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Landowner Profile: Mo Buder of Missouri

The gift that keeps on giving—Mo Buder's Whistling Wings
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Mo Buder
Whistling Wings, now and forever Mo Buder and his assistant manager Howard in front of the Whistling Wings sign and clubhouse.

Ducks Unlimited has not conserved a single acre of wetland habitat alone. Every detail of our work relies on a web of partners. From landowners like Mo Buder, who call on us to restore wetlands on their property or to donate a conservation easement, to foundation and corporate partners that pour financial resources into critical conservation priorities, to the individual who funds conservation work in his or her state or region, Ducks Unlimited counts on solid alliances to facilitate our success in protecting land and waterfowl habitat.

The success of DU's land protection efforts through conservation easements is one of the many ways Ducks Unlimited works to conserve wildlife habitat. Mo Buder of Missouri has made a significant commitment to the future of waterfowl with his gift and partnership with Ducks Unlimited.

To make a gift of any kind to Ducks Unlimited is an act of generosity. Mo Buder has made a gift to the future of waterfowl—one derived from sharing DU's conservation ethic. Ducks Unlimited thanks Mo for this partnership, but the ducks especially thank Mo.

In 2009, M.O. "Mo" Buder, a colorful Missouri landowner, indicated he was getting older, and thought it was time to figure out how to take care of his "boys and girls." When asked how many children he had, Mo replied, "I'm not talking about my offspring—I'm talking about my ducks!"

Whistling Wings property
Protected in perpetuity Buder's duck club, Whistling Wings, adjoining the Fountain Lakes Industrial Development Park

As owner and manager of Whistling Wings, a 780-acre duck club in St. Charles County that lies within DU's Confluence Focus Area (the intersection of the Mississippi and Missouri river watersheds), Mo's love and desire to care for his "boys and girls" led to what some in the land protection business refer to as "the ultimate trifecta."

First, Mo donated a conservation easement to DU on this critically strategic piece of property, thus halting floodplain development from the east. Second, within the easement language, he formally designated 330 acres of the property as an "inviolate waterfowl refuge" to provide a place for his "boys and girls" to rest and feed undisturbed. Third, and most important, Mo laid out in his will and trust that Whistling Wings would ultimately be left to DU and sold to a conservation buyer. Mo also instructed that one-fourth of the proceeds of the sale would go to establish the "Missouri Confluence Endowment Fund" (ensuring a way to maintain and perpetuate land protection work in the Confluence forever), and the remaining three-fourths would be used to protect additional nesting habitat in the Missouri Coteau (ensuring Mo's "boys and girls" had healthy and adequate habitat on which to nest).

Mo's long-term and comprehensive approach to waterfowl conservation provides his ducks with breeding grounds, migration areas and wintering grounds in perpetuity. Thus, Mo has given "the gift that keeps on giving."

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