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New MDC book explores history of Missouri rivers

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'Voices of Missouri's Rivers, by Bill Turner, is a capstone work by the retired veteran of the Missouri Department of Conservation

‘Voices of Missouri’s Rivers, by Bill Turner, is a capstone work by the retired veteran of the Missouri Department of Conservation

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Learn through a new book from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) about Missouri’s rich river history and how clean flowing water in our rivers is vital to sustaining the lives of all Missourians. The 360-page Voices of Missouri’s Rivers by William Turner explores the natural and cultural history of Missouri’s rivers in vivid, full-color detail. Highlights of the book include the state’s river history, basic river science, and a glimpse of the future of river conservation.

“The stories of Missouri’s rivers are very much the stories of its people,” writes Turner, who had a 30-year career with MDC and retired as the Department’s Fisheries Division chief. He has a master’s degree in aquatic ecology and has taught river science at the college level. He also helped establish and lead a statewide river conservation program in Missouri.

The forward of the book states, “The chapters flow like a river, and around each bend we see the people and Missouri’s culture interwoven into a unique tapestry. We learn how the rivers helped open our state to settlement and commerce. Missouri’s rivers were our state’s first highways – our first arteries bringing civilization to the wilderness. We visualize how important a thread the rivers were to a hardscrabble existence and how unbridled commerce almost ruined those pristine, clear rivers.”

The book sells for $19.50 plus tax (and shipping for mail orders) at MDC nature centers, regional offices, and online at mdcnatureshop.com.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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