A team of Conservancy scientists conduct research in a Missouri Ozarks forest.
Scientific Monitorin A team of Conservancy scientists conduct research in a © Doug Ladd/The Nature

Stories in Missouri

Current River Watershed Freshwater and Sustainable Forestry Program

In the Missouri Ozarks, private landowners play a critical role in keeping woodlands and waters healthy. 

In the Missouri Ozarks, private landowners play a critical role in keeping woodlands and waters healthy. Here, the timber industry is critical to the Ozarks economy, locally providing jobs and globally providing high-quality wood products. However, land conversion, development, decreasing parcel size, pests and diminishing forest health can impact the long-term production of these woodlands.

Through the Current River Watershed Freshwater and Sustainable Forestry Program, funded by the U.S. Forest Service, the Conservancy is working with Ozark landowners on making small changes that can enhance their woodland habitat to benefit nature while achieving their personal land management goals.

Managing Working Forests

Thanks to the U.S. Forest Service grant, the Conservancy is providing technical assistance, planning resources and field demonstrations—including the use of prescribed fire--on Ozark woodland management to interested private landowners in the area. Helping to conserve the area’s “working forests”—which provide economic benefits to the landowner through timber production or other means—through planned forest management improves the health and economic value of privately owned woodlands while benefiting wildlife habitat and water quality thanks to reduced erosion and run-off. Working forests that protect water quality, in turn, support river-based recreation, which is the other major sector of the region’s economy.

Find Out More

The Nature Conservancy occasionally holds workshops for landowners. Contact missouri@tnc.org to learn more. 

To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to h

A member of The Nature Conservancy’s fire team employs a prescribed burn, an important tool used in sustainable forest management.
Prescribed burn in M A member of The Nature Conservancy’s fire team employs © Tom Fielden
Current River LIVING ST. LOUIS Producer Jim Kirchherr visits the Current River to report on striking a balance between conservation, r

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