Our work began in 1937, when citizen-led efforts created the Department to restore, conserve and regulate Missouri's over-stressed fisheries, forests and wildlife populations. During our first 40 years, hunting, fishing and trapping permits provided most of our funding, but in 1976 an expanded program, the "Design for Conservation," was passed to set aside one-eighth of one percent sales tax directly to the agency. That consistent funding, plus a strong, non-political structure and very supportive public helped make Missouri a national leader in conservation. Today we continue our legacy of protecting our state's wild resources and helping Missourians connect with their natural heritage. Our goal is to sustain diverse, healthy plant and animal communities–well into the future.