|Photo courtesy of the Missouri Department of Conservation|
As Peck Ranch Conservation Area (CA) nears its 70th year as a conservation area, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is seeking visitor input during the month of May to develop an area management plan to guide the next 10 years. This massive conservation area is one of nearly 1,000 conservation areas owned or managed by MDC. The state agency is in a multi-year process of updating management plans for its conservation areas and is inviting public comment. For Peck Ranch, the process begins with an opportunity for the public to share suggestions or ideas fromabout how Peck Ranch should manage or modify its trails, waterways, and forest land.
The area’s 23,763 acres of rugged, forested hills and hollows are home to Missouri’s newly restored elk herd, collared lizards, white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and many other valuable wildlife species. Limestone and rhyolite glades provide natural openings among the oak-pine forest that dominates the region. Narrow ridges range from 900 to 1,000 feet in elevation with the area's highest point, Stegall Mountain, reaching 1,348 feet above sea level. Rogers Creek and Mill Creek, which flow into the Current River, meander through the area. Peck Ranch provides visitors with wildlife viewing, deer and turkey hunting, hiking, and many other outdoor recreation opportunities.
“Missourians care about conservation and use conservation areas for many different reasons,” said MDC Director Bob Ziehmer. “These areas help people discover nature through various activities and help make Missouri a great place to hunt, fish, and enjoy outdoor activities. We want to know how conservation areas are important to Missourians. Encouraging public comments on Conservation Area Management Plans is part of MDC’s ongoing efforts of working for and with Missourians to sustain healthy forests, fish and wildlife.”
Comments may be submitted online from mdc.mo.gov/areaplans or by picking up a comment card during the month of May at the Twin Pines Conservation Education Center in Winona or the Peck Ranch Area Headquarters. Twin Pines is located in Winona, 1.3 miles east ofthe junction of Highways 19 (north) and 60. To get to Peck Ranch CA from Winona, take Route H east five miles, then continue east on gravel seven miles to the area in Carter County. For more information, call MDC’s Ozark Regional Office at 417-256-7161.at
MDC will consider all ideas received and will work to balance the issues and interests identified with the responsibility of managing the area for the present and future benefits to forest, fish, wildlife and the public.