Community Conservation

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Taking Action

Niangua Darter Restoration Effort

  • Group featured: Department of Conservation, Dallas County Commission, Hickory County Commission, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation
  • Group mission: Replace low-water road/stream crossings prohibiting movement of Niangua darters.
  • Group location: Thomas Creek and Little Niangua River

Most bridges are built solely to accommodate human traffic, but two bridges in west central Missouri also were designed to put Niangua darters on the road to recovery. Niangua darters became threatened in 1985, due in part to reservoir construction and low-water road crossings that blocked their movement. To combat those problems Dallas and Hickory counties and the Department of Conservation replaced road crossings on Thomas Creek and Little Niangua River with low-water bridges. Removing barriers to fish movement enables isolated darter populations to reconnect, increasing opportunity for genetic diversity in the species and boosting its population. Stream monitoring is being conducted to measure the effects of the projects.

The bridge projects are funded by the Department of Conservation, Dallas and Hickory County Commissions, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation.

Arbor Excellence Awards

Honoring those who care for community trees.

Your tree care program can be rewarding in several ways. Trees make a community more attractive, provide shade and give countless other benefits, and your tree care program can earn you an Arbor Award of Excellence. The awards recognize towns and groups whose care of trees contribute significantly to their towns and areas, and are part of a sustainable long-term effort. Nomination applications are accepted through Nov. 28. Download nomination forms at online or contact Justine Gartner, (573) 522-4115, ext. 3116.

Trees are Terrific

Arbor Day poster contest for fifth graders.

Fifth-grade students are encouraged to showcase their artistic skills in the 2008 National Arbor Day poster contest. The theme for this year’s contest is “Trees are Terrific…Inside and Out!”

All fifth-grade art teachers in Missouri will receive packets this month with the poster contest details. Other fifth-grade teachers can request packets by contacting Donna Baldwin, Missouri Poster Contest Coordinator, P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180, or sending an e-mail to The deadline for contest submissions is Feb. 1. The state winner will receive a $50 savings bond, a 6- to 12-foot tree to be planted on his or her school grounds and entry into the national poster contest.

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