Wednesday, May 27, 2015

MDC seeks public input for Wappapello and Clearwater Management Lands

Public can comment during June on long-term management plans of areas associated with these lakes.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) wants to know what Missourians think about its nearly 1,000 conservation areas around the state. MDC is in the multi-year process of updating management plans for conservation areas and invites public comments.
Draft plans for the Wappapello and Clearwater Lakes Management Lands in Reynolds and Wayne counties will be available for public comment from June 1 through June 30. To preview draft management plans and share comments online, visitwww.mdc.mo.gov/areaplans.
Clearwater Lake Management Land is located five miles west of Piedmont on Route HH. This area has forests, old fields and croplands. Hunting and fishing regulations and opportunities vary greatly on this conservation area, which is divided into the Black River upstream of Clearwater Lake, Clearwater Lake, and the Black River downstream of Clearwater Lake.
Wappapello Management Land is located north of Silva on State Highway 34. This area has forest, old fields and cropland with primitive camping, hiking trail, a designated horse trail and three permanent streams (St. Francis River, Logan Creek and Clark Creek). There is no access to Wappapello Lake from these lands.
Statewide, MDC conservation areas cover almost 1 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 statewide context and on the professional expertise of MDC staff.