COLUMBIA, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is in the multi-year process of updating Conservation Area Management Plans and is seeking public input on how conservation areas are important to Missourians. A draft management plan for the Department’s Cooper Hill Conservation Area is available for public review through Feb 28. To preview this draft management plan and share comments online, visit mdc.mo.gov/areaplans.
Cooper Hill Conservation area contains 214 acres of bottomland forest, upland forest, woodland, food plot, grassland, old field, upland fields, streams, and open water in Osage County. This area is managed to restore and maintain forest and woodland natural communities, healthy wildlife populations, and compatible recreational opportunities. The area also offers a primitive campground and parking lot near the Gasconade River for public use.
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.