Fiscal Year 2011–2012 Annual Report Summary
This summary of the Annual Report highlights the Missouri Department of Conservation’s accomplishments and expenditures from July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012. These accomplishments are based on the Department’s five main goals. Not only does this summary highlight the accomplishments of the Department, but it emphasizes that Missourians care about conserving forests, fish, and wildlife; that we work with Missourians and for Missourians to sustain healthy forests, fish, and wildlife; that we help people discover nature; that conservation makes Missouri a great place to hunt and fish; and that conservation pays by enriching our economy and quality of life.
Healthy Forests, Fish, and Wildlife
Wild elk returned to Missouri after 150 years. MDC, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries captured elk in Kentucky during December and January (2010–11 and 2011–12). MDC and the Missouri Department of Agriculture developed protocols to ensure the health of livestock and wildlife once elk were released. After health protocols were met, 34 elk were moved to Missouri in 2011 and 35 (plus a newborn calf) in 2012. The elk were kept in a holding facility on Peck Ranch Conservation Area (CA) for about a month to allow acclimation and to complete health protocols. In 2011, all elk were released on Peck Ranch CA. In 2012, some elk were released on Peck Ranch CA while others were moved to a release site on The Nature Conservancy property. Currently, auto routes are open on parts of Peck Ranch CA to allow visitors to view elk.
Both Ozark and eastern hellbenders are listed as state endangered, and on Nov. 7, 2011, the Ozark hellbender was added to the federal endangered species list. MDC’s Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery and the Ron Goellner Center for Hellbender Conservation at the Saint Louis Zoo are devoted to hellbender propagation. In the fall of 2011 was the world’s first breeding of a captive Ozark hellbender at the Saint Louis Zoo. About 150 Ozark hellbenders were hatched.
Wildlife Code Enforcement
MDC enforces laws in the Wildlife Code, as well as other state laws for the safe public use of MDC-owned lands. Conservation agents contacted 200,714 hunters and anglers last year to ensure compliance and provide regulation information. During these contacts, agents noted 27,288 resource violations, issued 3,631 written warnings and made 7,256 arrests. Missouri elk