MDC congratulates Jeff Churan on Master Conservationist Award

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Conservation Commission and Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) recently bestowed their Master Conservationist award to Jeff Churan of Chillicothe at the Sept. 4 Commission meeting at Commission Headquarters in Jefferson City. Churan is the 62nd recipient of the award, which was first presented in 1942.

The Master Conservationist Award honors living or deceased citizen conservationists, former MDC commissioners, and employees of conservation-related agencies, universities, or organizations who have made substantial and lasting contributions to the state’s fisheries, forestry, or wildlife resources, including conservation law enforcement and conservation education-related activities. Learn more at

Churan’s nomination and award stem from his life-long interest in hunting that led to a deep involvement in conservation over the last half century.

“If ever there was a person who embodied the heart and spirit of this award, it is Jeff Churan,” said MDC Director Sara Parker Pauley. “His personal passion for conservation, both as a hunter and as a landowner, is well known, but he’s also served consistently and tirelessly behind the scenes for decades to move conservation forward in Missouri.”

Churan’s passion for natural resources led him to serve in key local and national volunteer positions with The Nature Conservancy, Quail Unlimited, the Conservation Federation of Missouri, the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation, the University of Missouri School of Natural Resources Advisory Council, and Ducks Unlimited.

In 1983, Churan was appointed by Missouri Governor Christopher Bond to serve a six-year term as a Missouri Conservation Commissioner.

In addition to his active membership and leadership roles in conservation-related organizations, Churan has contributed to the conservation of Missouri’s fish, forest, and wildlife resources by managing his 1,650 acres in Livingston County. His farms on the acreage are managed to provide quality habitat for quail, waterfowl, deer, turkey, and other native wildlife species. These properties have been used by MDC for research projects, have been included in the Wildlife Habitat Appraisal Guide through the Natural Resource Conservation Service for workshops, and have been opened to the public for field days and youth events.

In retirement, Churan became interested in writing, particularly about waterfowl history, and privately printed seven books on duck clubs and his own experiences afield. He has also co-authored three other books on the history of duck hunting and wetland conservation.