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Note to Our Readers

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The Experiment


I grew up in Mexico, MO, and attended the Missouri School of Journalism. My appreciation for the outdoors developed at a young age as I explored the fields and woods near my home. I take great pride in doing my part to ensure Missouri’s conservation heritage.

Throughout our 68 years, the Missouri Conservationist has undergone more than a few changes. As we have changed to better serve Missouri’s citizens, our readers have given us tremendous support.

“I regularly get positive comments about the Missouri Conservationist,” Director John Hoskins said. “More people identify the Missouri Department of Conservation and its services with the Conservationist than anything else.”

The Conservationist began its quest to serve Missouri citizens in July 1938. In the first issue, then Conservation Commission Chairman E. Sydney Stephens wrote a column that laid down the purpose and nature of the Conservationist. Mr. Stephen’s words remain relevant to us today. In his column he said:

“In response to an apparent desire for information concerning the activities of the Conservation Commission, and in order to provide information for the guidance of individuals and groups interested in the conservation of wildlife, this publication is being issued. Its purpose is to keep the public informed as to the policies and plans of the department as the work of organization and administration progresses.

“Suggestions as to the subject matter of future issues are solicited. It is our purpose to use this publication as one of the several phases of service by the Commission to the people of the state.

“The publication is in the nature of an experiment. Its continuance will be determined by the extent of the interest that is manifested in its contents by those to whom it is sent.”

With guidance from the past, we continue to try to improve the quality of the Conservationist. With this issue we have re-tooled the old News and Almanac section into the NextGEN section. All the information you have come to expect in News and Almanac, you’ll now find in the NextGEN section. We have also expanded the number of pages and created categories in order to bring you more news on fish, forests and wildlife.

Each page of the NextGEN section will report on a different goal we set in our new Department plan, The Next Generation of Conservation. We unveiled this plan in the September 2006 issue. You can read more about it online.

Other new additions will tell you what’s on our Web site, take you on a conservation retrospective, and give you the latest information on regulations. What isn’t changing? We will deliver the same quality photography and information on our fish, forests and wildlife that you have come to expect.

As Mr. Stephens said in 1938, our existence depends on your interest and support. As members of our conservation team, we hope you will let us know how we’re doing and if you have any suggestions for future subjects you would like us to cover. We value you, our readers, and hope to have the privilege of serving you for a long time.

Ara Clark, editor in chief

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