Missouri River Restoration
of Conservation manages 10,274 acres of this land for the Corps. Other benefits to habitat restoration include enhanced opportunities for the public to use and enjoy these lands for hunting, fishing, boating, hiking, wildlife viewing, and other outdoor pursuits.
Missouri River public uses studies have shown that the lower river receives 2.5 million annual visits, which equals 8 million recreational hours spent each year on or adjacent to the river. Users are engaged in more than 71 different activities, with sight-seeing (29 percent), fishing (24 percent), and boating (12 percent) making up the top three. The 2004–2005 public use study of the lower Missouri River showed that this provides annual economic benefit of $39.1 million (in 2004 dollars).
Partnerships and quality resource management, guided by new research and increased knowledge, will ensure the continued success of the Recovery Program. Our combined efforts will further enhance Big Muddy for the benefit of its natural features and communities and the citizens who enjoy our nation’s longest river.
Additional information on the Missouri River Recovery Program and the Missouri River Fish and Wildlife Mitigation Project can be found at moriverrecovery.org. To find information on conservation areas on the river, visit the MDC Atlas Database at mdc.mo.gov/atlas.
Columbia Bottom Conservation Area
Located in St. Louis County, this 4,318-acre area is at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers and is owned and managed by the Conservation Department. The Corps funds management and habitat development at the site for projects that comply with the goals of the Corps’ mitigation efforts. Restoration of bottomland hardwood forests, prairies, and shallow wetlands is ongoing. There are 120 acres of bottomland hardwood forest involved in this project, and 350 acres of prairies have been planted. The Recovery Program funds a pump station that delivers water to 800 acres of shallow wetlands. The area has frontage on both the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, totaling 6.5 miles and includes 800 acres of bottomland forest and a 110-acre island. Guest facilities include a visitor center, hiking trails, a boat ramp, and a viewing area. Find more information at mdc.mo.gov/a9736.
Lower Hamburg Bend Conservation Area
Located in Atchison County, the Corps purchased the land as part of the Recovery Program. The entire area is owned by the Corps. The Conservation Department manages the 2,465-acre Missouri portion, with the balance of the area located in Iowa. The area is managed for a variety of wildlife habitat including bottomland forest, warm-season grass plantings, and wetlands. A 2-mile-long side channel and a 500-acre island are also important habitat features. Find more information at mdc.mo.gov/a9911.
Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area
This area in Boone County consists of 4,431 acres owned and managed by the Conservation Department. The area has 17 wetland pools totaling 1,100 acres of shallow wetlands, moist soil marshes, and emergent marshes. Water from the City of Columbia’s wastewater treatment plant is routed through these wetlands, providing a reliable water supply and habitat for migrating birds and resident wildlife, and recreational opportunities. The Corps provides funds to assist in meeting the goals of their mitigation efforts on this area. One example is the installation of a structure that allows fish to move in and out of a wetland so it functions like a natural backwater, providing important fish spawning and nursery habitat. The area includes more than 10 miles of stream frontage along the Missouri River and Perche Creek. Find more information at mdc.mo.gov/a6415.
H. F. Thurnau Conservation Area
Located in Holt County, the area is managed to preserve unique old fields, grasslands, bottomland forests, wetlands, and other habitats associated with the Missouri River and to provide recreational opportunities for the public. The area is comprised of 366 acres owned by the Conservation Department and 1,362 acres owned by the Corps; the latter acreage was purchased through the Recovery Program. The area is located between the Tarkio and Missouri rivers in northwest Missouri and has 4.2 miles of river frontage. A boat ramp provides access to the Missouri River for anglers and boaters. There is also a primitive campground on the area. Find more information at mdc.mo.gov/a6415.