Habitat & Conservation  |  11/20/2023

Multi-agency Partnership Receives Grant Dollars for Habitat Work in Missouri and Iowa


Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever will help restore thousands of acres of tallgrass prairie

During a visit to Iowa yesterday, secretary of interior Deb Haaland announced the recipients of a number conservation-oriented grants. Among the successful bids was a partnership including Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, focused on restoring grasslands in Iowa and Missouri. 

Partners in the endeavor include the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy, Missouri Prairie Foundation and Drake University/Jay N. Darling Institute for Rural Sustainability. The group will focus on conserving, restoring and reconnecting Missouri and Iowa’s native grasslands through collaborative habitat management on both public and private lands — such as prescribed fire, invasive species control and grazing. 

"The Missouri/Iowa partnership is extremely grateful for this grant award,” said Nate Muenks, the natural resource planning section chief for the Missouri Department of Conservation. “Funding this collaborative project is an excellent and appreciated step in recognition of the need for additional resource investment, leading to conservation and restoration actions that improve the health of native grasslands.”

The Tallgrass Prairie Ecosystem transcends state lines, and its conservation requires a multi-state effort with shared methodologies. This proposal will directly benefit at-risk species by managing, restoring and protecting quality native habitat that support the needs of grassland-dependent species. 

As part of the four-year project, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever will provide a full time, five-person habitat strike team based in southwest Missouri. The team will apply multiple treatments on 4,000 acres of native grasslands annually through prescribed burning, woody species control and invasive species eradication, as well as via the reestablishment and seeding of native grasses and forbs. The organization will also provide one habitat strike team coordinator, who will serve as the contact for this and similar strike teams that are in process across Missouri. 

“Collaboration is at the heart of conservation, and this partnership is a prime example of excellent teamwork,” said Andrew White, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s Missouri state coordinator. “Our prairie ecosystems are disappearing faster than ever, but through this grant we have an opportunity to make a big impact in Missouri and Iowa over the next few years.”