St. Louis, MO. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) wants to know what Missourians think about its nearly 1,000 conservation areas around the state. MDC is in the multi-year process of updating management plans for conservation areas and invites public comments. Eight conservation areas in St. Louis and Jefferson Counties, collectively called the Urban Wild Acres (UWA), are among areas under review. These areas include:
MDC is inviting public comment regarding the UWA Conservation Areas to aid staff in developing a 10-year management plan for them. Interested persons or groups—including recreational users, neighboring landowners, conservation groups, elected officials and government agencies—are invited to view the proposed management plan at mdc.mo.gov/areaplans. The plan includes a link for supplying comments and input.
The plan will remain available for public comment during the month of October. The public comment period for the UWA plan will close Oct. 31.
MDC strives to manage the UWA of the St. Louis Region to provide areas of nature enjoyment close to home for urban residents, provide places to pursue conservation education and demonstrate conservation practices, provide urban wildlife habitat, and conserve open space in partnership with local governing bodies.
Conservation Area Management Plans focus on natural resource management and public use on conservation areas. The 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. 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.
MDC conservation areas cover almost one million public acres for the purpose of restoring and conserving forest, fish and wildlife resources, and for providing opportunities for all citizens to use, enjoy and learn about these resources. Most Missourians are within a 30-minute drive of an MDC conservation area.