Missouri Outdoor Recreational Access Program (MRAP)
Share your property with others and earn money while you do it! The Missouri Outdoor Recreational Access Program (MRAP) provides annual incentive payments to private landowners who open their land for public access recreational activities such as hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing. MDC created this program to increase recreational opportunities and improve the habitat on private land with monetary incentives.
You must offer at least 40 contiguous acres, and at least 20 percent of the tract must provide quality habitat. Land offered for fishing access is exempt from the 40-acre and habitat requirements. All offered tracts must have public road frontage to allow for legal access by the public to the property. Additional eligibility requirements apply to land offers for wildlife viewing access.
The standard landowner commitment period is three years. Public access on MRAP properties will be walk-in only and parking will generally occur along public roadsides. Participating landowners determine the type of public access/activities they want to allow on their property by selecting one of the six MRAP public access options described below.
- All access hunting and fishing: This is the most open access option. Public users may pursue hunting and fishing under statewide regulations throughout the year.
- Archery hunting: Public users can archery hunt all species eligible for take with archery methods under statewide regulations. Access is provided from Sept. 15 to Feb. 15 and during the spring turkey seasons.
- Fishing: This option only allows fishing in designated waters under statewide regulations throughout the year.
- Small game and turkey hunting: This option only allows hunting turkey and certain small game species under statewide regulations. Hunters can only pursue turkeys, frogs, rabbits, squirrels, quail, pheasants, rails, snipes, doves, woodcocks, and waterfowl. Access is provided during the legal seasons of these species.
- Wildlife viewing: Public users may hike, photograph, and enjoy nature throughout the year. All hunting and fishing activities are prohibited. Special eligibility requirements apply to land offers for wildlife viewing access. These offers must possess unique or interesting natural features or conditions. In addition, wildlife viewing properties must be located within targeted urban zones and must be located within counties with limited public land availability. Contact your local MDC representative for more details.
- Youth hunting and fishing: Accompanied by an adult, youths (under the age of 16 years) may pursue both game and fish under statewide regulations throughout the year. Adults are not allowed to participate.
All MRAP areas are open for public access from one hour before sunrise until one hour after sunset.
You will receive an annual incentive payment each year that you participate in the program. The amount of this payment will be determined by the following factors:
- access type you select
- amount of quality wildlife habitat or fishing opportunity present on the land
- land proximity to major metropolitan areas or other priority geographies
- planned habitat improvements
Payment rates are based on the criteria listed above, but most participants can expect to earn $15–$25 an acre, per year. Landowners can increase their annual payments by implementing habitat improvements on their land. Participants will also be eligible for enhanced cost-share incentives (up to 90 percent) to complete the planned habitat practices.
All MRAP users are responsible to know the rules of the program. Respect for the landowner and the property is vital. Prohibited activities include driving motorized vehicles (walk-in access only), target shooting, trapping, and leaving equipment or gear overnight. All rules and regulations enforced by MDC apply while using MRAP lands.
These rules do not apply to the property owner. For example, the landowner could deer hunt on a property enrolled under the small game and turkey hunting option. If you see someone violating these rules on a MRAP property, please call your local conservation agent.