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Missouri Bootheel Partners Program

Assisting landowners in managing waterfowl habitat
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The objective of the Missouri Bootheel Partners Program is to return waterfowl to the breeding grounds physically conditioned for maximum reproductive success. Managing off-season agricultural fields as waterfowl habitat offers good food resources for migrating and wintering birds with direct benefits to landowners.

Project sponsors include: Ducks Unlimited, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Missouri Department of Conservation, and Private Landowners.

Accomplishments

The Missouri Bootheel Partners Program was initiated in 1997 to provide wetland management assistance to private landowners. The program has enhanced almost 25,000 acres of waterfowl habitat to date and has helped fulfill waterfowl habitat objectives on private lands. In 2005, partners further allocated funds to other worthy wetland projects in the Missouri. Partner biologists are available to assist landowners with technical assistance for waterfowl habitat on their property.

Benefits

The Landowner

  • Reduced tillage and chemical costs
  • Restrains weed growth
  • Promotes stubble decomposition
  • Promotes minimum farming
  • Reduced soil erosion; allows sediments to settle out before being discharged into ditches
  • Financial opportunities from recreational leasing (bird watching & hunting)

The Environment

  • Water quality is improved.
  • Chemicals and sediments settle out in flooded fields.
  • Groundwater recharge also occurs due to winter flooding.

The Waterfowl

  • Post-harvest flooding provides resting and wintering area for migrating waterfowl
  • Waste grain and weed seeds consumed provides for successful migration

Counties targeted for the Missouri Bootheel Partners Program include: Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Dunklin, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Ripley, Scott, Stoddard and Wayne.

For more information contact:
Eric Held
Manager of Conservation Programs
eheld@ducks.org

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