Missouri increases penalties for poaching

By Jimmy Sexton

State lawmakers, the governor, and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) have taken action to increase penalties for those caught poaching Missouri game animals and other native wildlife species.

Missouri Gov. Michael Parson signed HB 260 into law July 11. Called the Poaching Bill, it significantly raises fines for those convicted of illegally taking Missouri game species and other native wildlife. 

New fine amounts include: $10,000-$15,000 for each elk or black bear killed illegally; $1,000-$5,000 for each whitetailed buck; $500-$1,000 for each wild turkey; and $500-$1,000 for each paddlefish.

The fines are considered restitution payments for poaching game animals and are ordered by a judge. Monies from the fines go to the state’s school moneys fund. 

The restitution payments are in addition to other fines and penalties for violating the Wildlife Code of Missouri. The new fines will go into effect Aug. 28.


A construction contract has been awarded to Lehman Construction Company, LLC for the replacement of a low water crossing on Huzzah Creek in Crawford County, Missouri.  

Some people know this Westover Road crossing as Harper’s Slab or Brickey Slab, according to Becky Ewing, with Mark Twin National Forest.

Crawford County and the U.S. Forest Service have worked hand-in-hand to survey, design, and plan this project. The new crossing will be a safer option for those traveling on Westover Road.  

The design of the new crossing will also improve upstream and downstream migration opportunities for aquatic species, some of which are rare or uncommon.

A work schedule has yet to be determined, but work is expected to begin during the fall.


The Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation (Missouri Preservation) has announced a call for nominations for its historic Places in Peril list for 2019. 

Missouri Preservation is a statewide non-profit historic preservation advocacy organization aimed at preserving place and community for future generations of Missourians.

The first of its “most endangered” announcements, as it was originally known, was made in 2000. Instituted as a media campaign, the list aims to bring attention to endangered historic resources throughout Missouri. It serves as a call to action, or last call for historic resources named on the list. 
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A public call for nominations is made each year to citizens across Missouri. Nominations are reviewed and ranked by a committee of Missouri Preservation’s governing board. 

This year’s announcement will be made on Sept. 13 in Kansas City at the HyVee (formerly Kemper) Arena, itself once imperiled and now restored.

The reasons that a property might be endangered are many, including: fire, neglect, abandonment, development pressures, or insensitive proposed alterations. 

Properties do not need to be listed on any national, state or local list of recognized historic places to be considered for listing. 

Numerous sites have been included on the Places in Peril list over the past 18 years, and as a result, many have been saved. 

Success stories include the Katy Bridge in Boonville, the Rotunda in Hermann, the Janssen Place Gates in Kansas City, the AAA Building in St. Louis, the Henry Blosser House in Malta Bend, the Campbell Chapel AME Church in Glasgow, the Banneker School in Parkville, and the Kemper Arena in Kansas City.

This year’s nominations are due on Aug. 15. Nomination forms are available on Missouri Preservation’s website (www.preservemo.org). 

Call Missouri Preservation at (660) 882-5946 for more information.


Mark Twain National Forest is addressing a public health and safety concern at Hazel Creek campground and trailhead, located about 60 miles south of St. Louis on the Potosi-Fredericktown Ranger District.  

A 2.7 acre area around the historic Palmer lead furnace, adjacent to the Hazel Creek campground, has been temporarily closed to the public due to elevated levels of lead in the soil; and the closure area will be fenced.

This site was identified as having potential lead in the soil after some preliminary testing. Last year, extensive soil testing was conducted all around the site. Very high levels of lead were detected in a core area immediately around the remains of the lead smelting furnace.  

For public safety, the area with elevated lead levels is being fenced off to keep people and horses out. Work needed to permanently address the elevated soil lead contamination within the fenced enclosure will be determined after further study.  

This closure and fencing should have minimal to no effect on visitors’ ability to use the trailhead to access the Ozark Trail or to use the campground facilities.

(Jimmy Sexton is owner and publisher of the River Hills Traveler. He can be reached by phone or text at (417) 451-3798, or jimmy@riverhillstraveler.com.)

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