Missouri Collegiate Conservation Alliance
August / 16 / 2018
Missouri Collegiate Conservation Alliance (MCCA)
Be an informed and knowledgable citizen and have your voice for conservation in Missouri be heard. 

MCCA has three goals:
  • Unite college students across Missouri who care about conservation.
  • Members are educated on key conservation issues in Missouri through email, social media and the MCCA website.
  • Members engage and have their voice be heard by participating in MCCA's advocacy efforts, including utilizing CFM's Legislative Action Center. 
Share with your friends and classmates today!

In This Issue

Clockwise from top left: Colton Hampton (Mizzou) fishing at Crater Lake N.P.; Marissa York (Mizzou) visiting Alaska; Ashley Hollis (Mizzou) and friends hiking Glory Hole Trail in Arkansas; Brooke Widmar (Missouri State) birding on Hog Island, Maine; Emily Samuel (Kansas State) fishing in Idaho.

Conservation in College Organizations
The beginning of a new school year is the perfect time to join a conservation related organization at your school! Most schools have a club that will pique your interest, whether it's a fisheries society or a sustainability group. Listed below are the ones we know of at some of Missouri's major universities, as well as the date for the organization festival to learn about all of your colleges clubs. 

Don't see your school's groups listed? Email us and let us know about it! moconservationleadership@gmail.com 
Missouri State University :
New Student Festival   August 19th 

Southeast Missouri State University
  Student Involvement Fair August 18th

University of Missouri - Kansas City :
 - Unionfest -  August 19 

University of Missouri - Saint Louis:
Fall Involvement Expo  August 22

Lindenwood University:
Week of Welcome InvolvapaloozaAugust 29th 

University of Missouri - Columbia: 
Get Involved FairSeptember 5th

Truman State University:
Student Activities Fair- August 29th

Remember, this is not a complete list of Universities and clubs/organizations. Please feel free to  share so we can add your school or group. Send to moconservationleadership@gmail.com.

Three Days in Bear Country
by Jessica Filla

As an MDC intern I did not know what to expect over the summer. I knew numerous opportunities were available but I never expected to be trapping bears in southern Missouri. On Monday June 25th, Alex (another intern in Kirksville) and I drove south to some of the most beautiful country in Missouri. The difference between northern and southern Missouri is miraculous, the forest and waterways are completely different. 

The first morning we were blessed to have caught two bears. Not only were we able to see them, Laura and her team let us help work the bear. "Working" the bear consisted of putting the bear under and taking multiple measurements to document their growth. The first bear we got to work was a 300-pound cinnamon-colored male. He had been caught in 2015 but an ear tag had fallen out so we replaced that and took weight, body measurements, and a tooth measurement. Laura, the furbearer biologist, did an excellent job of describing habits and characteristics of these animals. We caught a total of 5 bears and saw an additional one while waiting for Laura and her team to arrive. Alex and I were eating our lunch by giant short-leafed pine trees when the other bear had walked up to the trap. There was a yearling female in the trap and we were able to work her because she had not been previously tagged. She weighed 70 pounds and was tagged, chipped, and collared that day. 

I am very appreciative of all the MDC staff in Eminence. Not only did I obtain a greater respect for bears, I worked on my tree ID and made great connections. Overall, southern Missouri is a very diverse area with a lot of opportunities for fish, forest, and wildlife.

A Beautiful and Purposeful Day on the Niangua 
by Ashley Hollis and Jessica Filla 

The 3rd annual Conservation Leadership Corps (CLC) Clean-Up Float at Bennett Springs could easily be the most accomplished clean-up yet for CLC. Students traveled from across the state for camping and a day of fun and service on the water. This summer's 2018 float had the highest attendance yet, and represented the full breadth of CLC students ranging from high school juniors to college seniors. Canoes launched around 9:30 on July 20th and arrived at the pick-up-point late in the afternoon, many heavy with litter and waste. Among the more identifiable retrievals was an old port-a-potty door, along with a tire, three pairs of shoes, and a pair of polarized, star-spangled sunglasses. This is the first year the float trip hasn't taken place on the pristine Current River. Older students may remember the challenge and competition to fill bags while retrieving the scarce pieces of litter to be found on the Current. CLC students swam and watched wildlife but it was hard to remember service with so little work to be done. This year, floating the Niangua proved not only to be a fun-filled beautiful day, but a purposeful and worthy river to tend to. There was still bird-watching, swimming, and exploring, but also plenty of trash to pick up so students felt they had left the river better than how they found it. CLC members finished the float with smiles and satisfaction, knowing they had spent the day well. Some reflections from students on the trip follow below. 

"The CLC float trip was an awesome opportunity to make a positive impact on the environment while having fun! I got to meet new people and see tons of cool wildlife. I picked up lots of trash while enjoying the river and sun. With everyone's combined efforts, we really gathered a great deal of trash by the end of the float, which was amazing to see. This trip was definitely one of my favorite CLC events!" - Austin Moeckli

"I had an excellent time on the float trip! It was a great way to get to know fellow CLC members and serve by cleaning up one of Missouri's beautiful waterways." - Cassandra Barker

"The most productive thing I've done this summer." - Aaron Eckelkamp

An Animal Oasis
by Megan Percival - National Tiger Sanctuary Volunteer

Amidst the rolling hills in the beautiful Branson, Missouri, surrounded by trees and wildlife, you will find a conservationist's dreamland. Here lies National Tiger Sanctuary. The mission here is simple, but the lives of the animals who reside here aren't. The purpose of this nonprofit organization is to provide safe habitats for both exotic and domestic rescued animals, while also raising awareness for environmental conservation. The experiences the visitors gain are powerful and, in many cases, life-changing. The National Tiger Sanctuary works to connect the public with these amazing animals and bring a greater understanding of the world we share.

National Tiger Sanctuary is home to 45 big cats, made up of tigers, lions, mountain lions, and leopards. As if that isn't diverse enough, they also house a horse, a pig, dogs, cats, a boa constrictor, an alligator, an arctic fox, 2 yellow eared sliders, and lemurs. They offer several types of guided tours where visitors can meet many of the inhabitants. Each animal has their own unique backstory and receives personalized care and individualized attention. In addition to specialized animal care, the sanctuary branches out to individuals and other organizations throughout the community. 

First of all, they are involved in the legislation surrounding exotic animal ownership and the treatment of animals in general. They have lobbied against organizations like puppy mills and cub handling, while also being advocates of the Large Carnivore Act and future bills restricting exotic animal ownership. Furthermore, the sanctuary retains a wildlife rehabilitation license through the Missouri Department of Conservation. This allows them to take in certain wildlife species, restore their health, and release them back into the wild. Since National Tiger Sanctuary is a nonprofit, they truly value their volunteers and donors. They have several levels of volunteering one may apply for, ranging from entry level to becoming a docent. One may even purchase needed items from their wish list or "adopt" a cat! Many interns find the sanctuary to be a most rewarding organization to conduct research or gain experience for school. 

National Tiger Sanctuary is funded and operated by people who truly care, making it an excellent location for tourism, volunteering, and making a difference. For more information or to contact them, please visit their website www.nationaltigersanctuary.org.

Legislative Update 

The Missouri legislative session is not in session until January. We will take this time to help prepare you for the session with general information. We will keep you aware of things which could impact conservation and natural resources.  

Twitter: @MCCA_MO

New Website: www.mccamo.com