MENDON, 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 Yellow Creek Conservation Area is available for public review through Sept. 30. To preview this draft management plan and share comments online, visit www.mdc.mo.gov/areaplans.
Yellow Creek Conservation Area, in Chariton County, borders the Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge. The area contains several oxbows and sloughs as a result of historic Yellow Creek floods. These wetlands provide habitat to a diverse population of wildlife and offer visitors a variety of aesthetic experiences. Several miles of trails and a suspension foot bridge are maintained for hiking and visitor access, offering opportunities to see deer, turkey, songbirds, and other wildlife within one of the largest blocks of bottomland forest in northwest Missouri. The area consists of 18 acres of wetland, and 600 acres of forest and woodland, including a 474-acre Designated Natural Area.
MDC partners with Ducks Unlimited, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Grand River Audubon Society, and interested private landowners to cooperatively enhance forest and wetland habitat in the Conservation Opportunity Area.
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.