Places to Go: Fourche Creek CA

By Larry Archer | May 1, 2024
From Missouri Conservationist: May 2024

Fourche Creek Conservation Area

Helping people make it through

While time spent in any of MDC’s conservation areas can help a person “make it through” tough times, Fourche Creek Conservation Area (CA) in Ripley County has a history of helping folks with more than just fresh air.

Originally owned by the University of Missouri, which was granted the area as part of the Morrill Act of 1862, the area was mostly ignored, but as one local resident recounted to Resource Forester Steve Paes, many families during the Great Depression took advantage of what people called the “ag land.” 

“He said many a family made it through the Depression on that ag land,” Paes said. “By cutting timber if they needed and by farming parts of it.”

Evidence of its farming past was prominent at one time, but that has been replaced by decades of intensive forest management, he said. 

“I found places where they piled up the rocks and made fences on the edges of fields,” he said. “You can’t really tell it now — it’s a fully stocked oak forest.”

Located on 3,768.4 acres along the Missouri-Arkansas border, Fourche Creek CA’s heavily forested landscape also attracts many turkey hunters in May.

Trees on Fourche Creek CA

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 – Marcia Hale