MDC invites public to share ideas about future management of Merrill Horse Access

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Saint Louis
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DeSOTO, 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. Merrill Horse Access in Jefferson County is among the areas under review. 

MDC is inviting public comment regarding Merrill Horse Access 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 by going to  The plan includes a link for supplying comments and input.

The plan will remain available for public comment during the month of August.  The public comment period for the Merrill Horse Access plan will close Aug. 31.

Merrill Horse Access is 74 acres of woodland and bottomland forest and provides bank and boat access to the Big River while protecting stream bank integrity. This area offers a concrete boat ramp. Merrill Horse access is located on the Big River, 5.4 river miles down-river from the Mammoth access and 5.3 river miles up-river from Brown’s Ford Access.

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 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.