a green canvas luxury box with flaps for viewing, I once had a bird booming directly atop my blind. Traveling country roads early in the morning, I would stop along my route and attempt to discern the sound of chickens on the wind from a cacophony of earthly morning sounds. Thanks to Tympanuchus cupido, I would meet Frederick and Frances Hamerstrom, champions of the chicken and rock star equivalents in the world of wildlife biology. Loons – A couple summers working in northern Wisconsin was my first extensive introduction to loons. An ancient bird that will exhibit caution and curiosity in equal quantities, hearing their mournful call anytime during the day would cause pause. But hear them in the extreme darkness of night on the shore of a northern lake, with aurora borealis in the background and you may question your own relevance and the intentions of the planet on which you live. However, finding a rescued loon in my bathtub removed some of the romance previously described—the hazards of sharing summer quarters with a loon biologist. Sandhill cranes – despite their regular presence in the area where I grew up, I never really noticed sandhills much until a field trip in my early twenties. Hearing that prehistoric call from a sedge of cranes in flight over the marsh, I was certain I discovered a new species. I had a stunning moment during a summer job on a wetland when I watched and listened to a couple of dozen birds in a field, silhouettes emerging and fading, with heads poking above a mystical early morning ground fog, their call echoing across the marsh. On another occasion, I was fortunate to see a group of sandhills feeding in stubble with two whooping cranes as nearby companions. One often hears that the sandhill crane is the ribeye in the sky, a disappointing reduction in character. I’ll never raise a gun to a sandhill.
(Photo: Dan Zekor)
SEPTEMBER - 2021
Feature Story Wild Turkeys – Most every Missouri hunter knows the magic of turkeys. The thrill of listening to and watching a hen pick bugs walking a few feet from your extended legs as you sit on the ground. The goofy demonstration of a cluster of jakes at 20 yards, fidgety, curious, and unwise. That booming gobble throughout the landscape in the spring triggers excitement and a feeling of hope. I’ll never forget a long morning I spent working a bird for my wife. The bird called incessantly for an hour and took his time coming off a distant ridge at 300 yards. The grand finale was a walk and talk all the way to the decoy at 30 yards and the smile on my wife’s face when she retrieved the bird from the field; her first turkey. Flipping further through the pages of my journal I see images of climbing a pine tree to take pictures of a Great Blue Heron rookery, watching adults feed nestlings at eye level, listening to the squawking and racket, and seeing the dangling remains of a few unfortunate young that had fallen from their nest. A few miles further away, I would climb an old tree leaning over a tag-alder swamp to take pictures of a pair of white, fuzzy, newly hatched Broad-winged Hawks, an adult nearby trying its best to threaten me. I remember the red-flagging I placed around a Killdeer nest found after viewing the adult’s melodramatic feign of injury to lure me away. Later I witnessed speedy precocial balls of downy feathers dart from their nest after hatch. I remember Puffins and Marbled Murrelets residing on deep sea rookeries out from Resurrection Bay, and an encounter with my first harlequin duck on a little creek at Ninilchik, highlights of a trip to Alaska. And I remember the Warbler and countless other birds we have rescued after collisions with a window.
(Photo: Dale Humburg)
Recent entries to my journal express concerns. Our feeder was ominously quiet in the winter of 2019, but a cold snap in early 2021 saw scores of birds congregate for a week as food for survival became essential. For the first time in 25 years, no Bluebirds are nesting around my house, presumably due to mortality from the same cold snap and winter storms. As my neighborhood grows more houses, it grows fewer birds. Buntings, Tanagers, and Towhees hang on, but the Chat is gone along with the Whip-poorwill. A new nearby development assures me that I’ll not see the Scissor-tailed flycatcher again. Yet I am hopeful. When I watch a wedge of Trumpeter Swans fly overhead or see the shorebirds enjoying the marsh where I will sit and watch migrations, I am reminded of the resilience of birds and the well spring of hope that conservation provides. May your life list of birds be long, your memories be longer, and may we always live in the company of birds. Dan Zekor
ctober and November are my favorite months for topwater fishing. The water is cooling and the bass are feeding heavily on abundant schools of shad, shallow bluegill and sunfish before winter. The water temperature around the 65 to 60-degree range is optimum. A few years ago, the Whopper Plopper was introduced a new topwater lure by River 2 Sea. This lure is a phenomenal fish catcher and is my #1 topwater choice. It’s big, heavy and noisy. You can throw it a mile. When it’s cloudy and overcast, I choose black. When it’s sunny, I choose shad or bone colored lures, and the red has been outstanding on the Current, Eleven Point and Jacks Fork Rivers. The Whopper Plopper comes in three sizes. I have had the most success on the largest one. The sound is deeper, noisier and it works great if there is a slight chop on the water or if the water is a little off-color. The medium size works great, too and it may be a little easier to control your casting accuracy. I choose the smallest size for when the water is extremely clear and flat (meaning no wind action). The smaller size has a subtler and higher-pitched sound. My #2 choice for a topwater lure is a ½ ounce wire buzzbait, and it works best in extremely shallow water, weedy, mossy or heavy brush cover. I usually throw the War Eagle brand but there are many quality buzzbaits on the market. Same thing - black on cloudy overcast days, white on sunny ones. I prefer a gold blade on the black bait and nickel on the white ones. For rods and reels, I use a medium-heavy graphite rod with a baitcasting reel. I spool the reel with 40-pound test braided line.
Whopper Plopper's. (Scott Pauley)
I use braid on all of my topwaters because it floats, so it increases the lures action and braid has no stretch, so I get better hook sets, especially on long casts. Of course, you don’t have to go as heavy as 40-pound test, but I never worry about breaking off a fish and can control them better in heavy cover. Top water fishing is extremely fun and exciting. So, keep in mind that when a big fish blows up on your topwater lure it may give you a heart attack - so keep your cell phone handy. You can purchase Whopper Ploppers and BuzzBaits at Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s, Academy Sports, Dicks Sporting Goods, Tacklewarehouse.com, and most independent tackle shops. Wal-Mart carries buzzbaits, and a lure similar to and some prefer over the Whopper Plopper, the Berkley Choppo. Fishing questions? You are always welcome to reach out to me at Mofishing@aol.com or Facebook Scott Pauley.
Scott Pauley SEPTEMBER - 2021
Pollinator Garden Menu Card ED SPEVAK
This “menu card” helps you select a combination of plants that will provide what native bees and other pollinating insects look for in your garden: pollen and nectar. The plants included here exhibit a variety of flower colors, shapes, sizes, and bloom times that will attract pollinators to your garden throughout the growing season. Black and yellow bumble bee on wild bergamot
How many different kinds of plants should I choose for my garden? Optimize the usefulness of your garden for pollinators by choosing a minimum of three plant species from the menu below per season, so something is in bloom from spring to frost.
How many plants of each species should I plant? Plant at least one of each. If you can plant more, great! How big should my garden be? Your garden can be any shape, but try for at least 15 sq ft or 18 sq ft to start. You can achieve this size with a 3' x 5' or a 3' x 6' garden. If you have room, add additional species from the list below, and even some small flowering trees/ shrubs like prairie willow (Salix humilis), wild plum (Prunus americana), serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea) and chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa). All four flower in spring and attract many bees. Make sure the shrubs/trees you add do not shade other plants in your garden that need full sun.
Max. Height/ Spread
Max. Height/ Spread 36/24”
Keeping Nature Near ®
Max. Height/ Spread
Aromatic aster (Symphyotrichum [Aster] oblongifolium) purple flowers
Blue wild indigo (Baptisia australis) blue/purple flowers
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) yellow/brown flowers
Foxglove beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis) white flowers
Full Sun/ Lt. Shade
Culver’s root (Veronicastrum virginicum) white flowers
48/36” Full Sun/ Med. Shade
Blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) blue/purple flowers
36/14” Full Sun/ Med. Shade
Golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea) yellow flowers
Sun/ 30/24” Med. Shade
Leadplant (Amorpha canescens) purple flowers
36/36” Full Sun/ Med. Shade
Cliff goldenrod (Solidago drummondii) yellow/gold flowers
24/24” Full Sun/ Med. Shade
Lanceleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata) yellow flowers
Pale purple coneflower (Echinacea pallida) pink flowers
Eastern blazing star (Liatris scariosa) magenta/purple flowers
48/18” Full Sun/ Med. Shade
New Jersey tea (Ceanothus americanus) white flowers
Full Sun/ 48/36” Med. Shade
Purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea) pink/purple flowers
24/24” Full Sun/ Med. Shade
Mexican hat (Ratibida columnifera) yellow/gold/brown flowers
Robin’s plantain (Erigeron pulchellus) white/yellow flowers
Med. Sun/ Shade
Slender mountain mint (Pycnanthemum tenuifolium) white flowers
30/24” Full Sun/ Med. Shade
Rough blazing star (Liatris aspera) magenta/purple flowers
Round-leaf groundsel (Packera obovata) yellow flowers
Bee Balm/Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) pink flowers
Showy goldenrod (Solidago speciosa) yellow/gold flowers
Wild geranium (Geranium maculatum) pink flowers
Gray-headed coneflower (Ratibida pinnata) yellow flowers
48/36” Full Sun/ Med. Shade
Sky blue aster (Symphyotricum [Aster] oolentangiense) purple flowers
Rose verbena (Glandularia canadensis) magenta/pink flowers (can bloom intermittently until frost)
Lt. Shade/ Full Sun
Prairie coreopsis (Coreopsis palmata) yellow flowers
30/18” Full Sun/ Med. Shade
Helen’s flower (Helenium autumnale) yellow/gold flowers
48/30” Full Sun/ Med. Shade
Downy phlox (Phlox pilosa) white/pink flowers
Full Sun/ Lt. Shade
Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) pink flowers
60/36” Full Sun/ Med. Shade
Blue Sage (Salvia azurea) blue flowers
Find more information about native plants and pollinators, and the Grow Native! Resource Guide to suppliers of native plants, at www.grownative.org .
Just Pick Three! (Or More If You Can)
row Native!'s new "menu" card at left— developed in partnership with the Saint Louis Zoo—helps you select a combination of plants that will provide what native bees and other pollinating insects look for in your garden: pollen and nectar.
The plants included here exhibit a variety of flower colors, shapes, sizes, and bloom times that will attract pollinators to your garden throughout the growing season. Just “pick three” plant species per season (or more if you can!). Pictured below are some of the plants featured in the card.
Blue wild indigo (Baptisia bracteata). (Photo: Mervin Wallace)
New Jersey tea (Ceanothus americanus). (Photo: Mervin Wallace)
Wild geranium (Geranium maculatum). (Photo: Mervin Wallace)
Slender mountain mint (Pycnanthemum tenuifolium). (Photo: Mervin Wallace)
Culver’s root (Veronicastrum virginicum). (Photo: Mervin Wallace)
Eastern blazingstar (Liatris scariosa). (Photo: Mervin Wallace)
Blue sage (Salvia azurea). (Photo: Mervin Wallace)
Purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea). (Photo: Carol Davit)
Showy goldenrod (Solidago speciosa). (Photo: Mervin Wallace)
SEPTEMBER - 2021
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SEPTEMBER - 2021
A Partnership for the Envrionment
he Senegalese forest engineer Baba Dioum once said, “In the end, we will only conserve what we love; we will only love what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.” In that spirit, The James River Basin Partnership (JRBP) has started a new ecotourism program to get organizations, businesses, government agencies, and even private citizens out on local waterways to connect with what they protect.
In the summer of 2020, we were approached by Springfield Brewing Company, which asked us to partner with them on the release of their new flagship beer. SBC wanted a water-quality themed name for the beer and pledged a portion of the proceeds of each case sold would go to JRBP, as well as our logo and website appearing on each can. JRBP and SBC staff met several times to discuss potential names before settling on Blue Canoe American Pale Ale, inspired by an old blue canoe owned by longtime water warrior Loring Bullard.
Feature Story JRBP staff suggested a “gravel bar tasting” and an ecofloat as part of the release activities. SBC graciously agreed to co-host, providing a can of Blue Canoe and a picnic lunch for each participant. On September 19, 2020, twenty attendees made the five-mile float from H.L. Kerr Access to Galena, learning about everything from aquatic life to the history of float trips on the James and White Rivers, and Leave No Trace principles. Since then, JRBP has partnered with local municipalities and businesses like the popular adventure guide service, 37 North Expeditions, to provide on-the-water education and outreach programs in 2020 and 2021. “Our ecotourism program allows us to expand our outreach to include businesses, partner organizations, and municipal employees to help them understand the role they play in protecting our Ozarks waters,” said Brent Stock, JRBP Executive Director. The City of Springfield’s MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) stormwater permit, issued through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, includes a “good housekeeping” requirement for municipal operations. The city wants to show that it practices what it preaches regarding pollution prevention and serves as a community leader. A part of a good housekeeping program is employee education and training. Sarah Davis, a Stormwater Specialist with the City of Springfield’s Environmental Services office, heads up the training. “My goal is to help folks understand the connection between what they do at work and the health of our local streams,” said Davis. In the past, Davis gave PowerPoint presentations and walking tours of Springfield’s Jordan Creek underground. She covered everything from leaks and spills and proper storage of materials to chemical application and yard waste. “We did that for three years, and we were always trying to bring up new topics and respond to problems they were bringing us,” stated Davis. And then 2020 happened. With the pandemic prohibiting traditional training sessions, Davis and JRBP began discussing the idea of getting city employees out on the James River to see the reality of stormwater management through local streams.
“The ecofloat concept allowed us to meet still the goals of educating city employees on their connection to stormwater runoff and pollution prevention, all while staying safe during COVID,” stated Davis. One city employee on the front lines of water quality is Rosa Aviles of Public Grounds Maintenance. Aviles told Davis before the float that she had picked up 70 pounds of dog feces off public property in one morning. “These folks see the direct relation of what they’re doing and the water quality downstream – street sweepers, maintaining ditches, concrete,” said Davis. “They Interact with waterways daily.” JRBP hosted two “MS4 ecofloats” for over 40 city employees in May and June 2021. Employees came from several divisions, including Street Operations, Public Grounds Maintenance, Water Quality Grounds Maintenance, Traffic, Urban Forestry, and Clean Water Services. “By bringing all of these departments together, we’re creating one big team for the environment and highlighting their roles in in protecting local waterways,” said Stock. “We’re hoping they’ll see themselves as ambassadors for water quality.” Both floats started at the Joe Crighton Access on the upper James River and floated to Southwood Canoe Access on Lake Springfield. Along the way, JRBP staff discussed the history of water quality in the Springfield metro area, MS4 stormwater requirements and gave a brief introduction to stream ecology. Employees from the Springfield-Greene County Park Board’s Outdoor Initiatives assisted with shuttling and safety. Participants on both floats were engaged and enthusiastic as they paddled down the James. Aviles even told Davis how much “she needed this day” and asked if there was a way to rent canoes and take her family out. “I feel like this is a good example of a ripple effect,” noted Davis. “Hopefully, she’ll share the importance of water quality with her family and how she and her coworkers help protect the James River.” Todd Wilkinson RBP Ecofloat participants examine a kick net and discuss what macroinvertebrates can tell us about water quality. (Photo: Todd Wilkinson)
SEPTEMBER - 2021
The Sailboat M
rs. Urich and I bought our first house in a small suburb north of St. Paul, Minnesota, on a very large lake. A major activity on this lake was sailing and eventually, I bought a small sailboat even though I had no idea how to sail. But a friend at work gave me some lessons and soon I was an expert. Eventually, I dragged Mrs. Urich away from her comfortable home, good job and proximity to her mother for my new job with the Missouri Department of Conservation. I also brought the sailboat.
It turned out there were not a lot of places in Missouri to use a sailboat. The closest large lake was Lake of the Ozarks, but the hilly topography around the water made the wind unreliable plus the other boat traffic was frightful, especially for a slowmoving sailboat. After some experimentation, we finally determined that Stockton Lake, Thomas Hill Lake and the portion of Truman Lake near the dam were good places to sail in Missouri.
Feature Story We made many camping trips to these lakes to sail especially when our kids were young, although Mrs. Urich’s enthusiasm for camping waned when the summer temperature approached three digits. Our 1955 canvas umbrella tent, affectionately referred to as Big Green, turned into a roasting oven on hot summer nights. When I finally became the scoutmaster of the local Boy Scout troop, I decided to help the scouts complete the sailing merit badge. This badge is challenging to earn outside of a well-equipped summer camp, but I had a sailboat on hand, and I’m sure I was the only scoutmaster in the state who owned a sailboat. So we spent hours at weekly meetings learning sailing terminology and a huge number of knots. For some reason, scouts have to learn knots for everything. We headed to Thomas Hill Lake for a summer weekend campout and sailing lessons. Campouts were a huge time eater for working parents and there was one a month, including the winter months. It was never too wet, cold or snowy to go camping. Mrs. Urich loved the campouts because she insisted that I take all 3 of our sons so she could have some quiet time at home, relieved of all parental responsibilities. She would wallow in the silence, collect her thoughts, often go shopping and take a brief break from the rigors of motherhood. Thomas Hill Reservoir was perfect for sailing because it was big and not surrounded by hills that could block the wind. Also, the north-south alignment of the lake ensures good sailing conditions during the summer when the wind is typically from the south or southwest. I spent the day taking the scouts two at a time with me in the sailboat. This sailboat was over 16 feet long and had a single aluminum mast over 20 feet tall with a jib sail on the front side of the mast and a triangular main sail on the backside of the mast. There were ropes and cleats that controlled the sails with a boom that held the bottom of the main sail. When it was time to changed directions or tack, the tiller was pulled or pushed to one side. The wind would fill the sails from the opposite side as the boat turned and the boom would swing across the cockpit where we sat.
It was critically important to duck as the boom swept by, so the major command before turning was to yell out, “Ready About.” Later in the afternoon, I had our oldest son and one of his friends in the boat with me. They were pretty good at sailing and kept pestering me to sail by themselves figuring they knew it all. I was hesitant because if something happened and I was not in the boat this would be a violation of scout aquatic policy. Over the years, I stretched the Boy Scout outdoor policies and regulations because the 13th point of the Scout Law is: A scout is daring and innovative. As we were sailing along, I noticed dark clouds building to the south and the wind was picking up. It was going to get very windy before we could get back to the boat ramp. I moved to the bow of the boat and stood next to the mast to let the front jib sail down before the wind got any worse. My son was at the tiller. I gave the command to turn into the wind to take the pressure off the sail so it could come down. He yelled “Ready about” and pulled the tiller in the wrong direction, turning the bow of the boat away from the wind rather than into the wind. The boat came up on its side, flipped me off of the deck into the water and then the boat ran over me. As the boat was passing overhead, I could see road tar had accumulated on the bottom after years of trailering the boat and thought I should clean that off when I got a chance. The centerboard, which sticks down about 3 feet and provides stability to the boat, missed my head by inches.
Tim Urich is sailing the boat by holding the tiller and rope which control the main sail and direction of the boat. (Photo: Courtesy of David Urich)
SEPTEMBER - 2021
Feature Story When I came to the surface, I could see both of the boys peering over the stern looking very concerned. Finally, they were getting to sail by themselves but I was violating scout watercraft policy. So much for being daring and innovative. The boat picked up speed as the storm approached because the jib and main sails were perpendicular to the boat catching the maximum amount of wind. In nautical terms, this is sailing wing on wing, which is about as fast as a sailboat can go. I taught the scouts to stop a sailboat by un-cleating all the ropes so the sails would come down or flap in the wind. They remembered this but the rope holding up the mainsail was tangled and would not release. The boat was heading full steam toward a rock jetty that protected the boat ramp from the wind. A couple standing on the end of the jetty started running toward the shore to get clear of the impending crash. I was very comfortable with the boat being destroyed on the rocks because then I wouldn’t have to take scouts sailing anymore. A sailboat is high maintenance, and sailing is basically a disaster waiting to happen. Somehow the boys got control of the rudder and, at the last second, steered the boat around the jetty and hit the concrete boat ramp. The force drove the boat up onto the ramp entirely out of the water, and it turned over on its side. It was undamaged. As luck would have it, there was a fishing tournament underway on the lake. This was a timed event and anglers needed to launch and retrieve their boats, but my sailboat was completely blocking the ramp. The anglers were not happy. It took me some time to swim the nearly half mile to the boat ramp and take charge of the situation. As I pulled myself out of the water, I was immediately surrounded by annoyed anglers, who were unconcerned about my status and lengthy swim. (Cover) The scout troop assistant scout master holds the sailboat at Thomas Hill Lake before the scouts began their sailing lessons. (Photo: Courtesy of David Urich)
David Urich, center, with the sailboat on the boat ramp after being flipped off the deck of the boat at Thomas Hill Lake. Son, Tim (left), and his friend Nathan sailed the boat back to the boat ramp after David fell into the lake. (Photo: Courtesy of David Urich)
The boat was full of water and the bow needed to be raised to drain the water out of the stern plug holes. The only way to do this was if every scout, angler and other curious observers helped lift the bow of the boat until the water drained out. Then I went through the campground to recruit anyone who could walk to help pick the sailboat up and set it on the trailer. It took about three dozen people. The anglers calmed down once the boat ramp was unblocked. At the end of the fishing tournament, many of them gave fish to the scout troop and we had a fish fry for the entire campground. I had the equipment to cook a huge amount of fish for everyone because the Boy Scout motto is "Be Prepared." So I was a lot more prepared to put on an impromptu fish fry than being tossed out of the boat. I took the scouts on another sailing trip the following year. I figured there could be nothing worse than slipping off the deck and run over by the boat. Sadly I was wrong and I hadn’t come close to exhausting the possible major calamities associated with a sailboat operated by two dozen Boys Scouts. But more importantly, Mrs. Urich was at home enjoying the peace and quiet while looking forward to my next campout. She was planning on a lengthy shopping trip in St. Louis with her girlfriends while I was enduring the catastrophes waiting for me on the next scout camping trip. David Urich
Share the Harvest This Upcoming Season
t’s hard to believe that a year has passed since I wrote my last installment of “Share the Harvest – Donate All You Can.” To say that the 2020-2021 season was a strange one would be an understatement. I struggled with both bow and gun but managed to put enough meat in the freezer that the wife didn’t have to boil all her old dish rags so we could make some gravy. My family was extremely fortunate in that respect. Many folks in our state experienced food insecurity for the first time last year, and this fact brought home to me what a meaningful role Share the Harvest and all its participants play in helping others out. Despite everything going on in our state and nationally, hunters selflessly donated 4,787 whole deer last season for something like 191,500 pounds of pure, organic protein. What made last season stand out, though, was our launch of the Snack Stick program. With the help of some landowners and Stonies Sausage Shop, we delivered almost 2,300 pounds of the snack stick packs to the food banks to be integrated into various afterschool backpack programs across the state. I want to thank all the folks that donate meat to the program, the MDC agents who make sure everything gets to where it needs to be, and the meat processors who offer up their time and talent to turn the raw material into packages of much-needed meat. We are fortunate to live in a state where the deer herd is flourishing, and hunters have ample opportunities to harvest them by just about any method that takes their fancy. I bought the wood shafts for this season’s arrows a couple of weeks ago and am anxiously awaiting the arrival of some cool pheasant feather fletching that I will be tricking them out with. Whatever preparations you happen to go through for the season ahead, please make one of them a plan to donate to Share the Harvest. CFM will, once again, cover $75 of the processing cost, and there are many local organizations that will cover anything remaining. Participating meat processors are listed in the 2021-2022 MDC Deer Hunting pamphlet or you can call either MDC or CFM to find a processor in your area.
Hunger doesn’t take a holiday, and your donations help more than you can know. Also, try to recruit a few of your buddies to donate. There’s nothing like a bit of competition among friends to make the season just that much better! Well, I guess I’ve borrowed your eyes long enough. My bloodhound, Jake, is indicating with his giant paw that it’s time for his belly rub, and you can’t leave your best friend waiting. So be safe and be generous! Darren Haverstick CFM Share the Harvest Chairperson Photo: Courtesy of Darren Haverstick)
SEPTEMBER - 2021
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SEPTEMBER - 2021
States Wisely Develop Offices of Outdoor Recreation
t all comes down to money. At least, that’s how it normally seems when working with government. But that’s not always a bad thing. Sometimes, it becomes apparent how valuable a resource is to those formally unaware when dollar figures are determined. Such is the case with outdoor recreation. Arkansas is the latest state to create an office of Outdoor Recreation, growing the list to 17. Most of those are out west, where vast amounts of public lands are recognized as tourist attractions and strong economic drivers. The states that have created outdoor recreation offices, task forces, or advisory councils have done so to place a focus on expanding their state’s outdoor recreation economy. In Arkansas, Governor Asa Hutchinson created the Office of Outdoor Recreation (OREC) within the state’s Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism (ADPHT). The focus of the new office will be on highlighting the state’s wide variety of outdoor activities, including boating, trail activities, and cycling. Which is big business in Arkansas. According to a press release from the governor’s office, outdoor recreation in the state is responsible for producing $2.9 billion in annual economic impact while supporting over 39,000 jobs. Fish the White River or canoe the Buffalo River on a Saturday in June, and you’ll swear that number has to be higher. “The Office of Outdoor Recreation provides critically needed support as we look to expand our recreational opportunities in Arkansas and contribute to the state’s tourism value,” Hutchinson said, in the release. “These new outdoor recreation offerings illustrate the many opportunities at hand.” One important aspect of the new Office’s responsibility is collecting and analyzing data. This information will be used to further understand how both residents and non-residents are interacting with the outdoors in Arkansas, which will allow the state to make wise investments accordingly. Once they have a better understanding of outdoor recreation is impacting the Arkansas economy, they’ll know where to spend tax for developing new recreational opportunities that generate the sort of returns the state hopes for.
“If there’s one thing the pandemic has made clear, it’s that people need the freedom of the outdoors for their health, quality of life and peace of mind, and it helps attract businesses and families to create thriving, livable communities,” Stacy Hurst, Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism said. “I am looking forward to working with this team to enhance the state’s economy and offerings for the public.” Outdoor recreation extends far beyond hunting and fishing, and it is a huge economic driver across the country. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, data shows that the outdoor recreation economy accounted for 2.1 percent ($459.8 billion) of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) for the nation in 2019. That number must have skyrocketed in 2020 with the droves of people finding an escape from the pandemic in the outdoors. Every state has some form of a Department of Natural Resources or a Department of Fish and Wildlife. Many of those agencies have a division related to outdoor tourism and recreation. However, many of them simply aren’t doing enough, likely because they are limited by the resources provided to them. By creating a new office, like Arkansas has now done with their Office of Outdoor Recreation, a significant amount of interest will be given to understanding and expanding outdoor recreation. I hope more Midwestern states will follow their lead. Brandon Butler Outdoor recreation is a large economic driver in the United States representing close to $500 billion annually. (Photo: Courtesy of Arkansas Outdoor Recreation Office)
The Use of Fire in Land Management
he use of prescribed or controlled burns is an important part of any land and wildlife management plan. Controlled burns help reduce brush and undergrowth, while creating space to allow new, high protein green growth to sprout. This provides better grazing and forage for wildlife. When done in sections, landowners can have a mix of burned and unburned areas providing the optimum food and cover on their properties. It is important to have a good plan in place before starting a controlled burn. The key to keeping your fire contained is the construction of a proper fire break. Map out the area you intend to burn and decide where you want it to stop. The fire break will encircle the burn area and ensure the fire remains contained within it. Terrain plays a part in your plan. It is best to construct your break on level ground if at all possible. This makes it easier to patrol the burn area and keep an eye on progress. If the intended burn area is on a slope, make the break as wide as possible at the top to keep updrafts from causing fire to jump the line. A proper fire break should be a minimum of ten feet wide. This will keep the fire from jumping over into an area you don’t intend to burn and getting out of control. A fire break doesn’t need to be deep, but all duff and vegetation should be removed down to bare soil. Digging down six inches or more can cause a problem later on with erosion, especially on a slope, so don’t overdo it. Wider is better than deeper. Dead trees and other tall vegetation within the burn area that are close to the fire break should be removed so they don’t ignite and blow embers across your break into the “no burn” zone. A vital part of your plan includes a list of equipment you’ll need to have on hand during the burn. Water is a top priority. An ATV sprayer with a water tank gives you plenty of mobility to move around the fire line and put out any hot spots that come up. Burning snags or stumps should be extinguished as soon as possible. You don’t want any lingering fires that will need attention after the initial burn is over. If possible, recruit plenty of manpower on burn day to help patrol the fire line. Fire rakes and shovels are good tools for putting out small spot fires.
(Photo: Courtesy of Missouri State Parks)
A tractor with a disc can make secondary break lines if necessary and on a large burn, it may be worth having a bulldozer on hand. Drip torches are the safest and most efficient method of starting your fire. Torches are often available through your local conservation department or state forestry agency. Once you’ve decided to add controlled burns to your land management plan, you’ll need to take advantage of the various resources available to help you get started. State forestry agencies, NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) and the NWTF all provide training on how to conduct a controlled burn. Landowners should seek to take any burning certifications offered by forestry agencies, such as Certified Prescribed Fire Manager or Wildland Firefighter Training. Some state forestry agencies will also provide controlled burning as a service, as well as private land management companies who will conduct them for a fee. Check with your local rural fire department. Often, they need training credits on fighting wildland fires and they may help you with your burn. Even if they don’t it’s a good idea to inform then when you will be conducting your burn, so they can be prepared if things get out of hand.
Mike Capps SEPTEMBER - 2021
Hunting Teal with a Young Girl and an Old Lady
alking through tall grass on the side of a levy is challenging in the dark. Stepping in the wrong place could mean a broken ankle, compliments of a muskrat or beaver den. Then there is the possibility of stepping on a sliding mud bank that will carry you into the murky water. The trick is to walk slow and not complain when you fall. I complained! I was hunting with two veteran teal hunters from northwestern Missouri. Nicole “Nicky” Jeannin had just turned 18 while the old lady she hunted with, Mam-J, was considerably older in dog years. Both had seen countless teal, goose and duck hunts. I was the biggest amateur present, even though I shot my first teal in 1965. Nicky had the decoys set and everything ready while I was still walking down the bank. Youth, I thought, must be nice! We were dug down deep in the marsh grass as the dim first light started creeping over the water. I heard Mam-J whine as two teal whistled over our heads and were gone. We needed a bit more daylight for shooting to become legal and to see the teal coming from long distances, the only way you have time to shoot. We started talking about old friends and current events when another “whooshing” sound passed over our heads. I glanced up to watch the early sunbeams bounce off blue wing patches of six teal that quickly skirted the pool and made another pass behind our position. Nicky immediately made several mallard quacks on her call.
Feature Story “Stay down, they’re coming back,” Nicky whispered. I allowed myself a peek and saw them banking to the north and head straight towards us. The delicate ducks set their wings and dropped straight into our small decoy set. We immediately jumped up to find our targets that would be gone in seconds at the first sign of danger.
“I like to use smaller sets of one or two dozen teal decoys,” Nicky said. “Six will sometimes work as well. Teal love to find smaller pools close to whatever they’re feeding on. This may include row crops or some type of millet planted in the pool. But a small number of decoys will pull in birds.”
Teal whistles are effective. Callers use whistles to get The ducks jumped up, bewildered, being duped by a flock a passing flock’s attention. Limited whistling is more of fakes. They swung up in a loose formation and headed effective; sometimes, a couple of toots are enough. On north. Nicky quickly swung on a teal that was pumping other occasions, you would probably be as effective to his wings for the safety of altitude. A load of Winchester yell, “Hey teal we’re over here.” sixes dropped the tiny duck back in our pool. I followed through on “I gave up on teal whistles and the lowest teal and squeezed my only use a mallard call,” Nicky said. The unmistakable sound of trigger. The second duck splashed “I only want them to hear a couple about 50 teal flashed around of quacks. This brings attention to close by and I felt relieved that Nicky had not outshot me yet. She our decoys. Once they see them, our perimeter. Their wings is never shy about reminding me chances are they’ll come in for a whistled as they made a that her abilities as a wing shot are closer look.” first pass, then a second. I better than mine. The morning passed and Mam-J closed my eyes and listened Mam-J sprang to life at Nicky’s continued to watch the sky. By to that addictive whistling command. She splashed through now, a younger dog would have the small pothole, picked up the sound made when air passes been bored. The beautiful black lab closest teal, brought it in, and then been here many times before through flapping duck wings. had returned for the second dead duck. and sat patiently. She occasionally rolled her eyes and groaned. Nicky tossed me the drake and the hunt continued--or at least the conversation continued. Suddenly the sky Then suddenly, her eyes gazed upward at an incredible was empty except for those pesky blackbirds and a few sight, the tremendous flock that was about to drop mosquitoes. into our pool. The unmistakable sound of about 50 teal flashed around our perimeter. Their wings whistled as But this is teal hunting. This unpredictable duck might they made a first pass, then a second. I closed my eyes be anywhere including a nearby farm pond. The fast and listened to that addictive whistling sound made ducks love to sit in calm spots before taking off to stretch when air passes through flapping duck wings. Finally, their wings. They might even find a comfortable spot they made a third pass before deciding that our spot was with plenty of food and stay. But chances are good they the place to be. Mam-J moaned excitedly as they moved will eventually take a short hop somewhere, maybe for a into land. change of scenery. We stood up—the sudden sight of two humans brought Teal, like most waterfowl, sometimes have trouble on a controlled panic. About 50 ducks took off at once making up their minds about where they want to go. So as the sun reflected a golden hue from water dripping a key to teal hunting is scouting a spot where they are, off wings and feet. I expected Nicky to shoot, but she and set up there the following morning or evening. They watched this incredible show of a sky full of beauty. We might not be there soon, but they may show up later. did not fire a shot but watched in total amazement. While it is never a certainty, ducks or geese may visit a pleasant spot from the day before. They may not know their destination, but you can help them decide with good calling and decoy sets.
I looked at her and we both laughed. Other teal would come. We did not have to disturb that incredible flight but Mam-J was not crazy about our decision and groaned her disapproval. SEPTEMBER - 2021
That dark afternoon clouds rolled in and the action heated up. Small groups of teal decided they needed a place to set. I picked out a pair and squeezed my trigger, dropping both. Nicky was doing quite a job of dropping ducks. She had three floating not far from my two. The limit was six each, but we decided to stop at four each. Teal breasts wrapped with bacon are filling and darned good. We each had enough for one meal. Three days later we managed to take time off for another hunt. The teal season would soon be over. The heartier green wing teal waited longer before flying north, although you occasionally shoot or see one during the early season. Most stay around the Midwest, sometimes into December--depending on the freeze. This is evidenced by an occasional green wing teal included in a brace of mallards. A heavy freeze will eventually push the green wings and most other ducks south--the time we dread. For now, we were content to hunt the slightly smaller blue wing teal that pushed into our area. We arrived at the blind before daylight, shone the flashlight at our spot to be rewarded by the sight of a foul-tempered water snake--the really big variety. They are not venemous but are known to be aggressive. We flipped him out in the water, gratified to see the reptile swim away.
We tossed out the decoys and settled in. Our little pothole looked perfect for any blue wings that happened by and soon they did. We had a fantastic wing shoot that morning as several small flocks dropped in. Again, we each dropped three birds just enough for that afternoon grilling and decided to leave and let the teal rest, but we wanted to see what was following the early ducks. Soon the sky flooded with more teal and some gadwalls. Several circled our spot and we sat stone still and watched them drop in our decoys. They only flushed when we stood up to go home. That was our last teal hunt that season and it served to whet out appetites for the main migration that would push through in about two months. So we drove home totally content, especially Mam-J who was in a dead sleep, probably dreaming about that huge flock of teal and still wondering why we did not shoot! Kenneth L. Kieser (Cover) Nicky is a fine hunter. (Photo: Kenneth L. Kieser) (Left) Mam-J is gone now, but she was a legend in the duck marshes around Missouri. (Photo: Danny Guyer) (Right) Few can call ducks better than Nicky. (Photo: Danny Guyer)
Missouri Department of Natural Resources Remembers Director Carol Comer and Her Love for Missouri’s Resources
arol S. Comer passed away June 9, 2021, at her home in Jefferson City at the age of 54. “It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we share the news of Director Carol Comer’s passing. We’re grateful for Carol’s vision for the Department, and we’re planning to carry that forward,” said Missouri Department of Natural Resources Acting Director Dru Buntin. “She loved our agency and the work we do. Most of all, she loved all of us. We will always remember Carol’s big smile, her caring nature, and her concern about team members – she always put us first.” Comer was appointed Director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in January 2017. As Director, she led the Department’s efforts to protect Missouri’s air, land, water, and mineral resources; preserve our unique natural and historic places; and provide recreational and learning opportunities, while promoting the environmentally sound and energy-efficient operations of businesses, communities, agriculture, and industry for the benefit of all Missourians. She had extensive experience with environmental issues in government and business, and understood that environmental protection and economic growth go hand in hand. “Carol loved Missouri State Parks – the team, our visitors and the interpretation of Missouri’s history, and cultural and natural resources. She was proud to have visited all 92 state parks and historic sites,” said Missouri State Parks Director Mike Sutherland. “Her passion and support was evident with her smile and enthusiasm during each and every visit." Before joining the Department, Comer served as Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) under former Governor and Vice-President Mike Pence. She previously had served in roles as IDEM’s General Counsel and Chief of Staff. Prior to that, Carol served as a senior administrative law judge for the Indiana Board of Tax Review and as an Administrative Law Judge with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.
She began her career in private practice with nearly a decade of experience representing companies on environmental and utility matters, first at Plews and Shadley in Indianapolis and later at Lewis and Roca in Phoenix. Known for her passion concerning environmental issues, Comer was an accomplished leader and dedicated public servant who was a strong advocate for the state’s natural resources. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is honoring Comer’s legacy in many ways. Some of those include: • Supporting a cause that was close to her heart. To donate to the Humane Society of Missouri or the American Cancer Society in Missouri, please reach out directly to the organization. • Establishing a state park bench in her honor at Current River State Park. This park was special to Carol; she had a vision to refurbish and rehabilitate the lodge and other structures. The department is planning to place the bench in a nice area where visitors can watch over construction as it happens. • Installing a state park bench and planting a Missouri native tree at the Lewis and Clark State Office Building. Director Comer is deeply missed by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Her smile, leadership and concern for others are part of her legacy that will always be remembered by those who knew her and worked beside her.
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