The conservation vision of a few sportsmen and their families was instrumental in one of Ducks Unlimited’s largest Kansas projects.
DU worked with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) and other partners to restore and enhance 1,660 acres on the Neosho Wildlife Area, providing habitat for wildlife and outdoor recreation.
“We need to credit the eight families who had the dream and made it happen,” Director of Development Kirk Davidson said. “They provided dollars that allowed DU to leverage additional public funds.”
Don Budd, a former Kansas Department of Parks, Wildlife and Tourism commissioner, got a few hunters together, who then contributed to the work.
“You may think one vote doesn’t count in an election or one donation won’t make a difference, but in this case, it’s not true. A limited amount of private dollars turned into a project,” Budd said.
Other project sponsors were Eugene and Alice Beachner, Chris Terlip, Robert H. Stratton, Doug L. Henzlik and family, Roy E. Carter and family, Barrett and Shannon Satterlee, and Spencer and Kim Satterlee.
Owned by KDWPT, The Neosho Wildlife Area provides vital habitat and public access. In addition to restoration work, the projects improved water management infrastructure.
“The restorations will help Neosho managers do more with less water and provide more habitat year-around,” said Matt Hough, DU manager of conservation programs for Kansas.
Grant support came from North American Wetlands Conservation Act and Pittman Robinson. Other partners included The Nature Conservancy, National Wild Turkey Federation, The Watershed Institute, Neosho County Commission, Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams, Kansas Wildlife Federation, and the Southeast Kansas Audubon Society.