Representative Robert Ross (R-Yukon) said he’s tried to work with the Missouri Department of Conservation on several issues, but called the relationship “tense.”  Ross’s comments are in response to Conservation Director Robert Ziehmer’s resignation, announced for next month.

Representative Robert Ross (photo courtesy; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

Representative Robert Ross (photo courtesy; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

“Some of their management practices and coming in and clear-cutting large swaths of timber, I find that really frustrating. I’ve had my frustrations with Director Ziehmer,” says Ross.

Ross also opposes the Department’s feral hog hunting ban on public land that begins in September.

“They’ve not been, on different issues, really listening to constituents,” says Ross.

MDC officials say feral hogs can damage property, carry diseases that could spread to livestock and compete for food with wildlife. Officials say hunting wild pigs makes them scatter, making it challenging to trap large herds.

Ross also says the Department blamed deer farms for chronic wasting disease cases in Missouri. He says there’s been no proof to back that claim.

“I support our Conservation Department, but that doesn’t mean they get a free pass from me and the rest of the Legislature when it comes to trying to impose different regulations that I don’t think are actually going to be beneficial,” said Ross.

Ziehmer is resigning as Director effective July 15 to take a private sector job. He has worked for the Department for 25 years and as Director for more than six years.

Tom Draper will serve as Interim Director until a permanent Director begins.