The Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation (MCHF) is an organization that is devoted to the conservation and appreciation of forest, fisheries, and wildlife resources in the state of Missouri. Established in 1997, the MCHF has been a major contributor to the development of Freedom Frontier National Heritage Area (FFNHA), a federally designated area that celebrates the history of freedom in western Missouri and eastern Kansas. The FFNHA is an “ecosystem of stories” that unites the region. Its main theme is freedom, with three subtopics: the Border War between Missouri and Kansas, Shaping the Frontier, and Enduring Struggles for Freedom.
The Border War relates to the Missouri Compromise, which left the future slave status of the territory in the hands of colonists and gave way to the Civil War. Shaping the Frontier interprets the journeys of merchants, miners, and emigrants beyond Missouri's western border, while Enduring Struggles for Freedom looks at stories from this place that have inspired national policies and ongoing efforts to ensure equal freedoms for all Americans. The MCHF has been involved in a number of projects related to FFNHA. These include a capital campaign to provide funding for the construction of a Discovery Center in Kauffman Park in Kansas City, as well as a pilgrim falcon restoration project in Springfield.
The Foundation also helps meet Missouri's overall conservation needs by funding projects such as Cedar Gap. In addition to its work with FFNHA, MCHF is also engaged in other initiatives. For instance, it is part of MonASP, a partnership with the Missouri Department of Conservation, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, and Kansas Wildscape Foundation that organizes youth archery tournaments between archers from the Midwest and South. The Foundation also works with advocates for private property rights such as the American Land Rights Association and United States Private Property Foundation.
The MCHF has been instrumental in helping to create national heritage areas throughout Missouri. These areas are designed to boost economic development and tourism in the region. The MCHF is also part of Missourians for Monarchs, an effort funded by a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to propagate and plant food sources for monarch butterflies. The mission of MCHF is to promote conservation and appreciation of forest, fisheries, and wildlife resources by applying financial resources to the priorities of the Missouri Department of Conservation in collaboration with donors and other partners.
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