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Auduboners Plan Spring Meeting

The Audubon Society of Missouri's Spring Meeting will be April 25, 26 and 27 at Columbia Ramada Inn on Vandiver Drive.

The semi-annual meeting includes workshops, tours and field trips to several conservation areas, constructed wetlands and the MKT Trail. Dinner and evening programs also are scheduled.

Registration is free for those under the age of 22 and students, and $5 for adults. Banquet tickets are extra. People are asked to register by April 15 to assure spaces on bus tours and for seating at the banquet.

For more information or to register, write Jean Graebner, 1800 S. Roby Farm Road, Rocheport, 65279, or call (573) 698-2855.

Youth vs. Youth at Outdoor Contest

Young hunters can test their outdoor skills in the sixth annual Missouri Youth Hunter Education Challenge at the United Sportsmen's Club in Jefferson City May 31 and June 1.

The event is designed to help youths further develop the outdoor skills and ethics they learn in hunter education classes.

Competition is divided into junior (up to age 14) and senior (age 14-18) divisions. Events include wildlife identification, orienteering, hunting safety, hunter responsibility, as well as archery, .22 caliber, shotgun and muzzle-loading rifle marksmanship.

Entries are limited to 125 competitors. For more details and entry forms, write MYHEC, P.O. Box 38, Imperial, 63052.

Listen to the Conservationist

Hear entertaining stories and learn about Missouri's fish, forests and wildlife with audio tapes of the Missouri Conservationist.

Each tape includes the articles from that month's Conservationist, accompanied by music and sounds of nature. The tapes make ideal driving or hiking companions, or you can listen to them as you relax at home.

The tapes are available for free loan at most libraries or you can subscribe to the Conservationist Audio Magazine. A 12-month subscription costs $30, which includes home delivery.

For more information, write Media Library, Conservation Department, P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City, 65102-0180, or call (573) 751-4115, ext. 205.

Surveyor Seeks Info on Fire Lookouts

Kirkwood resident James Lyon is surveying present and former fire lookouts in the state for the Forest Fire Lookout Association.

He is seeking photos, stories and information about abandoned sites in Missouri and is asking people to send in the names of former lookouts, their location and county, a legal description (if possible) and the years they were built and removed to Jim Lyon, 1955 Windy Hill, Kirkwood, 63122.

M.U. Will Host Major Symposium

The University of Missouri-Columbia has announced that it will host the Seventh International Symposium on Society and Resource Management May 27-31, 1998.

The biennial event will welcome researchers, managers, academicians, policy specialists and students interested in the human aspects of resource management and will focus on the contributions of the social sciences to understanding environment and resource management.

For more information, contact Dr. Sandy Rikoon at (573) 882-1473 or visit the website at <http://silva.snr.missouri.edu/issrm>.

Missouri Furharvest Up

Data from the 1996-97 trapping season show trappers caught more animals and received more money for fur than in recent years.

About 4,500 people trapped in Missouri during the past season, up from a low of 2,500 in 1991, but still below the peak of more than 13,000 trappers registered in 1980.

Two consecutive cold winters in Europe and Asia have increased demand for fur garments, which has driven up fur prices and increased trapping activity in Missouri.

Beaver pelts at auctions were selling for over $17, compared to about $5 at 1995 auctions. Raccoon pelts, which sold for about $6 in 1995, were selling for nearly $20 this year.

According to records, 1,040 otters were captured by trappers. Otter pelts averaged $40.25 at sales. Population monitoring following the end of the season indicates otter numbers are higher than earlier estimated.

N. America Observes Migratory Bird Day

Groups, schools and organizations across North America will coordinate seminars, workshops, exhibits, lectures, nature walks and events May 10 in observance of International Migratory Bird Day.

On that day, Audubon chapters in the state are coordinating the North American Migration Count, an annual census of migrating birds in the state.

The celebration is meant to increase public awareness of migrant songbirds and of threats to their habitats.

Call your nearest Conservation Nature Center for information about special events and activities in the week preceding International Migratory Bird Day.

NATURAL GIFTS PRESERVE STATE LANDS

The Conservation Department manages and protects many properties that have been donated in appreciation of loved ones or to preserve an area's natural beauty.

For information about donations or memorials, write Donation Coordinator, Conservation Department, P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City, 65102-0180, or call (573) 751-4115.

Purple Paint Law and Trespassing

The purple paint law allows landowners to mark their property against trespass by placing readily visible purple paint marks on trees or posts around the area.

Vertical marks are to be placed no more than 100 feet apart and each mark must be at least 8 inches long. The bottom of the mark should be no less than 3 feet, but not more than 5 feet above the ground.

"Property so posted," the law reads, "is to be considered posted for all purposes, and any unauthorized entry upon the property is trespass in the first degree, and a class B misdemeanor."

Trespassing on any private property, whether posted or not, is illegal, but trespassing on posted property is a more serious offense.

People using the outdoors - hunters, anglers or hikers - should be on the alert for purple paint markings and should always ask permission of landowners before venturing onto private property.

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