MDC seeks public input on Sugar Creek and Montgomery Woods Conservation Areas

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KIRKSVILLE, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) wants to know what Missourians think about its nearly 1,000 conservation areas around the state. A draft management plan for Sugar Creek and Montgomery Woods conservation areas is available for public review through Aug. 31. To preview this draft management plan and share comments online, visit

Sugar Creek Conservation Area contains 2,603 acres of mostly forested land just four miles southwest of Kirksville in Adair County. Elm Creek and Sugar Creek flow through the area, and wildlife management practices, coupled with designated hiking and multiuse trails, offer abundant opportunities for public encounters with white-tailed deer, wild turkey, songbirds, and a variety of other animals.

Montgomery Woods Conservation Area contains 348 forested acres in Adair and Macon counties and offers opportunities to observe the effects of various forest management practices such as timber stand improvement. Oak-hickory forest covers the steep hills and ridgetops, while silver maples, cottonwoods, sycamores, and other hardwoods occupy bottomlands along Little Mussel Creek.  MDC management practices promote a healthy forest, and ensure a diversity of tree sizes and age classes, as well as supporting abundant 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.