MDC and MU Extension host land management workshop for landowners

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St. Louis — Landowners wishing to improve their land for wildlife and other conservation goals will have the opportunity to learn more about land management at a two-day workshop being given by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the University of Missouri Extension (UME).

A Helping Hand to Manage Your Land is the name of the workshop, and it takes place Saturday, March 2, and Saturday, March 9, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days. The March 2 session will be held at MDC’s Powder Valley Nature Center, 11715 Cragwold Road in Kirkwood. The March 9 session will be at the MU Extension Center at 260 Brown Road in St. Peters. Participants may choose to attend either or both sessions.

“The purpose of this workshop is to offer the landowner a well-rounded approach to managing their property, including wildlife habitat management, aquatic resources, plant management and invasive species control,” said Jennifer Porcelli, MDC Private Land Conservationist. Porcelli is co-organizer of the workshop.

According to Porcelli, the two-day workshop will be something like going to “wildlife school.” Participants will learn the biology and life history of common wildlife species, as well as techniques for managing land to benefit both game species and wildlife in general, and for other recreational opportunities.

The workshop is geared for private land owners, farm managers, and even subdivisions that have large plots of common ground to manage.

Experts from MDC, UME and other organizations such as Quail Forever, the National Wild Turkey Federation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will offer presentations on a variety of topics. Issues covered in the March 2 session will include deer, turkey and small game management, wildlife food plots and soil testing and quality. The March 9 portion addresses pond and stream management, dealing with wildlife damage and controlling invasive plants.

The workshop will also help landowners learn to set specific goals for land management and stick to them to achieve the desired results. Porcelli said the program also emphasizes considering the big picture when it comes to managing land. “I always encourage landowners to be objective and look at the broader view,” said Porcelli. “Start thinking as a land planner and not just a land owner.”

Also covered in the workshop are resources available to those who manage their land for conservation-friendly purposes. “There is help out there like free technical assistance,” reminds Porcelli, “and also cost share assistance at both the state and federal level.”

Registration for both days of the workshop is $25 and includes a catered lunch. Alternatively, those interested may sign up for either day alone for $15, which also includes lunch. For more information, a detailed agenda or to register for the A Helping Hand to Manage Your Land Workshop, participants should call 636-970-3000. The deadline for registration is Monday, Feb. 25.