Healthy Forests

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From Missouri Conservationist: Mar 2009

Our Glorious Forests

Sugar Creek CA

  • Size: 2,604 acres
  • Location: Adair County, 4 miles southwest of Kirksville
  • Habitat types: Mainly forest with old fields and cropland
  • Facilities and features: Disabled-accessible parking lot and restroom, primitive camping, hiking trail, designated horse trail (permit required for groups of 10 or more riders), fishing pond and intermittent streams (Sugar Creek and Elm Creek)
  • Find more info: visit our online atlas, keyword "Sugar".

In the early 1900s, northeast Missouri’s coal mining industry consumed thousands of acres of local forest for mine props and timbers. Today, a large part of that once depleted forest is known as a turkey hunter’s paradise. Sugar Creek Conservation Area near Kirksville features healthy hardwood forests, with a few open fields on ridges and along Sugar Creek. The area’s forest practices are designed to improve wildlife habitat, maintain watershed quality, and enhance tree growth, quality and species composition. Wildlife management practices include crop fields, which serve as food sources for wildlife, and timber harvesting to improve forage and cover. Signs of disturbance from harvesting are only temporary and soon disappear as the forest rebounds. White-tailed deer and wild turkey are abundant on the area, as are numerous songbirds and a variety of mammals. To prepare for your visit to Sugar Creek CA, download the area’s brochure and map at

Tree Maintenance Grants

TRIM program benefits community forests.

Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance (TRIM) grants help Missouri communities take care of their public trees. City and county agencies can get TRIM cost-share for tree inventory, planting and pruning, as well as for removal of hazardous trees. TRIM program training teaches public grounds employees how to care for community forests. The application deadline is June 1. For grant applications and more information, write to Community Forestry Coordinator, Missouri Department of Conservation, PO Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180.

Clean Drinking Water

Healthy forest cover makes a difference to our watershed.

Next time you enjoy a drink of water, raise your glass to Missouri’s forests. Without them and their managers, we’d have to work harder and pay more to have clean drinking water. More than 40 percent of Missourians get their water from a surface water intake—that means a lake or river. Landowners can protect lakes and rivers by planting trees along banks, not cultivating up to the stream bank, logging carefully in riparian zones and keeping livestock out of streams. Everyone can help by respecting streams when they’re around them. Don’t run ATVs in and around creeks, and keep septic systems in good working order. Get involved with your water provider and help it ensure protection of your watershed and drinking water supply.

This Issue's Staff

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