February 10, 2016

Contact: Communications Office

Missouri Soil and Water Program receives The National Wild Turkey Federation’s “Save the Habitat” Award

The Missouri Soil and Water Program was recently presented the National Wild Turkey Federation’s “Save the Habitat” award for its efforts to help private landowners conserve soil and water.

“This award speaks to the dedication and passion that program and district staff have put forth to better our great state,” said Sara Parker Pauley, director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. “The cascading benefits of Missouri’s Soil and Water Program include less soil erosion, cleaner waters, and improved habitat for native species.”

In 1984, voters first approved the Parks, Soils and Water Sales Tax, which funds Missouri’s Soil and Water Conservation Program. The program has provided over $600 million to Missouri landowners and farmers to implement more than 220,000 conservation practices. These practices reduce soil erosion and protect water quality which has the added benefit of improving habitat for plants and wildlife.

“Since Missouri, is considered a private land state  at more than 93%, land management equipment is often a limiting factor to high quality habitat restoration and maintenance,” said John Burk, Regional Biologist for Missouri and Illinois with the National Wild Turkey Federation. “Over the years, the Soil and Water Conservation Districts have contributed tens of thousands of matching dollars, provided technical assistance, and administered and maintained the equipment that landowners depend upon and that is improving habitat on private lands across our state.”

The Soil and Water Program is guided by the Soil and Water Districts Commission whose primary responsibility is the determination of policies and procedures to be used by soil and water conservation districts. A soil and water conservation district is located in each of Missouri’s 114 counties. District programs use technical, financial and information services to help local landowners and farmers put in place soil and water conservation practices. Each district has a wide variety of resources for landowners, including cost-sharing programs and more.

For more information about the Soil and Water Conservation Program, contact your local district or visit