A Missouri House Committee will hear testimony Thursday at the Statehouse in Jefferson City about numerous topics, ranging from deer hunting season to pesticide complaints to an October column in the “St. Louis Post-Dispatch” about Bass Pro Shops.
The Missouri Department of Conservation will testify before the House Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources. Committee Chairman Craig Redmon (R-Canton) tells Missourinet that Conservation officials will discuss the fall firearms deer hunting season, which runs through November 22.
The Committee Thursday will also likely follow-up on Redmon’s call for the Conservation Department to compare the starting salary for Missouri’s new agents to that of other states. New agents start at about $30,000. Redmon, whose district neighbors Iowa and Illinois, says Missouri must be competitive with other states. The Conservation Department has 190 agents: 158 agents cover county assignments and 32 are supervisors. The Department administers 975,000 acres across Missouri’s 114 counties.
Redmon says the Conservation Department will also testify about chronic wasting disease testing.
The Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) will testify Thursday about its investigation into pesticide complaints.
Redmon wants an update from MDA about complaints involving a herbicide called dicamba. The Department testified before the Committee in mid-October that there had been 124 pesticide complaints since June. The complaints have come from five southeast Missouri counties and northwest Missouri’s Carroll County. MDA’s director of legislative affairs, Tony Benz, will testify before the Committee.
Redmon tells Missourinet lawmakers will also question the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) about an October article by “St. Louis Post-Dispatch” columnist Tony Messenger. His story said that Bass Pro Shops’ CEO talked about making a $50,000 donation to the state parks foundation, while asking to borrow several public artifacts for his private museum.
The Missouri State Museum’s curator of collections told Messenger she hopes to keep anything similar from happening again.
Redmon, whose sprawling district includes Adair, Clark, Knox, Lewis, Schuyler and Scotland counties, was unopposed in last week’s election. He’ll begin his fourth and final House term in January.