Friday, September 4, 2015

MDC closes parts of Schell-Osage for grassland restoration

The Missouri Department of Conservation is restoring portions of the Schell-Osage Conservation Area to native grasslands for the benefit of numerous species of native wildlife such as quail, rabbits, grassland songbirds, and pollinators such as monarch butterflies and native bees.
Temporary closings of sections for habitat improvements will continue until April 2016.
VERNON COUNTY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation is informing the public that portions of the Schell-Osage Conservation Area covering parts of Vernon and St. Clair counties will be closed for public safety as contractors remove invasive trees from prairies and old fields as part of a grassland restoration project. The temporary closings of various areas will take place from Sept. 1 to April 1, 2016. Closed portions will be posted with signs. Other portions of 8,633-acre conservation area will remain open during the habitat improvement project. 
According to MDC, the work is being done to improve habitat for many species of native wildlife including quail, rabbits, grassland songbirds, and pollinators such as monarch butterflies and bees. The work will focus on large-scale removal of invasive trees, controlling invasive plants with herbicide, and seeding native prairie plants. Grassland wildlife need connected habitat for foraging, migration, nesting, and brood rearing. In some areas where trees are being removed, shrubs will be allowed to regrow to provide important escape cover from predators or extreme weather.
The Department apologizes for any short-term inconvenience to area users and invites the public to visit the area after restoration work is complete to see the resulting benefits.
Call the MDC office at Schell-Osage for more information at 417-432-3414.