Celebrate Missouri trees with MDC through Arbor Days in April

Spring is a great time to plant trees. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) encourages Missourians to celebrate the value of Missouri trees and forests during Arbor Days in April by planting native trees and practicing proper tree care.

This year’s Missouri Arbor Day is Friday, April 2. Missouri has been observing the state’s official Arbor Day on the first Friday in April since 1886 when the General Assembly declared that day be set aside for the appreciation and planting of trees. National Arbor Day is recognized on the last Friday of April, which is April 30 for 2021.

Missouri forests cover about one-third of the state and provide outdoor recreation, wildlife habitat, natural beauty, jobs, timber for many wood products, and much more. Spending time in Missouri woods and forests can also provide health benefits. Exposure to nature contributes to physical well-being, reduces blood pressure and heart rate, relieves stress, and boosts energy levels. Trees also work to help our wallets, our families, our communities, our environment, and our economy. Learn more at mdc.mo.gov/forest.

Get information on backyard tree care – including types of trees for urban and other landscapes, selecting the right tree for the right place, planting tips, watering and pruning info, and more — at mdc.mo.gov/tree-health.

MDC’s George O. White State Forest Nursery near Licking offers residents a variety of low-cost native tree and shrub seedlings for reforestation, windbreaks, erosion control, and wildlife food and cover. Orders are accepted from Nov. 1 to April 15 every year. For more information, visit mdc.mo.gov/seedlings.


Join MDC, the Forest and Woodland Association of Missouri, and partners for a special online series of talks every Friday in April from 4 – 4:30 p.m. The presentations will help homeowners and other tree enthusiasts learn about trees, the roles of trees in people’s lives, and how to plant and care for them. Visit forestandwoodland.org/arbor-month for more information and to register for the following presentations:

  • Friday, April 2 – Missouri Arbor Day
  • Friday, April 9 – Finding Peace, Health and Wellness in the Outdoors
  • Friday, April 16 – Wood Enthusiast
  • Friday, April 23 – Keep Your Trees Healthy
  • Friday, April 30 – National Arbor Day Favorite Trees

For more information on Arbor Day and Missouri’s Tree City USA communities, visit the Arbor Day Foundation at arborday.org.

Missouri Farm Bureau Announces Black Vulture Depredation Permit

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – In recent years, populations of black vultures have been on the increase in Missouri, particularly in the southern portion of the state. These birds often prey on young livestock, causing injury and sometimes death. Since black vultures are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, legal methods of removing them are limited.

Beginning today, Missouri Farm Bureau (MOFB) has obtained a statewide depredation permit for black vultures from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). MOFB has authority to issue sub-permits to livestock producers who are experiencing problems with black vultures. Livestock producers may apply to MOFB for a livestock protection depredation sub-permit allowing legal “takes” of black vultures that are attacking livestock like newborn calves and lambs.

Sub-permits will be issued to livestock operations only. Applications will be scored based on past livestock losses, number of livestock on the applicant’s farming operation, number of black vulture roosts and birds in the immediate vicinity and the county ranking of livestock with Missouri. A maximum of three “takes” may be issued to an approved applicant and will be determined by the application score. Applicants must agree to follow all rules and regulations required by USFWS in the MOFB statewide permit.

When announcing the sub-permit process, MOFB President Garrett Hawkins said, “In order to expedite the permitting process and reduce the costs for farmers and ranchers, Missouri Farm Bureau has agreed to serve in this role to reduce the problems with black vultures. Farm Bureaus in other states have served in this capacity, and we hope our efforts in Missouri are successful as well.”

Tom Cooper, DOI Region 3 Migratory Bird Program Coordinator for USFWS, said, “We are happy to work with Missouri Farm Bureau, in cooperation with USDA Wildlife Services and Missouri Department of Conservation to manage the black vulture conflict with livestock in the state. This program balances the need to manage black vultures causing damage along with the desire to maintain sustainable populations across their range.”

Travis Guerrant, Missouri and Iowa State Director of USDA APHIS Wildlife Services, said, “We are pleased that this opportunity has become available to Missouri producers to reduce conflicts between black vultures and livestock production. We stand ready to continue educating producers on techniques and tools to help alleviate predation issues concerning black vultures into the future.”

Missouri officials also praised the announcement of this permit. Sara Parker Pauley, director of the Missouri Department of Conservation, said, “I’m excited the USFWS has authorized Missouri to be a pilot state for their new black vulture depredation program and thankful to Missouri Farm Bureau for taking the lead on implementation here in Missouri. Black vulture numbers are on the rise, causing significant depredation issues to Missouri cattle ranchers, so this partnership is critical to solving these issues together because they impact both our conservation and agriculture resources.”

Interested livestock producers may request a sub-permit application by emailing Kelly Smith at kelly.smith@mofb.org or calling the MOFB Marketing and Commodities Department at (573) 893-1416 and requesting an application. Applications must be fully completed, signed and dated by the livestock producer, and returned for consideration by the Marketing and Commodities Department.

Producers experiencing extensive depredation issues or having large black vulture roosts on their property are encouraged to reach out to USDA Wildlife Services to review the conflict and to develop a comprehensive management plan.

Covid19 Numbers for Bates County

COVID-19 Updates for Bates County

March 22, 2021

Positive Cases Reported: 1372

Active & On Isolation: 10

Deaths (confirmed by death certificate): 30

Total Negative Tests Reported: 13,338 as of 3/21/21

Sea Life Aquarium in Kansas City welcome new baby Sting Ray

SEA LIFE Aquarium in Kansas City has a brand-new baby Stingray. This male, Blue Spotted Ribbontail Ray was born right here at SEA LIFE in Kansas City just before the New Year.

The baby ray is named Trayvis Kel-sea, after beloved Kansas City Chiefs tight-end, Travis Kelce. Blue Spotted Ribbontail Rays are known to dig in the sand, enjoy scavenging inside shipwrecks and their prominent blue spots warn predators to stay away in the wild.

Baby Trayvis is on display now for guests of SEA LIFE to meet for themselves. Daily tickets are available online at VisitSeaLife.com/KansasCity. It is the perfect Spring Break destination for the whole family!