Letters

Proud of our partners

Congratulations Missouri Department of Conservation on your 75th Anniversary! The Department does a wonderful service for the citizens of Missouri as well as the many visitors from other states and countries worldwide.

Each month I look forward to opening up the Missouri Conservationist and reading the articles and seeing all the beautiful photos. An article in the January issue, Partnerships: The Cornerstone of Conservation, especially caught my attention.

As program specialist for the Maries County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) and president of the Missouri SWCD Employees Association, I was certain that the SWCDs would be listed as one of the agency partners but our omission must have been an oversight. The SWCDs have a great working relationship with MDC and many of the employees share office space and work together on a daily basis. There are numerous times when both the districtemployees and MDC staff will meet with a landowner. There may be parts of their land they want to target wildlife cover and enhancement but they also need to maintain acreage for pasture, hayland or cropland. You can also find MDC staff assisting at many local district activities and vice-versa. In addition, they have lead workshops at our annual training conference and provided essential information for various grants. As you can see, there are many activities where we work together. Individually they may be small but statewide, they really add up! Thank you MDC for doing a fantastic job!

Sandy Hutchison, Program Specialist II Maries County SWCD, Vienna

Author’s Note: A number of our partners in conservation are being highlighted throughout the year-long series of articles celebrating MDC’s 75th anniversary. However, it is difficult to list all of our important partners. The July issue will highlight conservation partners that assist private landowners. —Brett Dufur

Bearly stinky

Thanks for the article on bear denning by Chelsey Kroese and Jeff Beringer in the February issue. I was wondering if the researched bears will stay in the den after they are documented. I also was told (by a ranger) that you could smell a bear before you see it. We had been talking about caves that day, and a certain cave that we had wanted to check out, and he said if there was a bear, you could smell it at the entrance.

Lannis Hancock, House Springs

Author’s Note: Bears generally stay at one den site even after being disturbed. We sometimes block the den entrance so that the cubs can’t leave while the mother is waking up from anesthesia. They do seem to have several den sites picked out before each winter, though, as our telemetry data sometimes reveal midwinter bear movements from one den site to another.

Bears do not defecate while in dens, so the smell is minimal. I consider myself to have a pretty good sense of smell but could not smell a bear den from any distance. They are generally pretty clean animals. —Jeff Beringer

Correction

On Page 20 of the February issue [Regulations 2012 Update] the left-hand caption included an incorrect date of March 15. It should have read: “Effective March 1, waders or footwear that have porous soles are banned at trout parks and in certain trout streams in order to stop the spread of didymo.”

Reader Photo Flying Fur

Renee Thompson of Crawford County submitted this photo of a flying squirrel. “Considering that flying squirrels are usually nocturnal, I felt lucky to get this opportunity,” said Thompson. “The squirrel was collecting pin oak acorns off the ground and climbing up a nearby tree. My two retrievers alerted me to his activities, and I was able to get several photos before the squirrel climbed higher up the tree, then glided to a large white oak tree nearby.” Thompson said she enjoys hunting for deer, turkey, squirrels and the elusive morel mushroom.