Inside Region 3
Midwest Region
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Regional Director Tom Melius helps out with a survey for Ozark hellbenders.  Photo by Amy Salveter/USFWS.

Regional Director Tom Melius helps out with a survey for Ozark hellbenders. Photo by Amy Salveter/USFWS.

Regional Director Gets Up-Close Look at Conservation in Missouri

Regional Director Tom Melius visited Missouri in June, touring lead mining sites in the southeast and participating in hellbender surveys. The trip began with a look at natural resource damage assessment sites to get a sense of the scope of issues surrounding the largest lead mining district in the United States. Stops included contaminated sites on the Big River and a demonstration off-channel diversion sediment restoration project, active mining sites in the Viburnum Trend, and a mining-related diversion project on the West Fork of the Black River. Leading the tour were Amy Salveter, Columbia ES Field Supervisor, and Dave Mosby, environmental contaminants biologist.

The next two days were spent in hellbender habitat. Joining the RD were National Park Service staff and Service biologist Trisha Crabill as they canoed a portion of the Current River. The river is part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways and is one of the four rivers containing Ozark hellbenders. The tour culminated with a project site survey for hellbenders to gauge the level of impact from project activities.

By Trisha Crabill
Columbia Ecological Services

Biologist Dave Mosby and RD Tom Melius tour the Southeast Missouri lead mining district.  Photo by Amy Salveter/USFWS.

Biologist Dave Mosby and RD Tom Melius tour the Southeast Missouri lead mining district. Photo by Amy Salveter/USFWS.

 

Last updated: June 8, 2020