MDC hosts Landowner Field Day at Gist Ranch Conservation Area May 21

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TEXAS COUNTY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will host a Landowner Field Day at Gist Ranch Conservation Area, May 21, from 6 to 8 p.m. MDC Resource Forester Shane Botard said landowners who attend will learn about the varying management practices used for woodland, glade, and forest habitats.

“Woodlands, glades, and forests are managed differently based on their needs and the wildlife that use them,” Botard said. “We’ll spend some time discussing what those needs are and how to meet them, and actually look at these habitats on the ground.”

When discussing woodlands and forests, Botard said management objectives should be defined within the limits of what an area of land is capable of sustaining. For example, don't try to create an open woodland from a high-quality forest or manage high-quality timber on woodland sites with low growth potential. Most unmanaged timber stands become overcrowded, causing a shortage of water, nutrients, and sunlight for all trees.

Glades are rocky openings in forested areas. Glade features include exposed bedrock of limestone, sandstone, igneous rock, or dolomite and plant communities of native prairie grasses and wildflowers. Many glades on private land are overgrown with eastern red cedar trees due to continuous livestock grazing and lack of periodic fire, which historically controlled cedar invasions. With a little work, landowners can restore a glade to its relatively open condition, making it more valuable to wildlife.

These habitat specific management types, cost-share opportunities and more will be discussed at the workshop. Botard said food will be provided, so registration is required by May 17. To register, call the MDC Houston Office at (417)967-3385 or email Callers can leave their name and number on the answering service to register. Participants will meet at the Gist Ranch Shooting Range to start the tour. For general information on how to work with MDC to improve habitat and forest productivity on your land, go to