MDC seeks public input on Rocky Fork Lakes Conservation Area in Boone County

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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 Rocky Fork Lakes Conservation Area is available for public review through Dec. 31. To preview this draft management plan and share comments online, visit

Rocky Fork Lakes Conservation Area is located approximately six miles north of Columbia. The area contains 2,200 acres of forest mixed with old fields, grassland, savanna, and more than 60 lakes or ponds of significant size. 20 of those lakes (300 acres) are fishable, and the largest, Rocky Fork Lake (52 acres) offers a concrete boat ramp and disabled-accessible fishing dock.

The area also offers a shooting range which receives year-round use.

Because the area is located just six miles north of Columbia, the area is heavily used by many persons for every type of outdoor activity which is suitable to the area.

The terrain is extremely rugged due to strip mining, which occurred prior to acquisition by the Department. The mined area has broad ridge tops and generally steep slopes. Approximately 1,150 acres were strip mined with the balance of the acreage being oak-hickory forest cover and upland fields.

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 statewide context, and on the professional expertise of MDC staff.