Process for Adopting Regulations

The Conservation Commission and the Department of Conservation have constitutional responsibility to protect and manage Missouri's fish, forest, and wildlife resources for the citizens of the state now and for the future. Regulations are established to best manage Missouri's valuable plant and animal communities, to provide equal opportunity for Missourians to share and enjoy these resources, and to promote public safety. Three factors – biological impact, social concerns, and enforceability – come into play as regulations are developed.

The Regulations Committee is responsible for all rules in the Wildlife Code of Missouri. Members are appointed by the Director, and include Chiefs of the Department's Fisheries, Forestry, Wildlife, Protection, Resource Science, and Private Land Services divisions. The General Counsel or a designee serves as advisor to the Committee and the Deputy Director-Resource Management serves as Chair.

The Committee typically meets ten (10) working days before most Commission meetings. Generally, the Committee deals with proposed changes in the next year's Code during the months of February and July; deer seasons and waterfowl seasons in April or May; turkey season in November; and other matters as they come up.MDC regulations process flow chart

  1. Division, Region or public brings recommendation to the Regulations Committee for consideration (some recommendations will have incorporated stakeholder input at this stage).
  2. The Regulations Committee, which meets approximately ten (10) times per year, either approves, denies, or returns the recommendation to staff for further study (including instructions to engage, or further involve, stakeholders).
  3. Once approved by the Regulations Committee, a recommendation is submitted through the Director to the Conservation Commission for approval. The Commission may approve, veto or table the recommendation.
  4. Recommendations approved by the Conservation Commission are filed with the Administrative Rules Division, Missouri Secretary of State, as Proposed Rules, Proposed Amendments, or Proposed Recissions for publication in the Missouri Register.
  5. Once published, there is a 30-day public comment period. If comments are received, they are shared with members of the Regulations Committee.
  6. Those comments are compiled and shared with the Conservation Commission. During a regularly scheduled meeting, they will conduct a vote to approve the final Order of Rulemaking as written, with changes, or they may withdraw the rule based on input from citizens. If no comments are received, after the 30-day comment period the rule, amendment, or rescission is filed again with the Administrative Rules Division, Missouri Secretary of State as an Order of Rulemaking per Commission order.
  7. After filing an Order of Rulemaking, the change becomes effective either 30 days after publication in the State Code of Regulations or another specified future date. Most rule changes handled in the Department’s annual Code review process become effective March 1 of the following year.
  8. Seasons and limits are excepted from the requirement for filing as a proposed amendment under section 536.021, RSMo. In rare circumstances, rules that meet the requirements of section 536.025, RSMo, may be filed as emergency rules and become effective ten (10) days after filing with the Secretary of State.
  9. Those wishing to be placed on the agenda for a presentation or other business must send a written request to Tom A. Draper, Regulations Committee Chair, Missouri Department of Conservation, P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180, or Fax to 573-751-4467, at least ten (10) working days before the meeting date.

Revised 02/16


Key Messages: 

Conservation makes Missouri a great place to hunt and fish.

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