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Private Wetlands

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Some of our states best wetland habitat is held in private ownership. In fact over 70% of the remaining wetland acreage in North America is on private land. This is why it is critical that Ducks Unlimited continues to work with our partners like the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Natural Resource Conservation Service to provide programs and technical assistance for private landowners. Ducks Unlimited is currently working with its partners on several programs aimed at restoring wetlands for the private landowner.

Missouri Bootheel Partners Project- This program assists landowners with flooding croplands after harvest to provide wintering habitat for migrating waterfowl. The program has been a huge success and has provided habitat on over 25,000 acres of Missouri farmland.

Missouri Agriculture Wetland Initiative- MAWI targets lands along the Missouri River and assists landowners with projects to provide habitat on production land. Landowners can sign up for this program through the Natural Resource Conservation Service.

Confluence Easement Program-This program is available for privately owned wetlands in the confluence area of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. Conservation easements can meet the needs of interested owners of working farms, ranches, timberlands, sporting properties, and recreational lands, who wish to protect valuable natural resources while retaining ownership of the property. A perpetual conservation easement allows a landowner to protect key natural habitats of a property while continuing to use the area for economic gain or recreation. Because wetlands are critical to the survival of so many species of wildlife, Ducks Unlimited has concentrated much of its resources in Missouri.  The Mississippi Alluvial Valley and the Upper Mississippi River Initiatives are two major programs underway that address wetland habitat loss, decline, and the importance of this habitat type for waterfowl.  Thus, many of the Ducks Unlimited projects exist along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers major tributaries.

Because wetlands are critical to the survival of so many species of wildlife, Ducks Unlimited has concentrated much of its resources in Missouri.  The Mississippi Alluvial Valley and the Upper Mississippi River Initiatives are two major programs underway that address wetland habitat loss, decline, and the importance of this habitat type for waterfowl.  Thus, many of the Ducks Unlimited projects exist along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers major tributaries. 

Ducks Unlimited has coordinated its efforts in Missouri mainly through the “MARSH” program, which has been DU’s flagship program to restore state habitat.  DU also works in Missouri through an initiative called “RIVER CARE”.  This program is an aggressive plan to create a habitat corridor for migrating and wintering waterfowl in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley. Through these programs Ducks Unlimited has approached wetland conservation in Missouri on four fronts:

  • Working hand in hand with state and federal partners to impact the most important land and to get the most from every conservation dollar.  DU has been able to leverage your donation 4:1 for every dollar contributed.  Ducks Unlimited’s most valued partner on public land, in Missouri, has been the Missouri Department of Conservation.
  • Protecting what is left. Through conservation easements and other tools, DU is protecting important wildlife habitat forever.
  • Restoring historic habitat by restoring wetlands that have been drained, enhancing wetlands that have been degraded, replanting hardwood forests, and habitat management assistance.
  • Working with farmers and landowners to make their land more attractive to wildlife, DU works with both the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Natural Resource Conservation Agency to accomplish habitat work on private lands.
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