Why is the Confluence important?
Note from the Executive Director
Recently I was asked to discuss the Confluence and GRHA as a podcast guest with longtime friend, Ramsey Russell founder of Getducks.com. One of the questions asked was: Why is the Confluence important and why should southern duck hunters who are worried about shortstopping appreciate it?
It’s no secret to us why the Confluence is important, the southern duck hunter however, may not be aware or appreciative of the Confluences importance (Ramsey was unaware until his trip this past fall) and more concerned with Missouri short stopping ducks.
I answered in the context of migration explaining to him the conservation and waterfowling traditions from as far back as the 1880’s, conservation ethic, the private and public refuges, the agriculture and natural resources provided, and the threats to those resources (90% of Missouri’s wetlands have been lost). I talked about how the Confluence is the neck of the hourglass, necessary for birds to make their annual migrations between the breeding and wintering grounds, fattening up birds during fall migrations and more importantly fattening up birds in the spring as they head north to produce the next generation. These historic flights indeed are kept alive by the Confluence and the families, clubs and habitat managers who so diligently care for the resource. I asked them to imagine migration with no Confluence. Would the birds make it south? Would they make it back to the breeding grounds in shape to produce the next generation? I reminded listeners the mallard shot in Arkansas or Mississippi likely stopped in Missouri on its way south. It seemed to ring clear.
Sitting on the porch at the farm this Friday watching the hundreds of thousands of ducks, geese and other migratory birds flying in the fleeting light, no reminder was needed of the Confluences importance. It is the middle of February and spring migration appears to be well in stride. I counted a dozen plus species of waterfowl and all four species of geese that migrate through the Confluence. Listen below to nightly Confluence symphony. How many can you hear?
Where would these birds be were it not for the Confluence? Each year the sights and sounds of the migration reconfirm my dedication to the resource. Let’s make it a priority to share with the world the importance of the Confluence. Make it a priority for you, your family and hunting companions to build a legacy that we can leave to the next generation. I thank you for your past and continued support. Threats continue to the Confluence, as do opportunities to invest through habitat restoration and protection. GRHA is positioned well to fight the fights and take advantage of the opportunities. With your help we can protect the Confluence for the resource, future generations and future migrations. We have some good news to share in this newsletter and look forward to sharing more in the future.
For the Confluence,
J. Michael Checkett, Executive Director