Missouri's trend-setting "Streams For the Future" is taking
off. Different parts of the program are multiplying the benefits of
others, according to Rich Wehnes, stream coordination supervisor
for the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Streams For the Future is an umbrella program encompassing a
wide range of stream conservation initiatives. The most successful
facet of Streams For the Future - at least in terms of citizen
involvement - is Missouri Stream Teams. MDC is developing the
program in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Natural
Resources (DNR) and the Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM).
The state's 468 Stream Teams include more than 25,000 members.
These groups adopt streams to improve or monitor. Recently, two
Stream Teams lent a hand to implement another Streams For the
Future initiative, the Landowner Incentive Program. Through this
program, MDC gives landowners technical assistance and may provide
equipment, materials and labor to solve stream-bank erosion
CFM Stream Team Coordinator Mark Van Patten saw an opportunity
for two Stream Teams to help a landowner on a project of mutual
interest. Missouri's first Stream Team, the Roubidoux Fly Fishers,
and the mid-Missouri chapter of Trout Unlimited both wanted to
improve trout habitat on Mill Creek in Phelps County. Storms last
fall accelerated erosion of a stream bank on land owned by Kenny
Harrison. MDC wanted to correct bank instability that was affecting
its wild-trout management program.
MDC helped identify the source of the problem and designed a
solution. The Stream Teams agreed to provide labor to build a cedar
tree revetment to stabilize the bank. Harrison provided materials
for the job, and MDC supervised the work and provided specialized
equipment to anchor the revetment.
One Saturday in February, everyone met at Harrison' s land and
installed a cedar tree revetment to stabilize the bank. Harrison
was so pleased with the arrangement that he provided fried chicken
to feed the hungry workers at noon. After finishing the revetment,
the Stream Teams anchored two tree root wads in the stream to
create high-quality fish habitat.
"I expect to see more of this kind of cooperation as the Stream
Teams and other Streams For the Future programs continue to grow,"
said MDC Stream Team Coordinator Joe Bachant. "The potential
benefits for Missouri streams are enormous."
Harrison's project is one of several cost-sharing projects
installed under a pilot program that spanned three years. MDC
reimbursed landowners who installed certain stream improvements for
75 percent of their costs. …