RICH HILL, 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 the Harmony Mission Lake and Peabody conservation areas in Bates county. The public can comment on draft plans for the areas during October.
The 1,080-acre Harmony Mission Lake Conservation Area is located southwest of Rich Hill. This area has a 96-acre lake and some water-filled strip mining pits that provide fishing opportunities. Uplands are managed with native grass restorations and old fields that benefit wildlife such as bobwhite quail. Lotts Creek Conservation Area is in northwest Missouri. The 20-acre area offers woodland habitat.
The 300-acre Peabody Conservation Area is a short distance northwest of Harmony Mission Lake and the two areas are managed together. This area was donated to MDC around 1960 and is a former strip mining area for coal. MDC staff and volunteers have planted cover crops and food plots on the mining spoil mounds, and trees have grown up on the mounds.
To preview draft management plans and share comments online, visit www.mdc.mo.gov/areaplans.
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.