MDC invites public input for future management of Forest 44 Conservation Area

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Saint Louis
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St. LOUIS, Mo.—The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) wants to know what Missourians think about its nearly 1,000 conservation areas around the state. MDC is in the multi-year process of updating management plans for conservation areas and invites public comments. Forest 44 Conservation Area in St. Louis County is among the areas under review. 

MDC is inviting public comment regarding Forest 44 Conservation Area to aid staff in developing a 10-year management plan for the area.  Interested persons or groups—including recreational users, neighboring landowners, conservation groups, elected officials and government agencies—are invited to view the proposed management plan at  The plan includes a link for supplying comments and input.

The plan will remain available for public comment during the month of September.  The public comment period for the Forest 44 Conservation Area plan will close Sept. 30.

Forest 44 Conservation Area consists of 998 acres of rugged forestland with plants and animals typical of Ozark ecology. It lies near the intersection of I-44 and Highway 141. Situated on the outskirts of the St. Louis Metro area, Forest 44 Conservation Area offers a unique opportunity for urban dwellers to escape the rigors of the city and enjoy a variety of outdoor activities.

Several springs feed Williams Creek, which flows along the eastern portion of the area, and flowering dogwood and redbud trees add to the area's natural beauty, especially in the springtime. Hiking, wildlife viewing, and horseback riding are popular activities on the area.

The Jay Henges Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center is also located on the area.

Conservation Area Management Plans focus on natural resource management and public use on conservation areas. The plans do not address regulations on hunting, fishing and other area uses, which are set by the Conservation Commission and enforced under the Wildlife Code of Missouri. MDC will consider all ideas received and will work to balance the issues and interests identified with the responsibility of managing areas for the present and future benefits to forest, fish, wildlife, and people.

Decisions on which ideas to incorporate into area plans and on how to best incorporate them will be based on the property’s purpose, its physical and biological conditions and capabilities, the best roles of the property in its local, regional and state-wide context, and on the professional expertise of MDC staff.

MDC conservation areas cover almost one million public acres for the purpose of restoring and conserving forest, fish and wildlife resources, and for providing opportunities for all citizens to use, enjoy and learn about these resources. Most Missourians are within a 30-minute drive of an MDC conservation area.