Rural Missouri - February 2012 - (Page 13)

O U T D O O R S hether he was quail hunting with his father or coon hunting with his granddad, Dave Murphy grew up in northeast Missouri with a passion for all things outdoors. As a young boy, he even aspired for a time to become a conservation agent and protect the wildlife he loved so much. Although he’s never put on the badge of an enforcement officer, Dave’s dream of conserving Missouri’s forest, fish and wildlife resources has come true. As the executive director of the Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM), he leads the state’s largest citizen conservation group and works to ensure that future generations have the same access to the outdoors that he and others enjoy today. “Theodore Roosevelt, our great conservation president, said, ‘The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak, so we must and we will,’” Dave says. “That’s our role at the Federation. We’re the voice for Missouri’s outdoors.” In 1935, CFM organized with the purpose of taking politics out of conservation. The group launched a campaign to rewrite the state constitution and form a non-political agency that would manage the state’s natural resources based on sound science and free from favoritism. The group succeeded, and in 1937, the Missouri Department of Conservation was established. In 1976, CFM was instrumental in the passage of the “Design for Conservation” sales tax, which provides dedicated funding for the department’s efforts. Dave was a senior at the University of Missouri studying fisheries and wildlife sciences when the conservation sales tax was being debated. He even carried petitions for the cause. But, to his own admission, he didn’t truly understand what CFM was or how the organization functioned. “CFM is an organization of organizations,” explains the 57-year-old. “We have about 85,000 individual members, but every major outdoor group you can think of in our state also is affiliated with the Federation, representing nearly a million Missourians. And therein lies our great strength.” Quite often, CFM and the Conservation Department are confused as being the same entity. “My favorite way to express it is that we’re their parents,” Dave says. “We’re the citizen’s outfit that got them organized and championed for them. Now, we are the watchdog of that agency.” CFM’s most well-known program is Share the Harvest, which provides venison to the needy through food banks across Missouri. “Red meat is the hardest thing for food banks to get donated, so Share the Harvest fills an important need,” Dave says. “In 2010-2011, we paid the pro- W by Jason Jenkins Since 2003, Dave Murphy has served as executive director for the Conservation Federation of Missouri. An avid turkey hunter, he oversees the organization’s activities, including the successful Share the Harvest program. A voice for Missouri outdoors Dave Murphy leads the state’s largest conservation group cessing for 6,100 deer, which resulted significantly improved the quality of the • in a little more than 350,000 pounds timber and the wildlife habitat. The Lewis Williamstown County Rural Electric Cooperative member of venison donated to food pantries.” While the whole-deer donation is was recognized for his efforts when he was popular with hunters, Dave says even named the 2010 Tree Farmer of the Year. donating one package of meat can make CFM is an organization for all those a difference. “We have a half-million deer who care about conservation, not hunters in this state. Just think of the imjust for hunters and anglers. While pact if everyone donated just one package. it would be easy to find differences It would more than double the program.” among its affiliate members, Dave says The Federation’s other programs include Operaall CFM members agree on two items: the authority tion Game Thief and Operation Forest Arson, which for the natural resource agencies to do their jobs and offer rewards for those who provide information the dedicated funding with which to do it. leading to the arrest and conviction of poachers and “We’ve seen land use change dramatically in 75 arsonists; and the Conservation Leadership Corps, years, but we’ve still made a place for wildlife,” Dave which engages high school and college students in says. “I’m optimistic that will continue.” the politics of conservation. Dave doesn’t just pay lip service to land stewThe Conservation Federation of Missouri will hold its ardship and caring for natural resources. On his annual convention Feb. 24-26 at the Lodge of Four Sea367-acre farm in southwestern Clark County, he sons in Lake Ozark. For more information about CFM, implemented a timber stand improvement plan and visit or call 573-634-2322. football topped the list with an injury rate of 5.27 percent (1 injury per 19 participants). NSSF attributes comprehensive hunter education classes and a culture of practicing safe firearms handling for hunting’s good record. To put hunting’s safety standing into perspective, compared to hunting a person is 11 times more likely to be injured playing volleyball, 34 times more likely to be injured playing soccer and 105 more times likely to be injured playing tackle football. The number of hunters nationwide who went afield last year is estimated at 16.3 million. Of that total, approximately 8,122 sustained injuries, or 50 per 100,000 participants. The vast majority of hunting accidents — more than 6,600 — were tree stand-related. For more details on the injury data used to compile the hunter safety report, visit ••••• Outdoor Notes espite perceived risks, hunting with firearms is one of the safest recreational activities in America, according to data compiled by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). Hunting ranks third in safety when compared to 28 other recreational pursuits, ranging from baseball to wrestling. Hunting with firearms has an injury rate of 0.05 percent, which equates to about 1 injury per 2,000 participants, a safety level bettered only by camping (.01 percent) and billiards (.02 percent). For comparison, tackle D L photo courtesy of NSSF andowners can learn about managing whitetailed deer from a new series of publications from University of Missouri Extension and the Missouri Department of Conservation. The publication series provides research-based information to help landowners make decisions and achieve management goals for deer on their properties, and do so in a biologically and socially sound manner within existing habitat conditions. The first seven publications in the series are available online at FEBRUARY 2012 13

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - February 2012

Rural Missouri - February 2012
Table of Contents
Better together
A plague of enmity
Out of the Way Eats
Rink redemption
Hearth and Home
News Briefs
Radio revivalist
If the shoe fits
Around Missouri
Mr. Aviation

Rural Missouri - February 2012