A Houston High School graduate is a new conservation agent in Texas County.
Chris Ely began duties May 1 with the Missouri Department of Conservation. He graduated from HHS in 1993.
Ely replaces Travis Mills, who is now a resource forester with the MDC.
Ely and his wife, Stacie (Rupe), are both Houston natives and had hoped to return to the community. Stacie is a pharmacist at Hutcheson Pharmacy and also works in Salem.
“I’m really looking forward to working with the people here in Texas County,” Ely said. “I know many of the people or they know my family. I’ll be here to help people as much as I can.”
Ely earned bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice, biology and criminology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He graduated in 2000.
His first assignment was Jan. 1, 2001, in Iron County. He transferred to Dent County in October 2006.
Ely encourages the public to contact him with wildlife violations, damage or nuisances and code inquiries. He said he is available anytime at 417-260-2865.
“I want to strive to be part of the community and help it out,” Ely said. “This is where I want to stay until I retire — and past then, too.”