Wetlands Habitat and Management Workshop 2022 Recap
GRHA hosted a Wetlands Habitat and Management workshop July 18-20. The workshop was part of GRHA’s Public Awareness and Education pillar and provided basic information about the fundamentals of habitat management options and techniques for private waterfowl hunting clubs. A combination of in-class presentations and on-site field tours incorporated and demonstrated the current state-of-understanding about waterfowl and wetland ecology and contemporary hunting strategies in a practical management format. The workshop focused primarily on moist-soil wetland types but also included landscape considerations for agriculture, forest, shrub-scrub, and emergent habitats, along with perspectives on the opportunity of individual properties in relation to their location, size, and management objectives.
GRHA hosted 26 individuals including 17 land managers/owners/attendees from the Confluence as well as central and southeast Missouri. These individuals manage more than 50,000 acres of waterfowl habitat in Missouri. GRHA board member Jason Cleveland’s Trophy Property & Auction sponsored the event.
Dr. Mickey Heitmeyer was the lead instructor. Owner of Greenbrier Wetland Services, Mickey has more than 40 years of experience with waterfowl and wetland ecology, and practiced wetland and hunting management. He served on the research and teaching staff at University of Missouri and University of California - Davis. He was national Group Manager of Conservation Programs for Ducks Unlimited, Inc. and the International Director of the Institute for Wetland and Waterfowl Research. Dr. Heitmeyer has been a private consultant on over 200 waterfowl clubs and has organized more than 100 management workshops in 32 states, Canada, and Mexico. Dr. Heitmeyer is among the leading worldwide experts in migration and wintering waterfowl ecology, especially wintering mallards, and moist-soil and bottomland hardwood wetland habitats.
Rounding out the all-star team of instructors was Doug Helmers, retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Private Lands Coordinator for Iowa and former NRCS Administrator of Wetland Reserve Programs (WRP) for north-central Missouri; Jody Graff Owner of Graff Habitat; Andy Raedeke, Missouri Department of Conservation Migratory Game Bird Coordinator; Steve Spezia, Conservation Easement Specialist for Ducks Unlimited; Dan Crigler, USWFS; and our own Mike Checkett, GRHA Executive Director.
Special thanks to the members of Dardenne and owners of the Quacker and Over & Under hunt clubs for hosting the onsite classrooms as well as a fish fry and BBQ.