MDC seeks public input for three northwest prairies

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St. Joseph, 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 three conservation areas in northwest Missouri that conserve native prairies. Plans for the areas will be available for public comment through March 31.

To preview draft management plans and share comments online, visit

The three areas available for comment include: Foxglove Conservation Area, 54 acres, Ray County; Little Tarkio Prairie, 129 acres, Holt County, and Tarkio Prairie Conservation Area, 640 acres, Atchison County.

Tarkio Prairie and Little Tarkio Prairie offer some hunting opportunities. But like Foxglove Conservation Area, a primary draw is the chance to hike and bird in grassland ecology. All three of the areas include remnant prairies. They are some of the few remaining deep soil dry-mesic prairies left in northwest Missouri. These prairies support over 100 native plant species each, including plant and animal species of conservation concern that depend on remnant prairies.

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.;