A conservationist was posthumously inducted into the Missouri Conservation Hall of Fame earlier this month.

Joel M. Vance died in December 2020 at age 86. The former Russellville resident was nominated for the title by his family members and they accepted the award on his behalf June 17 in Jefferson City, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Vance worked with MDC from 1969 to 1991, MDC Director Sara Parker Pauley said during the induction.

“Mr. Vance has contributed to the Department by being the highly respected and widely heard clarion voice of conservation in the state, giving lectures on behalf of the Department, conducting seminars and workshops, and helping to establish a chapter public affairs for the MDC in 1986,” Pauley said of the 45th inductee.

Vance’s career also includes writing, photography, and participating in conservation efforts for the monthly Missouri Conservationist magazine.

As a writer for Design for Conservation, a sales tax dedicated to conservation in 1976, Vance wrote an entire August 1975 issue of the Missouri Conservationist detailing how the program would put MDC at the top of conservation agencies across the country. , said Pauley. These writings then established a funding framework.

Pauley noted that writing the Design for Conservation created a framework for conservation funding in Missouri and the focus on sales tax, but the bulk of Vance’s career with MDC included writing , photography and participation in conservation efforts for the monthly magazine Missouri Conservationist.

“These efforts mentioned only indicate his importance to the North American conservation movement,” Pauley said during the induction. “In addition to thousands of news stories and magazine articles written for the Department, Mr. Vance has produced an abundance of freelance articles and monthly columns over his 60-year career for all major hunting, fishing and conservation in America. His work has earned him many well-deserved awards and accolades.

Vance has served as President and Chairman of the Board of the Outdoor Writers Association of America and the Missouri Outdoor Communicators. He was also a member of the Association for Conservation Information, the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association and the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers, according to MDC.

“With the passing of Mr. Vance, Missouri has lost a dedicated conservationist,” Pauley said. “However, his legacy lives on for future generations of Missourians. We are pleased that Mr. Vance’s family could be with us (June 17) to accept this honor on his behalf. I want to personally thank them for having him. supported in his efforts to make Missouri and the nation a better place for future generations.

The award honors former citizen conservationists and former MDC employees and others who have made substantial and lasting contributions to the state’s fish, forestry or wildlife resources, according to the department.

Learn more about the Conservation Hall of Fame at https://mdc.mo.gov/about-us/awards-honors/hall-fame.

Sara Karnes is an outdoor reporter with the Springfield News-Leader. Follow his adventures on Twitter and Instagram @Sara_Karnes. Do you have a story to tell? Email him at [email protected]