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. Draft management plans for the Hite Prairie and Robert M. White II conservation areas are available for public review through July 31. To preview these draft management plans and share comments online, visit mdc.mo.gov/areaplans.
Hite Prairie Conservation Area contains 103 acres of native prairie in Morgan County. MDC manages this area for a diverse suite of native prairie plants and animals using grassland management techniques.
Robert M. White II Conservation Area contains 1,163 acres of forest, open land, old field, grassland, lake/ponds, and stream in Audrain and Monroe Counties. MDC manages this area with an emphasis on woodland and grassland species and compatible recreation opportunities. The area also provides three parking lots, two fishing lakes, and three campsites for public use.
“Missourians care about conservation and use conservation areas for many different reasons,” said MDC Director Bob Ziehmer. “These areas help people discover nature through various activities and help make Missouri a great place to hunt, fish and enjoy outdoor activities. We want to know how conservation areas are important to Missourians. Encouraging public comments on Conservation Area Management Plans is part of MDC’s ongoing efforts of working for and with Missourians to sustain healthy forests, fish and wildlife.”
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.