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Columbia FRO Visits Ft. Leonard Wood
Midwest Region, October 12, 2006
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Project Leader Tracy Hill and Biologist Jeff Finley traveled to Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, to identify partnership opportunities with the Natural Resources Branch on the post.

Ft. Leonard Wood sits nestled in the heart of the Ozarks in central Missouri.  The post is home to the Army’s Engineer School and primary training elements of the Military Police and Chemical Corps.  It boasts 10 streams, with 34 miles of permanent flowing water, and 200 impoundments, allowing 1,800 anglers the opportunity to engage in more than 5,000 fishing trips per year. 

Mark Zurbrick is a fishery biologist contracted to do fishery management on the post.  He has done a remarkable job over the years establishing great fishing opportunities and identifying areas where additional assistance is needed.  In the past, assistance was sought from the Missouri Department of Conservation or independent agencies to conduct natural resource surveys. 

Finley and Hill met with Zurbrick to identify areas where DoD could work with Columbia FRO and were given a tour of the facility.  For the most part, the post’s program is self sustaining seeking outside assistance only for inventories that must be conducted every 10 years. 

Funds from license sales on post go to purchasing larger fish from private growers for the impoundments, a service that anglers on Ft. Wood have come to expect. 

The meeting did identify an opportunity to partner in outdoor education.  A 10-mile stretch of the scenic Big Piney River runs through the Fort, offering beauty and intrigue to soldiers and their families.  Zurbrick and Columbia FRO have agreed to host a “Day on the River” event for next summer.  They have begun tentatively planning for the event to occur in early June 2007.

Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov



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