Partners in Conservation Projects

Missourians care about conserving forests, fish, and wildlife, and our list of partners shows it. All across the state, groups you may know or belong to are helping us improve wildlife habitat, care for streams, restore declining wildlife populations, and help people discover, enjoy, and conserve nature. Browse our featured projects and get to know the groups that are doing good for conservation in your area.

Featured Partner Project

Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation

MCHF Homepage

MCHF advances conservation, enjoyment, and appreciation of our forest, fish and wildlife resources by funding priority projects of donors, the Foundation, and the Missouri Department of Conservation. Although we are separate from MDC, we share the agency’s mission and recognize it as our primary strategic partner. Private donors, grants, and our Stream Stewardship Trust Fund (an in lieu fee stream mitigation program with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) provide MCHF funding. Missourians also support us when they display a Conservation Heritage license plate on their vehicles.

MCHF has sponsored projects and events with dozens of conservation partners, always in coordination with MDC. We have invested over $12 million in projects since our founding in 1997. We recently raised over $60,000 to help MDC and Bennett Spring State Park to construct two fishing/viewing platforms along the spring branch at this popular trout park. Examples of other recent projects include support for Girls Exploring Nature outdoor camps, watershed protection and land acquisition in the LaBarque Creek watershed and other watersheds, Missouri Archery in the Schools programs, disabled hunter and angler events, woman and youth hunting experiences, Joplin tree planting, river access improvements, endangered species recovery projects, and numerous others.

Donors can direct their support to the programs that they care most about, such as public land acquisition, hunter education, natural areas protection, or for an individual nature centers or conservation areas. Please visit mochf.org for more information and to sign up for our newsletter.

Ducks Unlimited

Ducks Unlimited Homepage

Ducks Unlimited was chartered in 1937 by concerned sportsmen in response to declining waterfowl populations that resulted from the drought of the “dust bowl” days. Initially headquartered in New York City, DU sought to raise money in the United States to fund wetland conservation work on the breeding grounds in the prairie provinces of Canada.

From these humble beginnings, Missouri Ducks Unlimited has steadily advanced because of a marvelous synergy between passionate volunteers, energetic staff and conservation partners. Today Missouri Ducks Unlimited has 90 area committees with a total membership of 18,326 members. In 2012, local chapters raised $1,379,216 in support of wetland conservation.

Since Ducks Unlimited announced its intention to carry out wetland conservation work in the United States in 1984, Missouri has benefitted from a number of projects. Through 2012, Ducks Unlimited has funneled $14,061,086 to the state and a total of 108,103 acres have been conserved in Missouri.

The partnership shared between Ducks Unlimited and Department of Conservation has truly evolved into a model for wetland conservation delivery. Additionally, both organizations are not only committed to restoring wetland habitats in Missouri, but also share a strong partnership aimed at protecting the breeding grounds to our North. Over the past 32 years, Missouri Department of Conservation has contributed in excess of $5.3M to protect wetlands in Canada.

Numerous habitat projects and initiatives have benefited private and public land in Missouri including wetland restoration projects at Ten Mile Pond, Four Rivers, Settle’s Ford, and Nodaway Valley Conservation Areas.

Ducks Unlimited has helped the Department and other partners secure North American Wetland Conservation Act challenge grants for wetland conservation projects in Missouri. Some project highlights include wetland restoration and acquisition at B.K. Leach, Fountain Grove, Montrose, and Duck Creek Conservation Areas.

Conservation Federation of Missouri

CFM Homepage

On September 10, 1935, nearly 100 forward thinking Missourians gathered at Columbia’s Tiger Hotel to discuss the sad state of Missouri’s forests, fish and wildlife. They formed the Conservation Federation of Missouri and launched a movement to revolutionize natural resource management.

They worked tirelessly to put a proposal for a new science-based Conservation Commission on the ballot. On November 3, 1936, voters approved the measure by one of the largest margins by which any amendment to the state constitution had ever passed. On July 1, 1937, the constitutional amendment creating the Missouri Conservation Commission took effect, and with it the Department of Conservation was formed.

But the Conservation Federation of Missouri didn’t stop there. From the original 100, its ranks have grown to tens of thousands. The Federation became known as “the strong right arm of conservation.”

Today, the Federation continues to actively lead and support conservation efforts in Missouri and throughout the nation. It is the state’s oldest and largest private citizen conservation organization, with more than 90,000 individuals and 80 affiliated groups.

Since its successful early efforts, the Federation has undertaken many other battles to ensure that Missouri remains the nation’s conservation leader. In 1976, it spearheaded a successful citizen initiative for the one eighth of 1 percent conservation sales tax. This dedicated sales tax provides stable funding for the long-term efforts required for the conservation of fish, forests and wildlife.

Over the years, the Federation has helped to develop and coordinate some of the most innovative and successful citizen-action programs in the world, including Missouri Stream Teams, Operation Game Thief, Project Forest Arson, Share the Harvest and the annual Conservation Leadership Corps. These opportunities have allowed Missourians to get involved in conservation and have served as models for other states.

Missouri Prairie Foundation

Missouri Prairie Foundation Homepage

Formed in 1966, the nonprofit, 501(c)(3) Missouri Prairie Foundation is the only organization in the state whose land conservation efforts are dedicated exclusively to prairie and other native grasslands. The Missouri Prairie Foundation is also home to the Grow Native! native plant education and marketing program.

Ecologists rank temperate grasslands—which include Missouri’s tallgrass prairies—as the least conserved, most threatened major terrestrial habitat type on earth. Prairie protection efforts in Missouri, therefore, are not only essential to preserving our state’s natural heritage, but also are significant to national and even global conservation work.

The Missouri Prairie Foundation protects and restores prairie and other native grassland communities through acquisition, management, education, and research. The Missouri Prairie Foundation owns more than 2,600 acres of high quality prairie and other grasslands, and partners with private landowners and many groups to manage the land it owns and to improve prairies owned by partners. In fact, the Foundation and Department have a cooperative agreement that covers several of the Foundation’s properties. The Foundation recently completed a three-year grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore native prairies and manage grasslands in the Mystic Plains Conservation Opportunity Area in Adair and Sullivan counties. The Foundation partnered with the Department of Conservation to improve more than 2,000 acres of native grassland habitat on private land.

Key Messages: 

Conservation pays by enriching our economy and quality of life.

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