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Science and the Environment

New Effort Encourages Citizens to Get Involved in Conservation

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A new citizen conservation effort is underway in Southwest Missouri.  The Missouri Local Environmental Advisory Forum or LEAF is a partnership of the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Harry S. Truman Coordinating Council.   KSMU’s Michele Skalicky has more.

A series of open houses is being held in Barton, Newton, McDonald and Jasper Counties as part of the new citizen conservation effort.  Those counties are the focus of the new LEAF program, which is designed to empower local stakeholders to implement conservation projects that are important to them. 

Besides the public input meetings, Ronda Headland, community conservation planner for MDC, said they’ll hold citizen advisory committee meetings beginning this fall and continuing over the next year and a half.  The program’s website, missourileaf.org, allows the public to share ideas for conservation projects and has tools for helping people implement their ideas.  There’s also a funding database.

"We've assembled over 100 of what I consider to be the most likely funding programs for conservation projects in Missouri," she said.

She said, at the upcoming open houses, the public will have the chance to talk with conservation professionals about ideas they might have and learn about projects taking place close to home.  Meetings are planned June 11 at Georg e Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond, June 25 at the Pineville Community Center and July 7 at Carthage Water and Electric in Carthage.