MDC seeks public input on Painted Rock Conservation Area near Westphalia

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WESTPHALIA, 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 Painted Rock Conservation Area is available for public review through Dec. 31. To preview this draft management plan and share comments online, visit

Painted Rock Conservation Area contains 1,480 predominantly forested acres along the Osage River in Osage County. The area offers breathtaking views from a scenic trail and bluff-top boardwalks. Painted Rock Conservation Area also harbors evidence of occupation by Native Americans including an Indian burial cairn constructed between 500 and 1,500 years ago.

The forest consists primarily of oak, hickory, and bottomland hardwood species, as well as six ponds, managed primarily for wildlife, and a five-acre lake with jetties.

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.