Category Archives: Outdoor/Nature

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Learn More About Missouri’s Legends of Conservation

by Don Corrigan
 
Missouri is fortunate to have a unique program that celebrates America’s great Legends of Conservation. Bruce Sassmann, along with his wife Jan, are the founders and stewards of the educational Legends of Conservation series, which is performed in Missouri’s heartland.
 
And who are these Legends of Conservation? They, in fact, are: Henry David Thoreau, John Muir and Aldo Leopold.
Read more below.

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Time To Capture Loose Squirrels For Thanksgiving Dinners

As Thanksgiving approaches, a popular St. Louis Restaurant is advising its employees in the restrooms to wash their hands before returning to work and to catch any loose squirrels in the neighborhood. Will any of those squirrels end up in the eateries’ frying pans or the crock pots? Probably not, but they should!
Squirrels are sustainable food and quality protein sources. They belong in the stuffing and the Brunswick stews that are often on the Thanksgiving table. Ted Nugent provides dozens of squirrel dish suggestions in his book, “Kill It, And Grill It.”

Squirrels provided essential sustenance in early America and deserve far more credit for keeping Colonial settlements nourished. Squirrels certainly merit more accolades as early American culinary offerings than do turkeys, which have received undue attention thanks to the mythology that surrounds the first Thanksgiving dinner of the Pilgrims. Squirrel meat was, in fact, the real meal deal in North America both before and after the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

The author of the popular squirrel treatment, “Nuts About Squirrels: The Rodent That Captured Popular Culture,” will talk about every aspect of the furry animals at a number of venues in December and in the new year of 2020. Author Don Corrigan’s next squirrel talk and squirrel squib signing will be at Eden Seminary in Webster Groves from 10-11 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4th, courtesy of OASIS.

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Tree Killing Invasive Emerald Ash Borer Now Found In 75 Missouri Counties

 

Emerald Ash Borer has been detected in 75 Missouri counties since 2008. All photos courtesy MDC.

Since the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was first detected in Missouri in July 2008, this tree-killing pest has spread to a total of 75 Missouri counties and the City of St. Louis.

 

 

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports the presence of EAB in 16 new counties across Missouri. Collaborative efforts by MDC staff, Missouri Department of Agriculture inspectors, and USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service officers, EAB has been detected in Benton, Boone, Cooper, Douglas, Holt, Howard, Howell, Linn, Montgomery, Morgan, Nodaway, Osage, Ozark, Pettis, Putnam, and Randolph counties this year.

EAB is a small, metallic green beetle native to Asia that attacks all species of ash trees, including Missouri’s native green ash and white ash. In its larval stage, the insect kills ash trees by feeding on the vascular tissues just under the bark, slowly cutting off the trees’ flow of water and nutrients. Unfortunately, EAB kills more than 99 percent of the ash trees it attacks.

EAB will likely be found statewide within the next few years, prompting MDC Forest Entomologist Robbie Doerhoff to urge Missourians with ash trees in their yard to make a plan now to either remove those trees or treat them with an insecticide.

Read more from the MDC release below about the invasive EAB and information about how to determine if  trees are infected and preventive measures to help save trees from the EAB.

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Trout Fishing Opportunities Just Got Bigger This Winter For St. Louis Area Residents

Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

The Missouri Department of Conservation celebrates 50 years of urban fishing by stocking 10 pound rainbow trout in select St. Louis lakes.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of its Urban Fishing Program (UFP) this year. Since 1969, the UFP has grown from a limited experiment to an expanded and robust program providing close-to-home fishing for St. Louis area citizens.  These opportunities include pursuing rainbow trout during the winter in select UFP lakes.

In that same theme of making things bigger, MDC will stock an increased number of extra-large lunker rainbow trout this season at its UFP lakes in honor of the 50th anniversary. Some of these giants could tip the scales at 10lbs.

“St. Louis-area trout anglers might need to buy some heavier tackle,” said Fisheries Management Biologist Kevin Meneau.

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Here’s How You Can Help Reverse Declining Bird Numbers

Eastern Meadowlark Photo: MDC

A recent study from prominent bird researchers in the U.S. and Canada, including Cornell Lab of Ornithology, found that North America has lost nearly 3 billion birds in the last 50 years, and those declines are also occurring in Missouri. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is partnering with other conservation agencies and organizations to address population declines in the state and offer solutions.

“It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact causes of these widespread bird declines because many birds are migratory and they breed here but winter out of the country,” said MDC State Ornithologist Sarah Kendrick. “But one of the threats birds are facing is loss of breeding habitat and managers of public and private land can help reverse these declines.”

Eastern meadowlark, prairie warbler, field sparrow, cerulean warbler, and red-headed woodpecker among threatened species.

See details below with information about what you can do to help!

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Out Of The Classrooms & Into Nature

Lesli Moylan, director of the Missouri Environmental Education Association, works with children during a program several years ago in conjunction with the YMCA. Photo courtesy of Lesli Moylan.

Missouri Environmental Education Association helps educators inspire youth people to care about, understand and act for environment.

Nature and outdoor teachers all over the state are psyched about the Missouri Environmental Education Association conference coming to St. Louis on Nov. 1-3. Lesli Moylan of Kirkwood is the new executive director of MEEA, and she’s a busy bee these days.

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Jiminy Cricket! Where’s The Beef?

Holy cow! Jiminy Cricket! Sarah Schlafly of Des Peres wants us to kick the red meat burger habit in favor of incorporating a little more cricket into our daily diet. She is issuing a “Cricket Challenge” in the Gateway City.

“The idea behind the exciting Cricket Challenge is to dare St. Louisans to try a dish or beverage made with powdered crickets,” said Schlafly, CEO of her company named Mighty Cricket. “The idea is to put St. Louis on the map for innovation in sustainable food choices.”

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Boeing Aviation Field At Forest Park Is Now Open!

The $33 million improvement project is now complete and the space has been upgraded to a premier visitor and player-friendly baseball/softball complex. Improvements include elements, such as LED lighting, improved irrigation, path and parking upgrades, additional trees and landscaping and a new pedestrian entry plaza.

Check it out: (video posted by Forest Park Forever.)

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Columbia Bottom Conservation Area Opens After Flooding To Limited Access

Photo courtesy MDC.

The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) has re-opened Columbia Bottom Conservation Area for public access. However, that access will be restricted for the immediate future.

Due to extensive flood damage, public vehicle access and parking on the area will be limited and public access will mainly be walk-in. The public will only be able to enter the area in the following locations:

– Park in the visitor’s center parking lot and walk into the area

– Drive on the main area road up to Parking Lot C, approximately 0.3 miles from the main entrance, and walk into the area

– Park in Parking Lot V, located near the area maintenance shop just south of the main entrance, and walk into the area

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New Book Gives Refreshing Look At Solution To The Asian Carp Crisis

Picture yourself out for a celebration dinner at an upscale seafood restaurant. So many choices on the menu: Orange Roughy, Chilean Seabass, fresh lobster – Asian Carp? Hang on, wait just a second, the last item must be a mistake! Who would put a “trash fish” like the Asian Carp on the menu? Joseph Classen, that’s who.

Classen’s new book, “Eat the Enemy!” explains why the invasive Asian carp should be on every menu and family dining table around the country. The outdoorsman, author and photographer is working to spread the word about a clean, healthy, undervalued and an entirely wasted resource that also happens to be environmentally devastating our rivers.

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