Note to our Readers

Planning for Success

Conservation planning, prioritization, and goals are critical to future natural resource successes. Just like each of you, the Department of Conservation plans for the future. Setting goals, measuring accomplishments, and planning for the future are just a few of the methods we use to increase our accountability to you, the citizens of Missouri.

February is often a planning and preparation month for me. Getting outdoor gear cleaned up and organized is one of my late-winter goals. It is also a great time to plan future outdoor activities.

Planning can help make things happen — such as going fishing. Plan to take a youngster fishing. It’s hard to top the excitement when you match a kid with a bobber, some worms, and bluegill. Plan a trout-fishing trip or a cat-fishing excursion, sample Missouri’s excellent spring crappie fishing, or chase Missouri’s quality bass.

Participate in educational programs at the Department’s nature centers and shooting ranges, plan a trip to a shotgun or rifle range, go antler-shed hunting with your family, explore Missouri’s waterways for bald eagles in late winter, observe the spring bird migration, visit a conservation area, or practice nature photography. Get active and help your local school get involved with the Missouri National Archery in the Schools Program, or visit the peregrine falcon webcam later in March at mdc.mo.gov/node/16934.

So what are the Department’s plans and priorities to help you enjoy the outdoors in the future?

We begin by living our values

  • Excellent public service is essential — we work to deliver more than is expected.
  • All citizens are important — we treat citizens the way we would want to be treated.
  • Missourians are our partners in conservation — we communicate openly and look for ways to make it easier to partner.
  • Fairness, objectivity, sound science, integrity, accountability, and transparency guide our actions.

The Department has identified five major goals to help direct Missouri’s conservation future

  • Goal 1, Healthy Forests, Fish, and Wildlife: Ensure healthy and sustainable forests, fish, and wildlife resources throughout the state.
  • Goal 2, Manage Public Lands: Manage land held in public trust and associated infrastructure to ensure continued benefit to citizens and to forest, fish, and wildlife resources.
  • Goal 3, Sound Business and Workplace Practices: Ensure sound financial accountability and transparency in all areas of operations.
  • Goal 4, Citizen Involvement and Education: Provide opportunities for active citizen involvement in services and conservation education in both rural and urban areas.
  • Goal 5, Engage Partners: Engage partners at all levels, individuals, communities, conservation organizations, state, and federal to enhance natural resources and effective delivery of conservation service.

Under each of those five goals are strategies that the Department is implementing to achieve conservation success on the ground throughout the state. Every Missouri citizen is a valued partner as we chart our state’s conservation future, and we need your help. Whether it’s the new online e-Permits system, the new website for mobile devices at mdc.mo.gov, or providing your community group a program, our goal is to provide the best conservation service possible to Missouri citizens.We want to hear from you every step of the way. We want you to roll up your sleeves and partner with us to make the Department better with each passing year. We want to produce the best conservation product possible for each of you.

I encourage you to sit down this month and do a little personal conservation planning. Set some time aside to enjoy your conservation passion, to learn new skills, and to improve Missouri’s forest, fish, and wildlife resources through your involvement and commitment to Missouri’s outdoors.

Continue your commitment to lifelong learning with a fishing rod in your hand, a pair of binoculars around your neck, looking through the lens of a camera, or over the sight of a rifle or shotgun. Enjoy Missouri’s waterways by going for a canoe or boat ride or simply appreciating nature by taking a walk.

Tim Ripperger, deputy director