MDC Once Again Under Attack!

The Missouri Conservation and Use Tax is once again under attack. ‘This money goes directly to support forest and wildlife conservation efforts. Out of every $8 of taxable goods one penny goes for conservation.

In the early 70s Missouri citizens petitioned to get the tax placed on the ballot. They succeeded, it passed and was implemented on July 1, 1977. Then in 1999 state officials attempted to divert the money collected to pay refunds to taxpayers to only have the Missouri Supreme Court rule that the money could only be used for conservation and not be considered part of the states total revenues.

When I was a child there were a lot of areas of Missouri where it was rare to see a deer or a turkey. I grew up fishing the Big River and bass fishing was mediocre.

In 1977 when the money was allocated to the MDC, things began to change. A little slow at first but soon things began to improve. Due to responsible conservation efforts game became more abundant. Hunters were allotted more tags to fill for deer and turkey. Bass fishing became more rewarding. Money started coming in from out of state hunters who wanted to take advantage of our good hunting. Out of state fisherman also traveled to Missouri to take advantage of our excellent fishing. New land was bought and more public hunting areas and river accesses were made available. New conservation areas were established. Other states began to take notice and implemented programs in their states that the MDC had created.

Now Republican Chris Dinkins of District 144 has introduced two constitutional amendments that could destroy the improvements that have been made. HJR 108 and HJR 112. She says it is in an effort to rein in the overgrown bureaucracy of the MDC and make the department more accountable to the people.

HJR 108 would give the voters the opportunity to change the Missouri Conservation Commission. Presently the commission has four members who are appointed by the governor. Her amendment would change that number to nine nonpartisan members. Voters would elect one member from the current MDC districts and the governor would appoint one member to the commission. I thought she wanted to rein in bureaucracy within the department but this would only add to it causing more bureaucratic red tape.

HJR 112, if passed by voters, would take two thirds of the money and pass it on to other areas in need. The Missouri Supreme Court has already ruled that the money could only be used for conservation and can not be considered part of the states total revenues. Lawsuits? I know the voters are voting on it but the voters passed it in the first place.

She points out that the MDC has a savings account balance of almost 100 million dollars. Sounds to me like they are being pretty responsible. Representative Dinkins that’s let me point out that a savings account is usually used for emergencies. How much of that money was contributed from the Conservation Sales and Use Tax and how much from the sale of licenses, tags, ammo, etc.? If the economy tanks the MDC could go through that money pretty quickly in an effort to keep its programs afloat. Did you ever think of that are better yet do you even care? She says the MDC continues to attack the civil liberties of this state but cites no references. If you are going to throw the sportsmen of this state under the bus at least tell us why? Since you represent Reynolds county I would be suspect it has something to do with the battle between feral hog hunters and the MDC. So your solution is to punish all sportsman of the state of Missouri?

I hope the sportsmen in this state takes a long hard look at what is going on here and the impact these two amendments will have on bird hunting, deer hunting, turkey hunting, fishing and all the other programs offered by the MDC. Are we going to stand by and let this destroy all the accomplishments the MDC has made since 1977. I for one hope not.

Hermann, Missouri

Oh Shenandoah, just to be near you, far away, far away, Cross the wide Missouri.- Shenandoah

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Missouri River at Hermann, MO

Hermann, Missouri is located on the Missouri River and is the county seat of Gasconade County.  The city was established in 1837 and dedicated in 1842.  In 1983 it was designated as first federally recognized American Viticultural Areas.  The designation recognized the renaissance of an area of vineyards and wineries established by German immigrants during the mid-nineteenth century.  My favorite winery is Adam Puchta.

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Down by the Missouri.

This day was in December of 2016.  Myself and the little woman got up one morning and decided it was a good day to take a road trip.  We had a good time that day and enjoyed the little German town.  The Missouri had a lot of ice on it.

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Hermann, MO

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Hermann, MO

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Ice on the Missouri

Some of the wineries in the area are Stonehill Winery, Hermannhoff Winery, and Adam Puchta Winery.  Don’t forget about their festivals.  Wursfest (fourth weekend of March), Maifest (third weekend of May), Garden Tours and Plant Sale (first weekend of June). Hermann Wine & Jazz Festival (August 19,2017), Hermann Heritage Day ( September 9-10, 2017) , Oktoberfest (every weekend in October) and Christmastime in Hermann (first tw0 weekends of December). tourism@centurytel.net  If you need a place to stay there are numerous bed and breakfasts, hotels and even a campground.

Well a big thank you to all of you that took the time to read my blog.  I hope you all enjoyed it and maybe we will bump into each other on the streets of Hermann, MO.  Be kind to one another, be safe, share the love and God Bless you one and all.