Annual Report Fiscal Year 2002–2003
This summary of the Annual Report highlights the Conservation Department's financial transactions and year-long accomplishments from July 1, 2002, through June 30, 2003.The Conservation Department made $668,907 in payments to Missouri counties in lieu of taxes, and also reimbursed counties $291,824 for land enrolled in the Forest Cropland Program.
- Continued offering landowner deer and turkey permits for qualifying nonresidents at reduced price. Beginning with the spring 2001 turkey season, qualifying nonresident landowners were able to purchase deer and turkey hunting permits at reduced prices.To qualify, nonresidents must own a minimum of 75 contiguous acres within a single management unit.
- Protection agents made 204,395 resource contacts, noted 25,378 wildlife violations, issued 3,800 written warnings and made 7,581 arrests. Agents reported teaching hunter safety to 37,485 students. In addition, agents attended public events, displayed 1,060 exhibits, made 9,864 appearances on radio/TV programs.
- Operation Game Thief logged 539 calls, resulting in 142 convictions. Informants were paid $11,300 in rewards leading to arrests of Wildlife Code violators. Also, 1,826 hunters donated more than 96,595 pounds of venison to the needy through the “Share the Harvest” program.
- Managed Deer Hunt Program. The Department provided additional deer hunting opportunity through the Managed Deer Hunt Program. Overall, 5,671 hunters harvested 2,099 deer during 71 hunts at 36 locations.
- Rural fire departments received help through training and grants. More than $200,000 was distributed to 138 fire departments for the purchase of safety and fire- fighting equipment.The Department trained volunteer firefighters on natural cover fires.
- Expanded Dove Hunting Opportunities. The Conservation Department has quadrupled the number of specially managed fields to provide additional opportunities for dove hunters on Department-owned conservation areas.
- The Natural Areas system was expanded by more than 2,300 acres and now contains more than 180 areas with 59,600 acres protecting the best examples of Missouri's terrestrial and aquatic natural communities.
- Expanded deer hunting opportunities for firearms hunters by making all Any- Deer permits valid statewide, increasing the number of units where Second Bonus permits are valid, and increasing the number of units open during the Antlerless- Only portion.
- CWD Testing: Department personnel tested approximately 6,000 deer, taken from one-third of Missouri's counties during the 2002 Firearms Deer Season, for chronic wasting disease. All tests were negative, meaning CWD was not detected. Testing will continue through the 2005 Firearms Deer Season.
- Private Land Service's field staff made more than 5,000 on-site landowner visits