WINFIELD, 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. Sandy Creek Conservation Area northeast of Winfield in Lincoln County is among the areas under review.
MDC is inviting public comment regarding Sandy Island to aid staff in developing a 15-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 mdc.mo.gov/areaplans. The plan includes a link for supplying comments and input.
The plan will remain available for public comment during the month of October. The public comment period for the Sandy Island Conservation Area plan will close Oct. 31.
The 308-acre area lies on the Mississippi River just north of Lock and Dam #25 at Winfield. The majority of Sandy Island is bottomland forest, with some 75 acres being wetlands. It is managed to provide wildlife habitat and connectivity to the river. To reach Sandy Island Conservation Area, take Route N east from Highway 79 to Lock and Dam #25. Visitors must then walk 300 yards north to reach 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.