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The Missouri Department of Conservation is looking for a new director. The organization announced Monday that Robert Ziehmer will step down from his position, which he’s held since 2010. 

  Ziehmer’s announcement signals the end of a 29-year career at the department, which started off with an hourly job as a fisheries biologist.

He will move on to a job in the private sector, which he said is “a very important player in the conservation field.”

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.


Missouri Department of Conservation logo
File Photo / KBIA

The Missouri Department of Conservation say hunters would help reduce the population of dangerous feral hogs in the state if they would stop shooting them.

Missouri Department of Conservation logo
File Photo / KBIA

The Missouri Senate has approved a measure that would ask voters whether to add two members to the Department of Conservation's governing board.

Missouri Dept. of Conversation

The Missouri Department of Conservation is investigating a dead bull elk that was found mutilated in southeastern Missouri.

The agency said Wednesday in a statement that the male was one of about 130 animals that are a part of the department's efforts to restore the elk population.

The Conservation Department says the elk appears to have been shot and its skull plate and antlers removed with a chainsaw.

A hiker who saw the animal in an area along the Current River notified conservation agents Tuesday.

Missouri Department of Conservation logo
File Photo / KBIA

Wild hogs are creating a nuisance across much of Missouri, but conservation officials are warning against hunting the animals.

Missouri Department of Conservation logo
File Photo / KBIA

A state audit of the Missouri Department of Conservation has noted concerns over how the department awards grants.

Antler Restrictions Revoked

Nov 2, 2015
Missouri Department of Conservation

Missouri deer hunters will not have to worry about shooting a deer whose antlers aren’t big enough. 

Since 2004, hunters have been limited to antlered bucks with at least four points on one side of the bucks rack.  The Missouri Department of Conservation announced it is repealing the previous antler restrictions for a portion of the firearm season from November 14-24. 

Emily Flynn is a deer biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation.  She says that the restrictions were revoked because of a deadly disease that is spreading. 

dishfunctional / Flickr

The Missouri Department of Conservation is taking measures to save the deer population in the state.

Invasive Insect Threatens Missouri Ash Trees

Jun 29, 2015
USDAgov / Flickr

The Missouri Department of Conservation has found an invasive tree pest in 11 Missouri counties.

KBIA

Deer hunters in Boone and 12 other counties will now be able to purchase a second firearm antlerless permit for the 2015-2016 deer season.

Bear Sightings in Fulton Over Memorial Day Weekend

May 26, 2015
The Missouri Department of Conservation

Fulton residents are keeping watch for a bear first seen in town over Memorial Day Weekend.

The Missouri Department of Conservation says the two most recent sightings occurred between eight a.m. and noon on May 26, 2015.

The bear was in a residential neighborhood only blocks away from the original sighting.

Agent Bob Lyons of the Missouri Department of Conservation said residents should be alert, but not overly concerned.

Today Paul Pepper chats with LORIE STEELE about the annual Moreau Montessori School Auction, happening this Saturday in Holts Summit. The school needs a new roof, so they need you to come! At [4:17] DON RAHM, Missouri Department of Conservation, tells us about the 'Discover Nature - Fishing' class for children at Bass Pro Shops in Columbia! May 14, 2015

Gary Grigsby / KBIA

MU scientists have narrowed down the possibilities of what might be causing white oak mortality in low-lying areas of Missouri Ozarks in the past few years.  But the mystery remains.

Dr. Sharon Reed is trying to solve the mystery.  She's an MU research scientist who has been working on the white oak mortality issue for some time.  She said some of her research is very low-tech like scraping bark off of dead white oak trees.  "Part of the process with the scraping is that we actually do try to isolate pathogens in the wood tissues.  And we do  that by taking out little chips from the areas that are darker in coloration."  

A proposed bill could affect the Missouri Department of Conservation’s budget. House bill 27 was proposed to reduce the conservation sales tax from one-eighth to one-sixteenth of a cent.

Ray Dumas / Flickr

  Missouri hunters may soon have a new weapon in their arsenal -- the crossbow. The Missouri Department of Conservation is asking citizens for their thoughts on possible rule changes for the 2016 hunting season. Besides allowing crossbows, the department is looking to shorten the length of the hunting season after a decrease in the deer population over the last few years.

Gary Grigsby / KBIA

In the past few years white oak mortality has killed an untold number of trees in the Missouri Ozarks.

The Missouri Department of Conservation is considering a two-day reduction in the state's fall deer hunting season in an attempt to increase herd size.

The state agency proposes a nine-day fall firearms season each November starting in 2016. The current fall season lasts 11 days.

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.


dishfunctional / Flickr

You may need a camo case for your smart phone now. Last week, the Missouri Department of Conservation released a hunting app. It lets hunters report their yield right from their phone. 

Jason Empey / FLICKR

A group founded last month in Columbia is trying to educate Missourians about black bears.

Jason Empey / FLICKR

The Missouri Department of Conservation now estimates that the Show Me State’s black bear population is about 300.

Staff / Missouri Department of Conservation

The Missouri Department of Conservation is searching for help to track the state's turtle population. Interested biology enthusiasts would help trap and release turtles in the water at the Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area south of Columbia. The department needs between two and three dozen people who don't mind getting messy in the name of science.

Eagle Bluffs manager Vic Bogosian says the information gathered during these turtle round ups are crucial to ensuring the continued well-being of the animals.

Andres Rueda / Flickr

Two Missouri agencies are encouraging residents to spend April cleaning up the state's roadsides, parks, rivers and trails as part of the sixth annual "trash bash."

Missouri's Conservation and Transportation departments are sponsoring the event, which also includes educational efforts in schools, community events, and Earth Day celebrations.

Organizers say programs like the trash bash help offset the cost of cleaning up litter and let the two agencies devote resources to other priorities.

Forest Fire
E Gregory / Flickr

State conservation officials suspect arson in about 20 wildfires near the Truman Reservoir in west-central Missouri in the past week.

The Department of Conservation says the fires burned more than 1,000 acres of public and private land. No injuries or structural losses have been reported, but officials say wildfires can cause significant harm and that fighting them costs money and puts people at risk.

The conservation agency says crews have fought about 50 fires this year in Henry and St. Clair counties that have burned about 3,000 acres.

Brendan Gibbons / KBIA

  The smoke that was blown into downtown Columbia on Monday originated mostly from controlled burning on private land in different locations all across the county, officials said.

Gale Blomenkamp, battalion chief of the Boone County Fire Protection District, said private burning is normal at this time of the year, as farmers are freeing up land.

“There’s nothing abnormal about this going on right now. This is our natural cover fire season, and this is also the time that people do open burning to burn off their fields etcetera,” Blomenkamp said.

Fishing
File Photo / KBIA

Missouri's cold winter is killing off more fish than usual in ponds and lakes.

David Stonner / Missouri Department of Conservation

In 2011, the Department of Conservation started reintroducing elk into the state of Missouri.  The elk were brought in from Kentucky and released onto land designated as the Elk Relocation Zone.  Part of this “zone” is conservation land in the Missouri Ozarks called Peck Ranch. 

Right now, there’s a herd of more than a hundred elk roaming around in the Missouri Ozarks.  But, you might not know it just by looking around.  You see, they’re actually kind of hard to find in the woods.

Courtesy of Missouri Department of Natural Resources

Update 11.21 a.m. 1/15/14: MDC reports the wolf was shot by the landowner while hunting. The department says wolves can be mistaken for coyotes sometimes, though coyotes rarely grow to more than 30 pounds. Coyotes may be taken by hunting with the right permit.

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