Clean Water

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From Missouri Conservationist: Aug 2008

Stream Team: Girshner Family

Stream Team #: 387

Date formed: March 1993

Location: Finley Creek

For more info about Stream Teams: see links listed below.

David Girshner was surprised at the passion he developed for stream conservation after buying 9 acres on Finley Creek in Christian County. He was more surprised by others’ passion.

“Initially it was me and my immediate family,” he recalls. “Now a lot of the family has jumped on board. My mom comes and cooks for the whole crew, and my son is old enough to be involved. My uncles and cousins and friends are part of the team, too.”

Together they have conducted 20 litter pickups involving nearly 700 people and removed 34.5 tons of trash from Finley Creek and nearby streams.

“This will be the 15th year I have done this litter pickup, and I still get excited,” he said. “It just amazes me how many people come to these things. I’ve got people from five states coming to a stream cleanup at the end of this month.”

Wetlands Reserve Program

Helping farmers, wildlife and you

Missourians increasingly are turning to a federal program that lets them farm more efficiently and create recreational paradises. Everyone benefits from reduced flooding.

The Wetlands Reserve Program pays landowners to voluntarily restrict activities on low-lying land. It gives landowners cash for placing 30-year or permanent conservation easements on their acreage, agreeing not to farm or develop the land during the life of the easement.

Some property owners use the money they receive from enrolling land in WRP to buy other land that is more reliably productive for agriculture. They can keep their WRP land for recreational use or sell it to further defray the cost of buying replacement land.

Others choose to invest WRP money in improving existing farmland, paying off debts or making home improvements.

Wildlife lovers sometime buy low-lying land and then enroll it in WRP to fulfill dreams of owning a private wildlife paradise. They use WRP cash to create places to hunt, fish or watch wildlife. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service offers such landowners technical and financial support to make conservation improvements. State conservation programs can help, too.

Waterfowl hunters may get help building managed wetlands. Nature lovers can get assistance establishing bottomland hardwood forest or planting wildlife cover and food.

Land enrolled in WRP catches water from rainfall, releasing it gradually into streams and thereby reducing flooding. WRP acres also provide space for swollen streams to spread out, lowering flood crests.

Landowners have voluntarily enrolled more than 2.1 million acres in WRP nationwide. Missouri landowners have enrolled more than 120,000 acres and received $174 million in return.

To learn more about WRP, contact the nearest USDA service center or visit them online. To find out about state conservation cost-share programs, contact your regional Conservation Department office.

This Issue's Staff

Editor In Chief - Ara Clark
Managing Editor - Nichole LeClair
Art Director - Cliff White
Writer/Editor - Tom Cwynar
Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Ruby
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Circulation - Laura Scheuler