FRANKLIN Co., 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. Catawissa Conservation Area on the Meramec River in eastern Franklin County is among the areas under review. The area lies between the towns of Pacific and Catawissa.
MDC is inviting public comment regarding Catawissa Conservation Area to aid staff in developing a 10-year management plan for the area. 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 April. The public comment period for the Catawissa plan will close April 30.
The area was originally acquired in 1978 and was an old gravel mining operation in the floodplain of the Meramec River. Catawissa Conservation Area offers seasonal access to the Meramec River when water levels are high enough. It also has about 53 acres of manmade lakes for fishing that were once gravel mining pits.
Catawissa Conservation Area is just north of the town of Catawissa. To reach the area, take Route N south from I-44, then go east on Frisco Drive.
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.