Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Monday, May 30, 2011
Discover nature by exploring some of the 700-plus miles
of foot, bicycle and equestrian trails on conservation areas.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – National Trails Day is Saturday, June 4, and Missouri conservation areas (CAs) have more than 700 miles of foot, bicycle and equestrian trails to celebrate and explore.
This is the American Hiking Association’s 19th annual National Trails Day. The program is a way to celebrate trails that allow people to discover the natural world through outdoor activities. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) provides trails at more than 136 CAs and 10 nature and education centers throughout the state. This includes 45 areas for horseback riding and 52 areas that allow cycling.
Bluffwoods CA in Buchanan County is one example of the hiking opportunities available at CAs. This area has five trails and one of northwest Missouri’s last remnants of oak-history forest. Trails include the disabled-accessible Forest Nature Trail and Lone Pine Trail, which offers a scenic overlook across the Missouri River.Caney Mountain CA in Ozark County offers hikers a chance to roam through diverse land types that include savanna, glade and woodlands, along with a natural spring. The area even maintains a six-and-a-half-mile, multi-use trail for hiking, cycling and horseback riding.
Castor River CA in Bollinger County maintains six multi-use trails through woodlands, wetlands and streams. The area also is home to Blue Pond, Missouri’s deepest natural pond.
Brochures for self-guided interpretive hikes are available for some trails, and 28 CAs have disabled-accessible trails.
You can find a trail near you by contacting the nearest Conservation Department office or at http://1.usa.gov/kUlcW8. Check the “Designated Trails” box on this web page, and you can search for trails by region, county or type of trail and access area maps and regulations.
Hiking is permitted on all designated CA trails. Horseback riding and cycling are limited to trails specially designated for these activities. Many CA trails allow pets, but they must be leashed or confined at all times. Pets are not permitted at Nature Centers.
When hiking or riding a trail, follow these tips to help ensure a safe experience.
· Get a map and familiarize yourself with the CA you want to visit.
· Tell someone about your plans, including when you expect to return.
· Check weather conditions and avoid inclement weather.
· Dress appropriately.
· Learn to recognize possible plant and animal hazards such as poison ivy and ticks.
Follow all area regulations.
· Leave only footprints and take only photographs.
MDC Nature Shops also offer “Conservation Trails,” a comprehensive guide to MDC trails that includes maps and facility information, points of historical and geological interest, and plants and wildlife you may encounter along the way. It is available for purchase at www.mdcnatureshop.com or at conservation nature centers for $5 plus tax. Get a 15% discount with a Conservation Heritage Card.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Sentence highlights personal responsibility for negligent introductions.
SMITHVILLE – An Independence man received the maximum fine for introducing zebra mussels into Smithville Lake last year.
David Wayne Frazier, 51, pleaded guilty in Clay County Circuit Court to a charge of transporting a prohibited species. Judge Janet Sutton imposed a fine of $1,000 and six months of probation.
The case is the first prosecuted under a provision in Missouri’s Wildlife Code designed to stop the spread of invasive species. It began on June 28, 2010, when fisheries workers with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) discovered adult zebra mussels on a private boatlift during a swimming inspection of the Camp Branch Marina. An investigation by Conservation Agent Scott Stephens revealed that in October 2009, Frazier moved the boatlift from Lake of the Ozarks, where zebra mussels already were established.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and MDC staff immediately removed and decontaminated the lift. MDC, in cooperation with the Corps, Clay County Parks and Recreation and the City of Smithville, used a copper-based algae killer to eradicate the zebra mussel infestation in August 2010.
The Corps continues to monitor the lake for residual zebra mussels. None have been detected so far.
“Transporting invasive species like zebra mussels, emerald ash borers or silver carp from place to place can damage Missouri’s recreation, tourism and agriculture industries,” said MDC Invasive Species Coordinator Tim Banek.
For information about how to identify invasive species and how to avoid spreading them, visit www.mdc.mo.gov/node/4086.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
JEFFERSON CITY, MO, MAY 24, 2011 – The public is invited to bring their ideas to an informational meeting on Saturday, June 4 to discuss issues related to the section of Katy Trail State Park between Matson and Portland. The open house will be held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Katy Trail State Park's trailhead at Dutzow.
Recent accomplishments and future plans will be highlighted during the open meeting, including drainage and trail surface repairs in the trail. Visitors are invited to share comments on the park’s services and operations. Information about volunteer opportunities will be available.
This informational meeting is part of an ongoing effort to ensure citizens have input on facilities and services offered in state parks and historic sites.
Katy Trail State Park’s Dutzow trailhead is located off of Highway 94 in Dutzow. People requiring special services or accommodations to attend the meeting can make arrangements by calling Graham Cave State Park at 573-564-3476 or the Department of Natural Resources toll free at 800-334-6946 (voice) or 800-379-2419 (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf). For information about state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com.
Friday, May 27, 2011
JEFFERSON CITY, MO., MAY 24, 2011 – Discover the wildflowers of Morris State Park near Campbell on a hike June 4. The hike will be from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and is free and open to the public.
Morris State Park is located on top of Crowley's Ridge, which rises above the Mississippi River floodplain. It is home to many interesting plants not found in the Missouri Ozarks or swamps of the southeastern part of the state. The morning will be spent searching out some of these plants and learning more about them. During the hike, you will see numerous birds, mushrooms and wildlife, and discuss the processes that created this interesting landform. The nature hike will begin at the parking lot and the hike will be a distance of about 1.5 miles. Bring your binoculars, cameras and sense of adventure for this fun-filled morning on Crowley's Ridge.
Morris State Park is located five miles north of Campbell on Route WW in Dunklin County. For more information, contact Hunter-Dawson State Historic Site at 573- 748-5340 or the Department of Natural Resources toll free at 800-334-6946 (voice) or 800-379-2419 (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf). For information on state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com.