department of conservation

Sebastián Martinez / KBIA

After a historically hot and dry winter here in Missouri, spring rains have hit the state in a big way. With more rain forecast for the coming week, concerns over the winter drought could soon be supplanted by concerns about flooding. One critical piece of Missouri’s environment that helps guard against rising waters is the state’s wetlands – flood plains and wet prairies that can absorb excesses from rivers. But wetlands are also critical habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, something scores of kids learned on a recent Saturday in Saint Charles. 

On a sunny spring afternoon at the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area, about a dozen children gathered around a pond, probing the waters with long-handled nets. After emptying their nets into shallow plastic trays, they walked over to a nearby table, where volunteer Melanie Sanford helped them identify their findings.


Sebastian Martinez / KBIA

The greater prairie chicken is one of Missouri’s rarest birds. There are actually fewer than 300 left in the state. So the opportunity to see one is coveted by nature lovers. Even when it means getting up before dawn on a Saturday, and making the trip down to Wah’Kon Tah prairie, which many of the remaining chickens call home.

A group of about forty people did just that, turning up to the Missouri Department of Conservation’s El Dorado Springs office for one of a handful of greater prairie chicken viewings the department has organized this spring. After a brief orientation, the attendees hopped onto two buses, one lead by wildlife biologist Matt Hill and the other by Max Alleger, the department’s grassland coordinator.


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  • Mo. Department of Conservation adds about 200 acres to wildlife area 

KHS Environmental Club / Flickr

Nearly 200 acres has been added to a wildlife area in southwest Missouri.

Sarah Ashworth.

 

The Missouri Department of Conservation is planning to allow Elk hunting starting in 2016.

The Columbia Missourian reports the plan is contingent on the Elk population growing to at least 200. The conservation department has been working on growing the Elk population since 2010. The Department been bringing elk into Missouri from Kentucky in an effort to reintroduce the population into the state.

missouri auditor tom schweich
State of Missouri

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich says his office is starting a new review of the state Department of Conservation.