Contributing to Missouri’s wild past, recreational present, and forest future
by Larry Archer
With access to its namesake— one of Missouri’s most popular floating waterways — miles of trails, two designated natural areas, wildlife viewing, and two shooting ranges, Current River Conservation Area (CA) has plenty to offer the perfect family fall vacation.
But beyond its amenities, Current River CA also played an important role in Missouri’s conservation history and continues to do so today. In the 1930s, the area’s white-tailed deer population was tapped to help restock depleted herds in other areas.
Along with Peck Ranch CA, the area constitutes a significant portion of the state’s elk restoration zone, said Steve Orchard,
Current River CA manager. “When MDC restocked elk at Peck Ranch, we did a bunch of habitat work here and beefed up our open-land management,” Orchard said. “A lot of people go to Peck Ranch part of the day and then over here part of the day.”
The area is also set to play an important role in the future of forest management. As one of two Missouri Ozark Forest Ecosystem Project (MOFEP) sites, the area is included in a 100- year study to assess the effects of different forest-management techniques on the forest and its inhabitants.
Current River Conservation Area consists of 29,291 acres in Shannon, Reynolds, and Carter counties. There are three entrances: 3 miles west of Ellington on Highway 106, on South Road in Ellington, and on Reynolds County Road 626.
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Larry Archer
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Creative Director - Stephanie Thurber
Art Director - Cliff White
Designer - Les Fortenberry
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation - Laura Scheuler