Friends of the Missouri River
The 87-miles of free-flowing Missouri River, from the tailrace of the Garrison Dam to the headwaters of the Oahe Reservoir near Bismarck, represent most of what is left of the Missouri River as it once existed. The views from the bluffs along this stretch of the Missouri River are nearly as compelling as they were hundreds of years ago.
The time is now to preserve the beauty of this area for future generations!
The Friends of the Missouri River is being coordinated through the North Dakota Conservation Foundation, a 501c3 organizations as a component of the North Dakota Community Foundation. This foundation was established in 2001 by the late Gary Raedeke, who left funds from his estate for an organization which will continue his dream of preserving the scenic, historic and wildlife values of the Missouri River in North Dakota.
The Friends of the Missouri River is not an anti-development group. We realize that development can contribute to the well being of our region. However, protection of agricultural land and green space along the river corridor enhances the quality of life of those living there and recreating along the river. Landowners need and deserve an economic alternative to real estate development. The Friends of the Missouri River has as its goal to provide that alternative.
The Friends of the Missouri River has been formed to raise money to assist with land protection along the Missouri River. Few areas in the country still provide the potential to protect these values for the inspiration and enjoyment of all future generations.
The integrity of the Missouri River corridor is significant to the entire state, region, and nation. It is especially significant in the context of its historic and cultural role in the Native American history of the upper Great Plains, Lewis and Clark Expedition.
In March 2004, the Friends of the Missouri River closed on its first land protection project along the west side of the Missouri River north of Bismarck, in the viewshed of the Double Ditch Indian Village State Historic Site. A second land protection project was completed in March 2005, a third project was completed in March 2006. The owners put the properties under a non-development easement, which prohibits real estate development but allows full agricultural use, thus preserving open space and the scenic, cultural, historic and wildlife values of the area. This was accomplished in partnership with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service's Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program, significant landowner's donation toward the easement value, and through funds from the Natural Resources Trust, ND Conservation Fund and Foundation, Dacotah Chapter of the Sierra Club, ND Chapter of the Wildlife Society, Dakota Chapter of the American Fisheries Society and numerous donations by supportive citizens.
With these successful easements accomplished, the Friends of the Missouri River is looking at other land protection opportunities in the area which would require an additional $2.5 million in combined federal and private contributions, along with additional landowner donations.
To become a Friend of the Missouri River you can send your contribution to:
Friends of the Missouri River
1605 E Capitol Ave, Suite 101
Bismarck ND 58501
If you have questions, comments or would like someone to contact about a larger gift, please call the ND Natural Resources Trust office (where the ND Conservation Fund and Foundation is housed) at (701) 223-8501.