Tuesday, May 5, 2015

MDC seeks public input for Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area

The public comment period for the draft plan is May 1-31.
A group of pelicans in one of the wetland pools at Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area in Boone County.
COLUMBIA, Mo.— The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) wants to know what Missourians think about its nearly 1,000 conservation areas around the state. Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area (CA) in Boone County is among the areas under review.
MDC is inviting the public to provide comments about Eagle Bluffs CA to aid staff in developing a 10-year management plan for the conservation area.  Interested persons or groups can share ideas online May 1-31 at mdc.mo.gov/areaplans. People can also stop by Eagle Bluffs CA in May to pick up a comment card.
 “Eagle Bluffs CA offers tremendous opportunity for people to discover and enjoy nature whether you are a birder, photographer, waterfowl hunter, or just an outdoors enthusiast," said MDC Wildlife Biologist Clayton Light. “The public input and planning process we have underway will help ensure that Eagle Bluffs CA will meet the diverse interests of Missouri citizens who utilize the area today and in the future. Although we won’t be able to advance all ideas, we greatly appreciate feedback and will give all comments careful consideration.”
MDC staff will review comments as they develop a draft Eagle Bluffs CA  management plan later this summer. The plan will be posted online this fall for an additional comment period and will be available for viewing at mdc.mo.gov/areaplans. After considering all public comments, the final plan will be drafted, approved, and posted online.
Eagle Bluffs CA is located at the southwest edge of Columbia, near McBaine. The MDC purchased and developed this 4,431-acre area to help offset the loss of nearly 90 percent of Missouri's historical wetlands. The area's wetlands have been restored by creating 17 shallow pools. The wetland management infrastructure includes 30 miles of levees, 61 water control structures, river water supply pumps, a water supply junction box, pump-out facilities, and a pipeline linking the area to the City of Columbia's wastewater treatment wetlands.
The area's 17 wetland pools allow the flooding of 1,100 acres of moist soil marshes, emergent marshes, and crop fields. These marshes provide year-round habitat for migrating and wintering birds and permanent wildlife, and excellent wildlife viewing and hunting opportunities.
For more information about Eagle Bluffs CA, visit tinyurl.com/ya37rfv