Mahan's Creek

Marshy area with reeds and water plants, surrounded by woodlands.

Mahan’s Creek area encompasses 67,653 acres of diverse, healthy forests, woodlands, glades, and streams. The primary habitat is forest-woodland and much of the upper watershed is protected with lush riparian corridors (trees/shrubs/grasses bordering streams). Permanently flowing Ozark streams, surrounded by mostly intact forests and woodlands, boast 35 species of fish. 

Thirty-six percent of Mahan’s Creek is in public ownership (Missouri Department of Conservation, National Park Service, and U.S. Forest Service). MDC continues to enjoy working cooperatively with private landowners and other partners to protect and enhance these important habitats on both public and private lands. 

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Want to Become Involved?

Contact our Ozark Regional Office to speak with a member of our dedicated team.

MDC staff can provide:

  • Cost-share information
  • Lists of contractors
  • Step-by-step recommendations for timber management
  • Guidance for improving water quality and stream health
  • Guidance for improving wildlife habitat

MDC aims to find common sense solutions to meet the goals of local landowners while balancing the needs of nature. Our staff and partners will work with you to create a program that fits your property goals with conservation practices that are right for you. In the Mahan’s Creek area, these practices may include:

  • Timber management
  • Livestock watering systems
  • Fencing to protect sensitive areas from livestock
  • Glade and fen restoration and protection
  • Tree and shrub plantings
  • Invasive species removal
  • Native grass and wildflower seedings
  • Healthy forests, open canopy glades, and woodlands with sun-loving flowers and plants
  • Protection and establishment of wildlife habitat
  • Streams and streambanks with reduced soil erosion and healthy riparian corridors
  • Removal and control of invasive species

While all species will benefit, key species and species of greatest concern within Mahan’s Creek include: 

  • Birds: wild turkey, red-headed woodpecker, pileated woodpecker, Swainson’s warbler*, Bachman’s sparrow*, northern bobwhite quail, cerulean warbler, American woodcock, scarlet tanager, wood thrush, brown thrasher, Kentucky warbler, barred owl
  • Amphibians: ringed salamanderC, spotted salamander, central newt, wood frog, narrow-mouthed toad
  • Reptiles: ornate box turtle, roughed tree snake, timber rattlesnake, six-lined racerunner, copperhead, broad-headed skink
  • Mammals: black bear, Indiana bat* **, northern long-eared bat*, white-tailed deer, cottontail rabbit, eastern gray squirrel, gray fox
  • Mussels and crayfish: Ozark pigtoe, Ozark brokenray, Ozark crayfish, spothanded crayfish
  • Fish: smallmouth bass, shadow bass, black redhorse, Arkansas saddled darter, Ozark shinerC
  • Plants: ephemeral wildflowers, orchids (e.g., yellow lady’s slipper), ferns, ginseng, asters (e.g., stiff aster), goldenrods, blueberries, native grasses, sedges, legumes, sycamore, cottonwood, river birch, butternut, bur oak, silver maple, willow, black walnut, oaks, hickory, ash, shortleaf pine, river cane, river oats, horsetail, and water willow

C = species of conservation concern, * = state endangered, ** = federally endangered