conservation

Sebastian Martinez / KBIA

Fire plays an important role in many Midwestern ecosystems, but when it burns out of control it can also be devastating, as the wildfires in Oklahoma and Kansas have demonstrated. This time of year, when a lot of summer grasses and brush are still dead but the weather is warming up, the land is particularly flammable. That’s why agencies like the Missouri Department of Conservation take meticulous care in planning prescribed fire.


Conservation agents finish up overseeding a plot at the Prairie Fork Conservation Area outside of Williamsburg, Missouri.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Landscape diversity in Missouri has changed since its settlement in the 18th century. Where there was once prairies, forests and savannahs, in many cases there are now towns, cities and farms.

The Missouri Department of Conservation is working to remedy this problem by restoring prairies to “pre-settlement standards.” These standards include no non-native plant species and plants from within a 50 mile radius of the prairie.


Jenn Cooper / KBIA

Dr. Jane Goodall greeted a packed house at Mizzou Area Wednesday night to share her hopeful message for the future. Goodall is best known for her work with chimpanzees. She introduced herself as a chimpanzee would, in noises and grunts, sparking laughter from the packed arena.

Facebook/Ruthie Mocchia

Have you ever been out on the Missouri River? If so, you know it is big, wide, and muddy. There's also litter in the river. Now, there's a lot less litter thanks to the work of Missouri River Relief. On this week's Thinking Out Loud, Trevor Harris talked with Melanie Cheney about why a cleaner Missouri River matters (Think drinking water.) Also, hear music from Violet Vonder Haar, who will be performing this Saturday's Boonville River Festival.


President Obama unveiled a proposal on Tuesday that would create the world's largest ocean sanctuary south and west of Hawaii, The Washington Post and The Associated Press are reporting.

Missouri senators are proposing a state constitutional amendment that would double the size of the Conservation Commission and make it geographically diverse.

The commission oversees the Department of Conservation which is currently made up of four members, with no more than two from the same political party. Members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate.

The proposed change in the state Constitution would expand the commission to eight members and require that they be from different areas of Missouri.

Eric Durban / Harvest Pubic Media

This week on the show: a popular conservation program may fall victim to the 2012 Farm Bill. Plus, robot tractors.