Places to Go: Shannon Ranch CA

By Larry Archer | March 1, 2023
From Missouri Conservationist: March 2023

Shannon Ranch Conservation Area

A healthy outing

The connection between exposure to nature and improved health is becoming increasingly clear, but Shannon Ranch Conservation Area (CA) has had a close connection to healthcare since becoming a conservation area in 1984.

Shannon Ranch CA’s original 985 acres in Douglas County were purchased in 1984 at a reduced price from a group of Springfield doctors, who had purchased it from the family for whom it was named. With two other additions in the 1980s and 1990s, the area now weighs in at a healthy 1,565 acres.

With nearly 10 miles of service roads open year-round to hiking and biking, Shannon Ranch CA gives visitors access to a variety of habitat types, said Private Land Forester Shane Rice.

“It’s probably 53 percent or so good timber sites that we’re managing for forest products and wildlife, and roughly 39 percent of the area is glade and woodland type habitat,” Rice said. “We’re actively managing the glades and woodlands with saw work and fire.”

Many of the trails pass by the area’s 11 fishless ponds, which attract wildlife and increase the odds of trail users getting a glimpse of some of the area’s native residents


This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Larry Archer
Photography Editor - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Staff Writer – Dianne Van Dien
Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation - Laura Scheuler