The forests of Clearwater Conservation Area shelter some of Missouri’s rarest plants. For example, glossy leaved aster is a northern species whose distribution shifted southward as Ice Age glaciers advanced. When the glaciers retreated, the aster remained in Missouri only as isolated populations in fens, which provide a relatively cool microclimate. A deep muck fen natural community lies between a north-facing slope and a small, intermittent stream in Deckard Hollow. This fen is home to a total of 33 different plant species.
Other natural communities of the conservation area include dry-mesic chert and dry-mesic limestone/dolomite forests, a second fen, a sinkhole pond and a dry sink. During your visit to the area, you’ll notice forest management practices designed to improve tree growth, tree quality, diversity and species composition. These practices also enhance wildlife habitat, help maintain watershed quality and sustain forest health.
Selling timber? Begin by hiring a professional forester to inventory your woods. This step advances management goals, and establishes the timber basis, which can lower the income tax on sale profits. Next, choose the right trees to cut. “High-grading” trees will pay the most now, but it will lower the value of future sales. Advertise the sale widely and get sealed bids, then hire a trained logger with good references. Best harvest practices safeguard forest health and ensure long-term profitability.
Since the 1800s, the oak-leaf-eating gypsy moth has spread from New England as far west as Wisconsin, northeastern Illinois and Indiana. If you travel through these states this summer, take care that you don’t return with unwanted stowaways. Gypsy moths have not established in Missouri yet, but when and where they do, they’re expected to severely damage our oak forests. To hold the line against this destructive pest, inspect your gear, including your vehicle and camper, before returning home. If your inspection turns up fuzzy, light-brown egg masses or dark-brown pupae, destroy them while you’re still in the infested state.
If you find evidence of gypsy moths in Missouri, notify the departments of Agriculture ((573) 751-5505) or Conservation ((573) 751-4115). Visit the link listed below for more information.
Editor In Chief - Ara Clark
Managing Editor - Nichole LeClair
Art Director - Cliff White
Writer/Editor - Tom Cwynar
Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Circulation - Laura Scheuler