Entrusted to the Future

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Published on: Sep. 2, 2004

Last revision: Nov. 16, 2010

time and expense, converting the vegetation on the tract from brush to prairie. They recently donated the tract, located near the Howell/Oregon County line, to the Department to ensure that their efforts will be continued.

Because of Dan's lifelong fascination with hawks, the Dan and Maureen Cover Prairie Conservation Area is managed primarily to provide falconers a place to hunt and train their hawks. Special regulations provide falconers the first opportunity to hunt quail and small game in the fall before the area opens to the general public.

Some donated tracts have high outdoor educational potential because of their location. Thanks to the family of William Lowe, the public can enjoy 133 acres along the south city limits of Mexico, Missouri. William Lowe purchased the property in 1949 and lived on it with his family for more than 50 years.

Pearle Lowe recalls her husband's love of the land and his family: "He would often take our three daughters and me on nature hikes."

"Our father was greatly concerned that the property might some day be subdivided," said Barbara Rynearson, one of William and Pearle Lowe's three daughters.

Lowe loved to hunt and fish, and was very committed to adhering to the state's wildlife regulations. To honor his dedication to sound conservation and ethics, his family wanted the property to be preserved in its natural state and available to the public.

"We requested that the tract be used primarily for educational purposes," said Pearle Lowe, "with developments consisting of nothing more than a parking lot, signs and walking paths."

Some donors start with a small tract and gradually add to it. Carrick "Bose" Davidson and Robert G. Paris purchased an 80-acre tract in Howell County in 1958. They gradually added to their ownership until they owned 270 acres.

"We got real serious about quail management." Bose said. "I guess we were doing something right, because one autumn the property was home to 12 coveys. Good quail management not only provided more quail, but also resulted in an increase in other game, including rabbits, turkey and deer."

Bose and the widow of Robert Paris eventually donated the land to the Conservation Department, but retained a life estate. Retaining a life estate assures the donor that the property will go to the Department any time the donors choose to relinquish the life estate or at their death. The holder of a life

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