One of my newspapers refused to print this, calling it a rant. What do you think! I believe that no newspaper should censor something that offers solutions to problems.
I cannot understand why we can’t join forces and do the simple and easy things here in the Ozarks to make the natural world better. Our rivers are in such a declining state, and it doesn’t have to be that way. We can do this. Why don’t we? In fact I can do some of all by myself if the MDC will just agree to put up the money that those landowners must initially spend. And it amounts to so little to put in water wells or buffer strips of native grass or young trees. You cannot possible spend time on our Ozark rivers and not see the problem as it grows each year. It is time to go out there and participate in turning this problem around now. In a matter of years it will be too late and on many of our smaller rivers…it already is.
There is another idea I have that I don’t think has ever been looked at before. Right now the Missouri Department of Conservation manages about a quarter of a million acres of land we citizens own. It is our land, but if they wish to remove all the large trees on any tract of it, they just do it. Much of this land being destroyed was given to the Department by people who thought it was the way to preserve it. The department of conservation only profits from the cutting of these big trees because the logging companies pay them a percentage of the money the trees bring at the sawmill.
Why then couldn’t citizens raise the money, with the help of large conservation societies and wealthy people in our state, to match the bids of the logging companies to preserve those trees, many of them between 200 and 300 years old? That way, the trees stand, and the MDC can still have the money they want.
Then the den trees which are virtually worthless as lumber, the ones discarded when logging crews think they are just in the way, could remain there, dens for dozens of songbirds and furbearers.
A logged-over forest has very little value for any kind of wildlife in Missouri. Anyone who tells you different is lying to you. Those trees will not return in any consequential form as a forest for more than 100 years.
So I wonder, if I had enough money to buy those trees and the MDC could make just as much or more from me than the logging companies will give them, WHY COULDN’T WE MAKE THAT WORK FOR THE BENEFIT OF DOZENS AND DOZENS OF BIRDS AND MAMMALS AND PEOPLE WHO LOVE WILD PLACES?