Mission Statement

MCHF advances the conservation and appreciation of forest, fish and wildlife resources by applying financial resources to the priorities of the Missouri Department of Conservation in collaboration with donors and other partners.

Foundation Goals

  • To support projects dedicated to preserving, conserving and enhancing Missouri’s fish, forests and wildlife resources.
  • To support projects dedicated to promoting citizen opportunities to use, appreciate, enjoy and learn about Missouri’s fish, forests and wildlife resources.
  • To build a permanent, sustainable source of private funding that will support a wide variety of conservation projects and actions in perpetuity.


View our Historical Timeline

Founded in 1997, the MCHF is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. One of MCHF’s first projects was to raise $3.6 million in matching funds to construct the Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center. Additionally, since administering the Stream Stewardship Trust Fund (SSTF) in 1999, MCHF has dispersed more than $6.9 million for priority stream protection efforts while working with MDC and other stream partners statewide.

Over the last 26 years, MCHF has provided over $26 million for conservation projects large and small throughout the state. MCHF is governed by a volunteer board of directors comprised of conservation, community, and business leaders.

The Foundation receives funding from the Stream Stewardship Trust Fund, Conservation Heritage license plate sales, national and local grants, special events, individual donations and planned giving.

“The Foundation was created to provide an additional stream of revenue for conservation,” explained MCHF Executive Director Tricia Burkhardt. “And to provide donors with an easy way to contribute to conservation initiatives that are important to them.”

“If you love hunting and fishing and you want to help fund these opportunities for young people, you can designate your donation for that,” said Burkhardt. “The same goes for endangered species habitat protection, outdoor skills camps, hiking trails and and scores of other projects—we help donors invest in the kind of conservation legacy they want to leave for others.”

Missouri Department of Conservation staff and outside groups can apply for Foundation funding for projects they initiate or that they endorse on behalf of partner groups. These projects address immediate conservation and outdoor recreation needs. The Foundation board of directors—comprised of conservation, community and business leaders—oversees funding decisions.

For a list of conservation projects that the Foundation has funded, see the Foundation’s Project Database. The Foundation’s Strategic Plan Mission, Guiding Principles and Goals guide future work of the organization.

Guiding Principles

To ensure the continued success of the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation, the Board of Directors, staff and volunteers embrace the following guiding principles:

  • Conservation Values – Assure that Foundation activities are consistent with sound conservation science, principles and practices and address priority needs for conserving Missouri’s natural resources and conservation heritage.
  • Ethical Behavior – Maintain the highest standard of ethical behavior in everything we do, and engage in projects and activities that contribute to the public welfare while furthering our mission.
  • Effective Partnering – Recognize the Missouri Department of Conservation as our primary strategic partner in identifying and addressing priority conservation needs, and actively collaborate with other organizations, corporations and individuals who share our goals.
  • High Fiduciary Standards – Adhere to the highest fiduciary standards in the solicitation, investment, management and accounting of financial resources entrusted to us.
  • Efficient Use of Resources – Maximize benefits and return on use of financial resources by maintaining low administrative and overhead costs, by leveraging resources with partners and by supporting projects with high likelihood of long-term success.
  • Effective Communications – Publicize our needs, plans, programs and successes while simultaneously respecting the privacy and desires of donors and partners.