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PartnershipsWork toRestore Habitat in the Mississippi/Missouri River Confluence Focus Area
Midwest Region, March 9, 2007
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Malinmor Sporting Estate manager, Rick Merritt discusses their Partners for Fish and Wildlife project with an audience of his peers.
- FWS photo by Candy Chambers
Malinmor Sporting Estate manager, Rick Merritt discusses their Partners for Fish and Wildlife project with an audience of his peers.

- FWS photo by Candy Chambers

- Photo Credit: n/a

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Great River National Wildlife Refuge and Missouri Private Lands Office are working in partnership with Ducks Unlimited, the Missouri Department of Conservation, Great River Habitat Alliance, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Pheasants/Quail Forever and other agencies and groups to improve habitat on private lands for fish and wildlife resources in the Mississippi/Missouri River Confluence Focus Area. 

The Counties in Missouri included in the Focus Area are Pike, Lincoln, St. Charles and St. Louis and span over 75 river miles along the Mississippi north of St. Louis.

Missouri’s Comprehensive Conservation Wildlife Strategy has identified these counties as an important conservation area for all migrating and nesting birds due to the fact that both rivers provide major migration pathways for over 60% of all migratory birds in North America.  The Mississippi River corridor is the longest migratory flyway in the northern hemisphere for ducks, geese, shorebirds, wading birds, raptors, warblers and other songbirds.  These birds depend on the various habitats along the Confluence Focus Area and the river corridor to rest, feed and nest.  Historically, the Confluence served as a vital seasonal staging area for these birds.

Through the Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, both the Great River NWR and the Missouri Private Lands Office are working with landowners to enhance, restore and protect wetland habitats with conservation easements.  One strategy being used to inform landowners of the importance of wetlands is informational workshops. 

In March the Great River NWR invited representatives from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Missouri Department of Conservation, and Ducks Unlimited, along with the Missouri Private Lands Office to discuss wetland issues with landowners from the Pike and Lincoln County area.  Twelve landowners were in attendance for the event which resulted in the review of two potential projects south of the Clarence Cannon NWR and another in St. Charles County for a local municipality.

The highlight of the workshop and likely the most persuasive part were the presentations made by two landowners currently enrolled in the Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife program. Rick Merritt, manager for the Malinmor Sporting Estates, and Mark Games, part owner of Bryant Creek Farm, provided favorable comments about the Partners program. 

Merritt mentioned how the Malinmor members were very pleased with their project and currently considering enrolling more ground in the program.  Mark Games commented on his partner’s resistance to the idea of a wetland project until they saw waterfowl funneling in to the Malinmor site.  Now they can claim the same for their project site.


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



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