“We’re talking about linking 6,000 acres that are wildlife-friendly. That’s huge.” Department of Conservation Wildlife Management Biologist Dave Hoover is understandably excited about a new funding program aimed at helping Harrison County landowners practice sustainable prairie management within the Grand River Grasslands Conservation Opportunity Area. Totaling $200,000, the funds come from a variety of sources, including John McPheeters, a trustee of The Nature Conservancy’s Missouri chapter; the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency and the Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative.
“We’re focusing on working with conservation agencies and other groups to offer 100 percent cost-share assistance to private landowners,” said The Nature Conservancy’s Randy Arndt. “With this financial incentive, we hope that private landowners will take advantage of this opportunity to convert their cool-season pastures to native warm-season grasses and wildflowers that are good for their cattle and ground-nesting birds.” For more information, call Private Land Conservationist Kendall Coleman at (660) 726-3746.
Interseeding native wildflowers can increase plant diversity and improve wildlife habitat. After setting back rank grass by disking, burning or spraying, broadcast or no-till drill seeds at a rate of 2 to 3 pounds of pure live seed per acre. This practice is a great family activity. Mix seed with sawdust in a 5-gallon bucket, then give your kids small buckets of the mix to scatter. You’ll yield a crop of smiles now and a wealth of wildflowers next summer.
Feral hogs are domestic hogs gone wild. No one owns them, and they threaten humans, pets, wildlife and farm animals. The state of Missouri is trying to eliminate these pests from the landscape. There are three simple things you can do to help. First, if you encounter a feral hog while hunting deer or other game, shoot it on sight. During most of the year, no permit is required and any method, including baiting and using dogs, is allowed. However, special restrictions apply during the fall firearms deer and turkey hunting seasons. Second, report sightings of feral hogs to the Department of Conservation at (573) 522-4115 ext. 3147. Third, keep domestic hogs penned and report illegal releases on the Operation Game Thief Hotline at (800) 392-1111.
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