One motivated Bootheel landowner is making the most of his local conservation opportunities. Bill Cavins’ land lies within the River Bends Conservation Opportunity Area (COA) in New Madrid and Pemiscot counties. A COA is a place identified by Missouri’s comprehensive wildlife strategy where people can do the most good for the most kinds of habitat and wildlife. Bill is working with the Department, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and many other partners to restore wetland, hardwood bottom forest and rare sand prairie on his land. A key strategy in his team’s approach is enrolling more than 7,500 acres into the Wetland Reserve Program. This program rewards landowners with cost-share and technical assistance for restoring wetlands. Although Bill is a businessman, he’s also enthusiastic about bringing wetland plants and animals back to the River Bends COA. To learn about COAs, contact your regional conservation office.
If you want more waterfowl on your wetlands this fall, start practicing slow draw-down now. A natural wetland loses and regains water as seasons and weather change. You can emulate this natural ebb and flow by keeping the soil moist throughout late spring and summer. This technique, called moist-soil management, mimics natural wetland cycles, and managers use it to create diverse habitat for wetland plants and animals. For more details about practicing slow draw-down for better wetland habitat, visit online.
Many landowners want to implement habitat projects but lack the time, equipment or expertise. To help contractors serve this growing conservation market, the Department, in partnership with the Missouri Agribusiness Association, is offering Conservation Contractor Training workshops now through December 2009. The workshops, offered at various locations throughout the state, include a variety of topics, such as small business administration, conducting prescribed burns and satisfying federal conservation costshare contracts. See the full schedule of topics online. The $15 fee for each workshop includes lunch. Instructional approaches include hands-on fieldwork as well as classroom activities. To register, call (573) 751-4115. Please note that pre-registration is required; no registrations will be accepted at the sessions.
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