Conservation Lands

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Published on: May. 20, 2010

acres) and Compton Hollow (840 acres) conservation areas, or they can enjoy an outing at 820-acre Fellows Lake, which is leased by the Conservation Department.

  • Only about 90,000 acres of the 15 million acres of native tallgrass prairie that once covered Missouri remain. More than 90 conservation areas in Missouri are listed as having acreage in prairie or as containing land that is being restored to prairie.
  • Natural Areas and Rare and Endangered Species


    • To acquire natural areas or preserve them on existing Department lands. Natural areas are ecological communities representing Missouri's natural heritage of plants and animals. Each element of this storehouse of natural diversity is a potentially great resource. Continually we find valuable applications of previously unused species, from new medicines to biological pest control. Each species plays a unique ecological role in the stability, function and natural restorative powers of ecosystems.
    • To cooperate with The Nature Conservancy and similar organizations in developing ecological inventories, status of natural areas and evaluation of these areas, and perhaps using the Conservancy's sophisticated system developed for the State Heritage Program.
    • Keeping the Promises of Design:
    • The Conservation Department created the Natural History Division to focus on Missouri native species and natural communities, with special emphasis on those that are rare or endangered.
    • The Missouri Natural Heritage Program was created in 1981 in cooperation with The Nature Conservancy to identify species and natural communities of special concern, to help establish protection priorities and to aid in environmental reviews.
    • Natural History biologists serve in all 10 regions of the state, helping integrate the natural history goals of the Design for Conservation at the regional and field level.
    • After 15 years of work, inventories of natural communities, special geologic features, and plants and animals of conservation concern were completed on public and private land in every county of the state.
    • The Missouri Natural Areas System includes 180 areas containing 56,000 acres. The goal of the natural areas system is to designate, manage and restore high quality examples of every existing type of natural community.
    • The Conservation Department teamed with The Nature Conservancy to protect 80,000 acres of ecologically significant lands in the watersheds of the Current, Jacks Fork and Eleven Point rivers. The Nature Conservancy kept 5,700 acres of the former Kerr-McGee lands. The remainder was incorporated into conservation areas.
    • The Conservation Department now manages more than 200 caves on conservation

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