The plan that MDC is based on, with the constitutional-based formation of the bipartisan commission and the 1/8 cent sales tax for funding keep politics at a minimum so the agency can operate with science-based wildlife management as the priority, rather than political favoritism/patronage interfering.

There are several bills before the Missouri legislature that affect the Missouri Department of Conservation in ways that would seriously compromise the agency's ability to function as it now does.  Most of us are aware that MDC is one "feather in our cap" that Missourians can justly declare to birders from other states that we have the model that others strive for.  

Passage of any of these bills would reduce MDC's ability to function as the leading conservation agency in the US (and world).

Please, familiarize yourselves with the content of these bills and inform fellow Missourians about the quality of our conservation department and the need to keep it free of partisan politics, funded as we Missourians have voted by constitutional amendment, and unfettered to operate in partnership with non-profit organizations like ASM, Audubon chapters, Conservation Federation of Missouri, the Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative, Ducks Unlimited, Wild Turkey Foundation, Quail Unlimited and many, many others for the benefit of birds and other wildlife.

	 SB 56 (Munzlinger) - Eliminates hunting, fishing and trapping permit fees for Missouri residents.
	 SJR 1 (Munzlinger) - Modifies the membership composition and terms of service of the commissioners on the Conservation Commission.
	 SB 178 (Munzlinger) - Modifies provisions relating to captive cervids.
	 SB 337 (Munzlinger) - Bans the Conservation Commission and the Department of Conservation from engaging in prohibited conduct with a connected not-for-profit corporation.
	 HJR 27 (Spencer) - Proposes a constitutional amendment reducing the sales tax from 1/8 of a cent to 1/16 of a cent.
	 HJR 28 (Spencer) - Proposes a constitutional amendment requiring the conservation sales tax to be approved by voters every 10 years.
	 HB 315 (Brown) - Requires the Department of Conservation to conduct testing of deceased deer found along state highways for chronic wasting disease.
	 HB 316 (Brown) - Requires Conservation Commission members to register as lobbyists upon appointment by the Governor and to follow all lobbyist rules and regulations.
	 HB 317 (Brown) - Requires the Department of Conservation to reimburse automobile owners up to $500 for damages inflicted upon their vehicles by deer.
	 HB 479 (Houghton) - Exempts data collected by state agencies under the federal Animal Disease Traceability Program from disclosure under Missouri's Sunshine Law.
	 HB 710 (Basye) - Allows nonresidents who own property or pay income taxes in Missouri to receive resident hunting and fishing permit privileges.
	 HB 763 (Houghton) - Prohibits the Conservation Commission and the Department of Conservation from engaging in prohibited conduct with a connected not-for-profit corporation.

Edge Wade
Columbia, MO
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