JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is in the multi-year process of updating Conservation Area Management Plans and is seeking public input on how conservation areas are important to Missourians. A draft plan for Roger V. and Viola Wachal Smith Conservation Area is available for public review from Aug. 1 to Aug. 31. The Smith Conservation Area is located in Cole and Moniteau counties.
MDC invites comments from recreational users, neighboring landowners, conservation groups, elected officials, government agencies, and other interested persons or groups. To preview the draft management plan and to share comments online, visit mdc.mo.gov/areaplans.
MDC manages nearly 1,000 conservation areas covering almost one million public acres throughout the state for the purpose of restoring and conserving fish, forest and wildlife resources, and for providing appropriate public use, research and demonstration areas.
Conservation Area Management Plans document strategies for natural resource management and public use on specific conservation areas. Area plans also help communicate an area’s purpose and management direction to staff and interested citizens.
“Missourians care about conservation and use conservation areas for many different reasons,” said MDC Resource Forester Cory Gregg. “These areas help people discover nature through various activities, and help make Missouri a great place to hunt, fish, and enjoy other outdoor activities.”
Gregg added that most Missourians are within a 30-minute drive of an MDC conservation area.
Conservation Area Management Plans do not address regulations on hunting, fishing and other area uses, which are set by the Conservation Commission and enforced under the Wildlife Code of Missouri.
Gregg added that encouraging public comments on Conservation Area Management Plans is part of MDC’s ongoing efforts of working for and with Missourians to sustain healthy forests, fish and wildlife.
MDC will consider all ideas received and will work to balance the issues and interests identified with the responsibility of managing areas for the present and future benefits to forest, fish, wildlife, and people. Decisions on which ideas to incorporate into area plans and on how to best incorporate them will be based on the property’s purpose, its physical and biological conditions and capabilities, the best roles of the property in its local, regional and state-wide context, and on the professional expertise of MDC staff.