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Fish and wildlife resources are highly valued by Missourians. Over 70% of Missouri residents annually participate in fisheries and wildlife activities. However, the future of fisheries and wildlife conservation depends to a large extent on the land-use decisions made by landowners, as approximately 93% of the state is under private ownership. These landowners have different motivations, circumstances, and land ownership objectives which govern their management decisions.
Educational programs which enable landowners to make informed decisions regarding the conservation of fish and wildlife are critical to land stewardship and resource sustainability. Although idealistic concepts, "stewardship" implies "care and responsible management" of the land base and ecosystems which sustain fisheries and wildlife resources. Resource professionals and educators are continually challenged to develop and successfully implement meaningful programs which put these idealistic concepts into practice on private lands.