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AMERICA’S GREAT OUTDOORS: Interior officials celebrate conservation partnerships to conserve
the Missouri/Mississippi Rivers Confluence
Acting Assistant Secretary Rachel Jacobson
highlights the successes of private and public partnership

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 10, 2012

Contacts:

Ashley Spratt, USFWS,
573-234-2132 ext. 104 ashley_spratt@fws.gov

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St. Louis, Mo. - Acting Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Rachel Jacobson today joined private landowners, conservation organizations and natural resource agency leaders to celebrate partnership efforts in association with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program in Missouri, recognizing the Missouri/Mississippi Rivers Confluence Conservation Partnership as a signature demonstration of partnering for America’s Great Outdoors Rivers Initiative.

“The convergence of these two tremendous river systems provides a sanctuary for fish and wildlife in our nation’s heartland,” Assistant Secretary Jacobson said.  “The steadfast allegiance of private landowners, conservation organizations, and public natural resources agencies to conserve these habitats is a prime example of how public servants and private individuals are leading conservation into the 21st century.”

The Missouri/Mississippi Rivers Confluence is the convergence of the two largest rivers in North America encompassing nearly 300,000 acres of lands predominantly in private ownership.

The Missouri/Mississippi Rivers Confluence Conservation Partnership seeks to promote a balance between fish and wildlife habitat and agriculture and community development.  Since 2004, the Missouri/Mississippi Rivers Confluence Conservation Partnership has protected more than 21,000 acres of private land, and restored and enhanced more than 8,000 acres of wetland habitat on private land in Pike, Lincoln, St. Charles and St. Louis counties.  Wetlands provide migratory habitat for millions of migrating waterfowl, shorebirds, marsh birds and neotropical migrants in spring and fall.  The area supports 68 state-listed species and five federally-listed plants and animals.

“The partnership vision is to reconnect people with their sense of place within the natural communities of the Confluence,” said Charlie Wooley, USFWS Deputy Regional Director.  “No single agency can tackle the natural resource challenges facing this important landscape, from habitat fragmentation caused by urban sprawl and development to impacts of climate change. Local landowners today are setting the tone for sustainable environmental stewardship by future generations, and I congratulate them.”

Catastrophic flooding in 1993, 1995 and 2008, combined with urban expansion into the floodplain generated interest from local landowners and organizations to join federal and state agencies to strategically implement conservation programs.  This relationship was the catalyst for motivating landowners to maintain, protect, restore and enhance the open space and natural communities of the Confluence Focus Area (CFA).  In response, voluntary programs were made available through existing federal, state and local conservation sources.

“Our property has great interest in habitat conservation for waterfowl and other wildlife.  We have been fortunate to have a trusting relationship with Ducks Unlimited, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other partners to help design and improve our lands through the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program,” said private landowner Warren Hager. “The support this partnership provides has enabled our habitats to be more diverse, and our relationships have allowed us to rely on expertise when we need it.”

Members of the Missouri/Mississippi Confluence Conservation Partnership include the Great Rivers Habitat Alliance, Ducks Unlimited, Inc., U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Missouri Department of Conservation, The Nature Conservancy, Missouri Audubon, Pheasant and Quail Forever and private landowners and also the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and the Conservation Federation of Missouri.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.
Connect with our Facebook page at facebook.com/usfwsmidwest, follow our tweets at twitter.com/usfwsmidwest, watch our YouTube Channel at youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at flickr.com/photos/usfwsmidwest.


-USFWS-

 

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

Connect with our Facebook page at facebook.com/usfwsmidwest, follow our tweets at twitter.com/usfwsmidwest, watch our YouTube Channel at youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at flickr.com/photos/usfwsmidwest.

Last updated: November 4, 2013