Wednesday, July 15, 2015

MDC seeks public input for conservation area plans in Benton County

Wild turkeys are among the wildlife enjoyed by visitors to MDC areas in Benton County. The public can comment on management plans for four of the areas during July by visitingwww.mdc.mo.gov/areaplans
Public can comment in July on plans for four areas in Benton County
Warsaw, 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 the Brickley Hollow Conservation Area, Granny’s Acres Conservation Area, Edmonson Access and the Mount Hulda Tower Site. All four areas are in Benton County and will be available for public comment through July 31.
   To preview draft management plans and share comments online, visitwww.mdc.mo.gov/areaplans.
   The 186-acre Brickley Hollow Conservation Area is primarily forest and woodland, and it offers access to Cole Camp Creek, a small arm of the Lake of the Ozarks. Access to fishing in the creek and the lake is via a one-mile hiking trail. The area is southeast of Lincoln, Mo.
   Granny’s Acres Conservation Area offers 351 acres of hardwood forest with good squirrel, deer and turkey hunting. The area has trails that wind up and down over steep hills. A diverse plant ecology makes the area a good place to see wildflowers. The area is also a good place to spot songbirds. The area is southwest of Warsaw.
   Edmonson Access at 110 acres offers access to Cole Camp Creek. The area southeast of Lincoln offers fishing and hunting opportunities.
   The 38-acre Mount Hulda Tower Site is southeast of Sedalia. A tower used for watching for forest fires was at the site for 40 years. That tower was later dismantled and is now used as a fire tower in the Cimarron National Grasslands in Kansas. The acreage is forested.  
   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.