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Missouri Department of Conservation. An Overview of Missouri’s “Design for Conservation”. Why New Funding? 1967. Expenditure curve would soon cross the revenue curve License sales were not increasing Increasing public demand for Department services

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Missouri Department of Conservation

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Missouri department of conservation l.jpg

Missouri Department of Conservation

An Overview of Missouri’s

“Design for Conservation”


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Why New Funding?1967

  • Expenditure curve would soon cross the revenue curve

  • License sales were not increasing

  • Increasing public demand for Department services

  • Inflation was reducing the value of the dollar

  • Employee turnover had reached 12.5%

  • Lack of public land

  • Lack of funding for non-game wildlife


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BLUE RIBBON PANEL1968-70

  • An independent study group was formed to assess the health of the agency (Starker Leopold, Irving Fox, Charles Callison)

  • Reported that the organization and staffing were excellent, but…


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BLUE RIBBON PANEL1968-70

…Department should broaden its programs to more fully include management of all wildlife, including non-game species, provide for outdoor recreation outside the traditional realm of hunting and fishing, and provide for a full range of natural values on Department lands.


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BLUE RIBBON PANEL1968-70

Regarding Funding:

“A substantial increase in funds will be required to finance the kind of program we envisage for the Department.”


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CHALLENGE & RESPONSE

  • Anticipating citizen reaction to the Blue Ribbon Panel report, the Department prepared a bulletin entitled Challenge and Response

  • Key Point: An additional $21 million annually would be needed to accomplish the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel.


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CITIZENS COMMITTEE FOR CONSERVATION

  • A Citizens Committee for Conservation (CCC) was formed and immediately called on the Department to study ways of funding the proposed program recommendations.

  • A soft drink tax was proposed and the CCC began the initiative petition process.

  • The CCC asked the Department to elaborate on the Challenge and Response document.


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DESIGN FOR CONSERVATION1971

  • Design for Conservation was a long-range strategic plan for expanding the state’s wildlife conservation programs and providing more wildlife associated recreational opportunities for all Missourians.


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DESIGN FOR CONSERVATION1971

  • Land acquisition for recreation and forestry, and protect critical habitat for rare and endangered species.

  • Increase public services in wildlife and forestry conservation.

  • Increase research into forestry and all species of wildlife, and broaden management.

  • Provide more recreational opportunities.


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DESIGN FOR CONSERVATIONPetition Drive1971-72

  • Petition in the form of a constitutional amendment – one cent tax on each 16 ounces of carbonated soft drink.

  • Opposed by soft drink industry and brewers

  • Failed to make the ballot – technical error – no enacting clause.


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DESIGN FOR CONSERVATIONNew Petition Drive1974-75

  • CCC started anew

  • Public opinion poll suggested a sales tax may be the better approach

  • New strategy – one-eighth cent sales tax

  • New petition drive July 1975

  • 208,000 signatures gathered, measure is certified for the ballot


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DESIGN FOR CONSERVATION1976

  • November 2, 1976 – Amendment 1 passed by approximately 30,000 votes

  • Urban areas carried the vote, rural areas generally opposed the measure


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ELEMENTS OF SUCCESS

  • Campaign cost approximately $100,000

  • MDC reputation was good – past good performance of staff was key

  • Key endorsements were secured

  • Good media relations


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OPPOSITION

  • Opposition to ear-marked taxed

  • Opposition to land acquisition by government; concern about loss of county tax revenues


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TOWN HALL MEETINGSPost-Election

Other Citizen Priorities

  • Land acquisition was biggest demand – need more public land

  • Expanded conservation education

  • Establish nature centers

  • Increase law enforcement


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REVENUE CONTRAST

1976 – Pre Tax Budget - $17,341,208

Permits $11,541,433 (67%)

Fed. Aid 4,211,972 (24%)

Sales, rentals, leases 1,138,238 (7%)

Miscellaneous 449,654 (2%)

1978 – Post Tax Budget - $48,031,601


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MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION

Benefits of the 1/8 Cent Sales Tax

Accomplishments

Total Sales Tax Collected

25 years

$1.4 Billion


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Pre-Design

296,825 acres

PILT $0

0 nature centers

154 Conservation Agents

Currently

774,156 Acres

PILT $9 million +

4 nature centers

200 Conservation Agents

ACCOMPLISHMENTS


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ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Nature Centers – a fifth center being planned - Discovery Center – K.C. - State of the Art

  • Fish and Wildlife Restoration

  • Habitat Protection e.g., wetlands, prairies, floodplain

  • Natural Areas Program – 180 areas/56,000 acres

  • Lost Valley Fish Hatchery

  • Expanded State Nursery – 5 million seedlings annually


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ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Shooting Ranges and Training Centers

  • Hunter Education - >500,000 graduates

  • Boat and Fishing Accesses

  • New Private Land Services Division

  • Stream Teams – 2000 Teams/35,000 volunteers


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ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Urban Aquatic and Fishing Programs

  • Conservationist Magazine – free to 500,000 Missourians

  • Many, Many Partnerships

  • And so much more!!!


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OTHER BENEFITSEconomic Benefits

  • $2,122,600,000 Fish and Wildlife Related Expenditures

  • 54,800 Jobs Supported

  • $89,600,000 State Sales From Expenditures (approximates 1/8 cent sales tax revenue)

    Using 1996 Nat’l. Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation


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OTHER BENEFITS

  • Ability to do long-range planning – not limited to a one year, budget driven view of the future

  • Flexible/Opportunistic/Spontaneous

  • High quality staff – they want to work for MDC

  • Forced accountability – Public expectations are high


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MAINTAINING SUPPORT

  • Public Service – Responsive and Accountable

  • Public Involvement – Frequent and Varied

  • Minimize Politics – Maximize Science

  • Strategic Planning – Legitimate and Active

  • Visible Outreach and Education

  • Publicize Successes

  • Promote Partnerships


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