For the first time in Missouri history, state and federal
agencies are developing a comprehensive strategy for stewardship of
Missouri's natural resources. Called Coordinated Resource
Management (CRM), this planning process allows for long-term
management, protection and restoration of Missouri's natural
resources through cooperation between public and private interests.
Public agencies involved in the CRM process include the
Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), the Missouri Department
of Natural Resources, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the USDA
Forest Service, the Soil Conservation Service, the U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers and the National Park Service.
"The diversity of Missouri's plants and animals plays an
important role in sustaining our natural environment and in
providing good living conditions," says Russ Titus, CAM coordinator
for MDC. "We want to make sure our natural heritage is protected
for future generations."
Missouri comprises a variety of natural landscapes - from
prairies and forests to wetlands and glades. According to Titus,
CRM allows for land to be managed according to its ability to
sustain different vegetation and animal life, instead of the
traditional one-size-fits-all management approach.
Teams of natural resource professionals have divided Missouri
into 10 sections based on climate, soils, watershed and other
natural features. A 50-year management plan will be written for
each section. Each plan will take into account the social,
economic, historical and present conditions of the land.
MDC is spearheading the effort to develop and write the plans,
all of which are expected to be completed by the year 2000. CRM
also will emphasize creating and maintaining outdoor recreation
opportunities and producing commodities, such as timber.
Participation in CRM among agencies and individuals is strictly
voluntary, emphasizes Titus. With 93 percent of Missouri's land
privately owned, however, individual landowners will play a
significant role in CRM's mission to restore and protect Missouri's
plants and animals. "Obtaining informed consent from Missouri's
citizenry is critical to the success of CRM," says Titus. "We will
work to gain information on the expectations and opinions of
Missourians and inform the public about CRM."
Methods to inform and receive feedback from the public about
CAM include surveys, workshops and a series of public meetings. The
first round of public meetings - planned for September - will focus
primarily on the Lower Ozarks Section. This CAM section consists of
Butler, Shannon, St. Francois, Iron, Carter, Madison, Howell,
Reynolds, Oregon, Wayne and Ripley counties.
The meeting schedule is as follows: Sept. …