MDC seeks public input for areas near Missouri River

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St. Joseph, 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 nine conservation areas near the Missouri River in northwest Missouri. The public can comment on draft plans for the areas during May.

These nine conservation areas are all in the Missouri River floodplain, and some border the river. They offer hunting, fishing, birding, camping and boating opportunities. Access varies, some have boat ramps and parking lots, other have access by boat from the Missouri River. Habitat on the areas varies and includes forest, wetlands, old fields, crop fields and grassland restorations. Some areas have restored side chutes of the Missouri River, blue holes, and oxbows with fishable water.

Several of the areas are owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a mitigation project. They are managed by MDC and the Corps for fish and wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation. Some are prone to flooding when the Missouri River rises above flood stage. Some of the acreage within area boundaries are islands during normal river flows or historically were islands.

The conservation areas include:

  • Aspinwall Bend Conservation Area, four tracts totally 737 acres, Atchison County.
  • Corning Conservation Area, 1,879 acres, Atchison and Holt counties.
  • Deroin Bend Conservation Area, 1,164 acres, Atchison and Holt counties.
  • H.F. Thurnau Conservation Area, 2,418 acres, Holt County.
  • Lower Hamburg Bend Conservation Area, 2,265 acres, Atchison County.
  • Nishnabotna Conservation Area, 2,436 acres, Atchison County.
  • Rush Bottoms Conservation Area, 1,217 acres, Holt County.
  • Wolf Creek Bend Conservation Area, 967 acres, Holt County.
  • Worthwine Island Conservation Area, 585 acres, Andrew County.  

To preview draft management plans and share comments online, visit

Statewide, 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.

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.