Hidden behind the rhetoric and mud-slinging of the 2016 election are two items on the ballot that potentially could have a big impact on the outdoors.

Resolutions on both sides of the state line – Missouri and Kansas – are well worth campaigning for.

  • In Missouri, Constitutional Amendment 1 would renew the one-tenth of one percent sales tax that funds state parks and historic sites as well as soil and water conservation.
  • In Kansas, Constitutional Amendment 1 would ensure a constitutional right to hunt, fish and trap in the state.

I am on the campaign trail for both of these measures. Vote yes on Nov. 8.

The Missouri measure was introduced in 1984 and has been renewed in 1988, 1996 and 2006. This is no time to end a good thing.

The funding has helped Missouri build one of the strongest state-park systems in the nation. In an era when many states charge an entrance fee to their state parks, Missouri doesn’t. Whether it be one of the older state parks such as Bennett Spring or newer ones such as Echo Bluff, Missouri state parks are worthy travel destinations.

The tax also has done great things in fighting soil erosion and fostering better water quality. Prior to the establishment of this measure, Missouri had the second-highest rate of erosion in the nation. That’s not the case anymore. Thanks in part to the funding from this tax, soil erosion has been greatly reduced.

I also am highly in favor of the Kansas measure. It might sound like a no-brainer now, but this amendment would safeguard against future threats to the outdoors sports.

It would define public hunting and fishing as a preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife.

“Kansas will be affected by the push from the coasts to limit what we can do in regard to wildlife with hunting, trapping and fishing,” said State Rep. Adam Lusker, a sponsor of the amendment. “This says, ‘We have constitutional rights.’ “