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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Missouri has acquired about 300 acres in south-central Missouri that had been forfeited after the owner was convicted of federal drug charges.
The state Department of Conservation said Monday that Missouri State Parks acquired at auction the 330 acres of property in Shannon County that had been owned by James Tebeau. Tebeau was sentenced last year to 30 months in prison and ordered to forfeit the land, known as "Camp Zoe," after he was convicted of holding music festivals where drugs were sold.
Conservation officials in Missouri want deer hunters to take precautions this fall in order to prevent the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease. CWD cases are so far limited to a containment zone in north central Missouri, with the state’s first documented case occurring three years ago.
Joe Jerek with the state Conservation Department said hunters should wear latex gloves when field-dressing a deer.
The Missouri Department of Conservation recently introduced plans to include public input on designated conservation areas around the state. The new process is meant to help hikers, fishers and hunters express what they like and dislike regarding the planning and maintenance of the areas.
Missouri hunters disagree over The Department of Conservation’s actions to combat Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD, a neurological disease that affects deer.
Many free-range hunters support the actions, yet some breeders and preserve operators say they are being unnecessarily targeted for the spread of CWD. Former President of the MO Big Game Association and preserve operator Sam James said the Department of Conservation is blaming CWD on them because they do not like gaming preserves.
Missouri hunters can fight hunger this hunting season. The Missouri Department of Conservation and the Conservation Federation of Missouri sponsor the Share the Harvest program, which helps fight hunger by allowing hunters to donate their deer meat to approved meat processors. The meat is then distributed to several food banks and local food pantries and given to those in need.
Campfires once again will be allowed at Missouri conservation areas, thanks to rain from the remnants of Tropical Storm Isaac this Labor Day weekend.
The Missouri Department of Conservation had issued a fire ban in June for its public properties because of the hot, dry summer.
But the department has now lifted that burn ban for all of the nearly 1,000 conservation areas that it manages. The agency says there may be some parts of the state that did not receive as much rain from recent storm, but it believes the fire danger will be reduced enough to lift the ban.
This week: St. Louis area entrepreneur Don Robinson died last month, leaving 843 acres of land to Missouri—the same size as New York's Central Park. And an audio postcard of a notorious outlaw's mock trial.