For those of you who think the Missouri Department of Conservation is inaccessible when it comes to listening to your feedback, here is your chance to sound off.
The agency will celebrate its 80th anniversary with an open house Thursday at the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center, 4750 Troost Ave., in Kansas City.
The event will run from 5 to 8 p.m., and will give hunters, fishermen, hikers, bird-watchers and others a chance to voice their opinions about regulations, infrastructure, priorities and other statewide and local conservation issues.
You can bring your feedback right to the department’s leader, Sara Parker Pauley.
The program will begin at 5 p.m. with a tour of the wildflowers, grasses and trees in the Discovery Center’s outdoor classroom and native-plant garden. A second tour will begin at 5:30 p.m.
At 6 p.m., Pauley and other local Department of Conservation leaders will make opening remarks to share the agency’s past and present and to discuss the challenges that lie ahead.
Visitors can talk with Pauley and staff members from 6:45 p.m. to 8 p.m.
“Whether through gathering input from hunters in deer season regulations or hikers and birdwatchers on how a conservation area should be managed, we value public input,” said Dave Murphy, chairman of the Conservation Commission. “We want to hear from you.”
Think that your input doesn’t matter? Not true. Several years ago, the Department of Conservation held public meetings across the state to discuss changes in deer-hunting regulations. Biologists recommended cutting the firearms season from 11 days to 9. But feedback from hunters led them to retain the 11-day season.
No registration is required for this free event. Refreshments will be served. The first 80 attendees will receive gifts from the Department of Conservation.
The Kansas City event is one in a series of open houses the Department of Conservation is holding across Missouri to gain public input.