MDC seeks public input on three conservation area plans

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Osceola, 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 a conservation area and two river accesses in St. Clair County. They include the Birdsong Conservation Area, Blackjack Access, and Kings Prairie Access. All three areas will be available for public comment through July 31. To preview draft management plans and share comments online, visit

The Birdsong Conservation Area includes 430 acres of oak savanna, woodlands and old fields. Within Birdsong is the 26-acre Brush Creek Natural Area.

Blackjack Access at 212 acres offers access to both the Sac River and Brush Creek. The area has a boat ramp.

Kings Prairie Access at 285 acres offer access to Weaubleau Creek in an area upstream of Truman Lake. The creek is a clear-water Ozark stream, suitable for wading and fishing, and can be floated in small craft during high water flows.

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.

"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 other 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."

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.