The Conservation Fund, in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service, has helped protect more than 2,000 acres of land at Mark Twain National Forest. A major focus of our conservation efforts has been the protection of properties along a 16-mile stretch of the Current River, which runs through the National Forest across southern Missouri’s picturesque Ozark foothills north of Doniphan.

The American Bird Conservancy provided critical financial support via a grant that allowed The Conservation Fund and the U.S. Forest Service to work with seven landowners to protect and preserve crucial lands along the River.  “Without this support we could not have covered the costs of property inspections, appraisals and legal work to buy and transfer the land to the U.S. Forest Service from willing sellers interested in leaving a conservation legacy, “ said Clint Miller, Midwest Project Director for The Conservation Fund.


Thanks to a partnership between the T.L. Wright Lumber Company, the U.S. Forest Service and The Conservation Fund, one of the largest remaining undeveloped areas of river frontage in the entire Current River Valley will be permanently protected.

Owned by the T.L. Wright Lumber Company since the early 1900s, the 185-acre property along the Current River property near the town of Doniphan was once part of the company’s gravel and forestry operations. The Wright Company supplied bridge and highway construction projects including the Current River Bridge at Doniphan. According to Randolph Maness, a Doniphan attorney who represents the company, “The Wright family has long been dedicated to the vision of a preserved view of our beautiful river from the bridge at Doniphan, and now that’s been assured.”

In 2016, the Fund purchased the property, featuring nearly three miles of frontage along the Current River. Using funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund and funds made available by Enbridge Pipelines L.L.C. to provide mitigation to the Flanagan South Pipeline construction, the Fund conveyed the property to the U.S. Forest Service to become part of the Mark Twain National Forest.

“The scenic, cultural and natural assets of the Current River attract and inspire outdoor lovers of all ages.  By protecting the T.L. Wright lands, we will help to ensure public access and water quality, which is essential for tourism and healthy communities along the river,” said Clint Miller, Midwest project director for The Conservation Fund.

Plans for future public access will be determined by the U.S. Forest Service with input from local communities.


In April 2018, The Conservation Fund and the U.S. Forest Service announced the purchase and protection of 229 acres near Shell Knob that will provide enhanced public access to the Piney Creek Wilderness. Located within Mark Twain National Forest, this addition features a ridge-top field that provides one of the highest elevations in the area—1,382 feet—overlooking a wide portion of the southeast Wilderness and views of nearby Table Rock Lake. With funding from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, the conserved land along County Road 2190 offers an ideal site for a new, safer trailhead and added parking for hikers, horseback riders, hunters, photographers and other outdoor enthusiasts.


The ultimate conservation of this property will help to ensure and protect water quality and important groundwater recharge areas, forest habitat for animal and plant species and the scenic and natural beauty of the Current River for river-based recreation that benefits many nearby communities. Popular recreational activities along the Current River include canoeing, fishing, horseback riding and camping.

“Our family has always loved the river and we are proud of the contribution to conserve it that this transfer ensures. We want future generations, both local residents and tourists, to enjoy the same river that we care about. “

—Jan Truebner, daughter of T.L. Wright, Jr., and current president of the Wright company