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Veterans’ Conservation Org Uses Drought to Improve Habitat (& So Can You)



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The Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation (QUWF), is the only Veteran founded and managed national conservation organization in the U.S.

One of the private landowner co-ops formed by QUWF is the Niangua River Basin Wildlife Coop in partnership with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and we have a suggestion for making use of the dry spell for positive habitat work. QUWF is unique in that it addresses grass roots veteran land ownership, along with all private landowners, and encourages veterans to get involved with wildlife conservation, habitat work and agriculture. This is a great example.

Three landowner veterans, two Air Force and one Marine, combined efforts to help work one section of about 300 acres of the QUWF Coop to help create better access and egress, clean up flash stream beds and clear downed trees from many spring storms. They installed flash flood stream crossings, cleared property lines, installed fencing, put up property boundary signs while the dry conditions allowed easier access. This opened up an area previously inaccessible with equipment for timber stand work. This land has quail, turkey, deer, rabbit, dove with a good bat population along the river. It also had experienced property trespass and illegal logging so good boundary work was required. “First thing is, when safe, you have to get out there and observe the flash flood areas, side hill drainage and how it hits the land. All the great plans in the world will not matter if mother nature turns left, not right” Craig states.

“You can sit back and complain about the dry and hot weather, or get out early for a few hours in the morning and make things better for future projects with veteran neighbors and all fellow landowners including access and maintenance, that’s what we call veteran drought lemonade,” explains Craig Alderman of QUWF. The entire area is subject to extreme levels of flash flooding and after years of observation, trial and error, QUWF has developed a design for flash flood stream crossing installation and found a great way to install property boundary signs quickly and efficiently. “Veterans own, on a national basis, about 17% of all the private lands in the U.S., and here in MO, it is much higher” reflects Alderman. Read the full story on the QUWF web site,, in the July Habitat Guide.

“What we find, veteran landowners and their families join the group of tenacious workers. They always put the extra effort into their lands to the best of their ability and consistently help others. We are dedicated to try and find additional funding to help veterans and all private landowners and turn the dirt with them” explains Nick Prough Chief Wildlife Biologist of QUWF. QUWF also provides counsel to veterans if they need benefit assistance.

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