Wednesday, October 8, 2014

MDC seeks public input for the Riverlands Conservation Areas

A draft plan is available for public review from Oct. 1 to Oct. 31.

COLUMBIA— 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 plan for the Riverlands Conservation Areas (CA) is available for public review from Oct. 1 to Oct. 31.
To preview the draft management plan and to share comments online, visitwww.mdc.mo.gov/areaplans.
The Riverlands CA are a series of publicly owned or managed properties on both sides of the Missouri River between river miles 110 and 195. They include Diana Bend CA, Franklin Island CA, Marion Bottoms CA, Plowboy Bend CA, Smoky Waters CA and Tate Island CA. With the exception of Franklin Island, these areas were purchased after the Missouri River floods in 1993 and 1995.
The purpose of these conservation areas is to reconnect the Missouri River with its floodplain, where practical; restore aquatic, wetland and terrestrial habitats; and provide recreational opportunities in a manner that will complement other conservation efforts along the river. These areas are managed to maintain a mixture of riparian habitats to provide for a variety of wildlife.
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.
“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 other 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.”
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 state-wide context, and on the professional expertise of MDC staff.