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Conservation Department curbs vandalism

As more and more people find enjoyment in outdoor activities this time of year, others find fun in property destruction that results in ruining the otherwise positive outdoor experience. Mike Smith has the story on how the Missouri Department of Conservation is putting the breaks on vandalism.

It's probably happened to you, if you regularly visit any of the many outdoor recreation areas in Missouri. As you pull in to the area, you see the pile of trash, the defaced sign, the destroyed restroom. Vandalism'it affects us in a number of ways including taking away from the users enjoyment of the area, and the use of our tax dollars cleaning up the mess and repairing the damage.

Francis Skalicky is a spokesperson for the Missouri Department of Conservation. He says controlling vandalism and littering has always been a priority for the Department but beginning this year it will receive greater emphasis as the MDOC is taking several measures to reduce the amount of vandalism occurring at its areas, including video surveillance, and increased patrols. Skalicky says the MDOC is also increasing the amount of time its agents spend investigating cases of vandalism.

To report vandalism on areas managed by the Missouri Department of Conservation, call the "Operation Game Thief Hotline" at 1-800-392-1111.

For KSMU News, I'm Mike Smith.