Another key component of DU’s conservation strategy in the Confluence Floodplain is acquisition and restoration of waterfowl habitat on public land. With funds raised during a tribute event honoring the late August A. Busch Jr., DU recently helped the MDC complete wetland restoration activities on the 4,166-acre B.K. Leach Memorial Conservation Area in Lincoln County. Purchased through a series of acquisitions beginning in 1985, this conservation area consists of a variety of wildlife habitats, including moist-soil wetlands, wet prairie, seasonally flooded cropland, and bottomland forest. Owned and managed by MDC, the area regularly supports large numbers of migrating ducks and geese in the fall and provides excellent public hunting opportunities for waterfowlers. A dedication of this successful project is scheduled for October 6 at B.K. Leach Conservation Area.
The effort to save the Confluence Floodplain from imminent development is only one of many high stakes conservation battles being waged across the continent to conserve North America’s floodplains. To succeed in conserving these irreplaceable landscapes, waterfowl hunters, farmers, state and federal agencies, conservation groups, and other stakeholders must work together toward this common goal. Otherwise, history has repeatedly shown that the cost of failure could be disastrous for waterfowl, wetlands, and people.