and other community events were sponsored by Stream Teams and other community organizations. The result is a greenway park that is now a community highlight. Partners in the project were Natural Resources Conservation Service, the City of Piedmont and Piedmont area Stream Teams.
Expanded B.K. Leach Memorial Conservation Area. With the purchase of a 942-acre tract in the Mississippi River floodplain of Lincoln County, the Department increased the size of the B.K. Leach Memorial Conservation Area to 1,959 acres. The addition increases important wetland habitat along the Mississippi River, providing resting and feeding areas for migrating waterfowl, shorebirds, colonial waterbirds, forest dwelling birds and other wetland-dependent species. Birds that will benefit from the project include northern pintail, American black duck, interior least tern, snowy egret, black rail and red-headed woodpecker. The restoration will include construction of 1,600 acres of managed wetlands, as well as 100 acres of wet prairies and about 200 acres of bottomland hardwood forest. Partners in the project include the American Land Conservancy, Ducks Unlimited, Waterfowl USA, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Forrest Keeling Nursery in Elsberry.
Initiated a Cooperative Bobwhite Quail Restoration Effort. In cooperation with Quail Unlimited, the Department developed a new quail habitat initiative designed to restore bobwhite quail populations statewide. The initiative, named "Bring Back Bob," provides 75 percent cost-share or incentive payments to landowners who adhere to land management plans to implement approved practices. Such payments are available for herbaceous vegetation control, nesting cover establishment, annual disturbance and old field/hedgerow renovation.
Introduced the First Youth-Only Spring Turkey Season. The Department established a special, two-day turkey season for resident youths age 15 years and younger. Youth hunters harvested 2,530 birds in the inaugural season, and there were no accidents.
Protection agents made 191,715 resource contacts, noted 27,940 wildlife violations, issued 3,453 written warnings and made 6,790 arrests. In addition, agents held 5,952 youth meetings, displayed 1,253 exhibits, made 11,312 appearances on radio/TV programs and certified 28,798 new hunter safety students in 969 hunter education classes.
Operation Game Thief grew in terms of number of calls received and percentage of calls resulting in arrests. In 2000, Operation Game Thief produced 197 court cases completed from 559 telephone calls. Also, 1,338 hunters donated more than 49,000 pounds of venison to the needy through the "Share the Harvest" program.
The Private Land Services Division completed its first full year of service to Missouri's private