Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Learn about the Purple Martin or Natural Easter Egg Dyeing in Cape Girardeau Area

There are a couple of events upcoming in the Cape Girardeau, Missouri area at the Cape Nature Center that outdoor enthusiasts might enjoy and learn from.

First, on March 17th, take the opportunity to learn about the purple martin.  The program will last about an hour and will be conducted by a volunteer from the Purple Martin Conservation Association.  You will learn about these beautiful birds, as well as how to attract them and keep them around your property.

The day before Easter, the Cape Nature Center will offer some fun for kids and adults, when a program on dyeing Easter eggs using native plants and kitchen scraps is presented. Eggs, plants, and dye will be provided.

You can get information on either program by visiting http://mdc.mo.gov/CapeNatureCenter or by calling  (573)290-5218.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Public input sought for Clearwater Conservation Area

The Clearwater CA management plan is open for public review from March 1 to March 31.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- 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 the Clearwater Conservation Area (CA) is important to Missourians. The Clearwater CA management plan is open for public review from March 1 to March 31.
MDC invites comments from recreational users, neighboring landowners, conservation groups, elected officials, government agencies, and other interested persons or groups. To make a comment on this area plan, go online to www.mdc.mo.gov/areaplans.
MDC manages nearly 1,000 conservation areas covering almost one million public acres throughout the state for the purpose of restoring and conserving fish, forest and wildlife resources, and for providing appropriate public use, research and demonstration areas.
Conservation Area Management Plans document strategies for natural resource management and public use on specific conservation areas. Area plans also help communicate an area’s purpose and management direction to staff and interested citizens.
“It’s important that citizens have a chance to provide their input to their conservation areas,” said Rocky Hayes, MDC’s Southeast Region Forestry Supervisor. “We provide a service by managing these areas and we strive to develop quality habitat to promote wildlife health as well as outdoor opportunities for Missourians.”
Conservation Area Management 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.
Area plans are currently posted on the MDC website and available at MDC offices for public comment for a limited time.
The enjoyments of activities on MDC conservation areas help enrich Missourian’s quality of life. For more information on area plan comment periods go online towww.mdc.mo.gov/areaplans.a

Share the Harvest gives quarter-million pounds of venison to feed the hungry

Thank you to 4,530 deer hunters, 100+ meat processors, and numerous sponsors who helped Share the Harvest!
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — More than 4,500 deer hunters donated more than a quarter-million pounds of venison (228,306 pounds) from last season’s deer harvest to the state's Share the Harvest program. The donated deer meat will help feed hungry Missourians all around the state.
Share the Harvest is coordinated by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM). It works by deer hunters donating their extra venison to participating meat processors throughout the state who grind the deer meat into one-pound packages. The packaged venison is then given to food banks and food pantries for distribution to Missourians in need of food assistance.
The program coordinates the efforts of thousands of hunters, more than 100 participating meat processors, numerous local supporting organizations, and about a dozen statewide sponsors.
Processing fees are covered entirely or in part by numerous local sponsors, along with statewide sponsors that include:  MDC, CFM, Shelter Insurance, Bass Pro Shops, Missouri Chapter Safari Club International, Missouri Chapter National Wild Turkey Federation, Midway USA Inc., Missouri Food Banks Association, United Bowhunters of Missouri, Missouri Trappers Association, the Missouri Hunter Education Instructors Association, and the Walmart Foundation.
Since the program was started in 1992, Share the Harvest has provided more than 3.5 million pounds of lean, healthy venison to help feed hungry Missourians.
For more information on Share the Harvest, visit mdc.mo.gov/node/2544.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Volunteers for Smithville Lake FISH Day

Conservation partners will sink large brush piles in the lake for fish habitat


Smithville, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) welcomes volunteers who would like to help install brush piles in Smithville Lake to enhance fish habitat. MDC and partners will hold the 5th Annual FISH Day starting at 9 a.m. on Thursday, March 24. FISH stands for Friends Involved with Smithville Habitat.
   This program utilizes heavy equipment to cut and haul large trees onto barges. Crews lash weights onto the trees and sink them at strategic locations in the lake. The brush piles provide spawning areas, places for young fish to escape predators and congregating areas for bait fish. They also attract sport fish such as crappie and can improve fishing success for anglers.
   FISH is a partnership between MDC, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Clay County Parks and Recreation and volunteers. Volunteers get a first-hand look at new fishing hotspots.
   Registration for volunteers and staff will be at the lake’s Access 7 located at the end of McColloch Road. A free lunch will be provided. For more information, contact Eric Dennis, MDC fisheries management biologist, at 816-271-3100.
   MDC’s free Find MO Fish app for digital devices provides many services for anglers, including maps and GPS locations for where sunken brush piles are located in lakes where habitat has been enhanced. To download the app, visit http://mdc.mo.gov/mobile/mobile-apps/find-mo-fish.

Public input sought for Magnolia Hollow Conservation Area

The Magnolia Hollow CA management plan is open for public review in March.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- 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 the Magnolia Hollow Conservation Area (CA) is important to Missourians. The Magnolia Hollow CA management plan is open for public review in March.
MDC invites comments from recreational users, neighboring landowners, conservation groups, elected officials, government agencies, and other interested persons or groups. To make a comment on this area plan, go online to www.mdc.mo.gov/areaplans.
MDC manages nearly 1,000 conservation areas covering almost one million public acres throughout the state for the purpose of restoring and conserving fish, forest and wildlife resources, and for providing appropriate public use, research and demonstration areas.
Conservation Area Management Plans document strategies for natural resource management and public use on specific conservation areas. Area plans also help communicate an area’s purpose and management direction to staff and interested citizens.
“It’s important that citizens have a chance to provide their input to their conservation areas,” said Rocky Hayes, MDC’s Southeast Region Forestry Supervisor. “We provide a service by managing these areas and we strive to develop quality habitat to promote wildlife health as well as outdoor opportunities for Missourians.”
Conservation Area Management 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.
Area plans are currently posted on the MDC website and available at MDC offices for public comment for a limited time.
The enjoyments of activities on MDC conservation areas help enrich Missourian’s quality of life. For more information on area plan comment periods go online towww.mdc.mo.gov/areaplans.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

MDC seeks input on management of Three Creeks Conservation Area

Public comment period runs through March 31.
COLUMBIA, Mo.— The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) wants to know what Missourians think about its nearly 1,000 conservation areas around the state. Currently, the Department requests input on Three Creeks Conservation Area in Boone County.  
MDC invites the public to provide comments about the area to aid staff in developing a 10-year management plan for the property. Interested persons or groups— including recreational users, neighboring landowners, conservation groups, elected officials and government agencies—can share ideas online from March 1-31 at mdc.mo.gov/areaplans
“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 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.”
MDC staff will review comments as they develop a draft management plan for Three Creeks Conservation Area. 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.
Upon completion of a draft management plan, MDC will post it online at mdc.mo.gov/areaplans for additional public comment.  After considering all public comments, the final plan will be drafted, approved, and posted online.
Three Creeks Conservation Area occupies 1501 acres just south of Columbia off of Highway 63.  Visitors can explore the rugged forest featuring scenic bluffs, intermittent streams, geologic formations, and old eastern red cedar trees.  Three creeks flow into each other within the conservation area: Turkey Creek, Bass Creek, and Bonne Femme Creek.  Additionally, the area offers bird watching, bicycling, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, hunting, outdoor photography, and wildlife viewing for all Missourians to enjoy.  
Three Creeks Conservation Area is open for public use daily, from 4 a.m. -- 10 p.m., except for authorized camping, fishing, and hunting activities.  

MDC seeks public input on Runge Nature Center

Attend open house March 15 for discussion on management of the area.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.— The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) wants public input on the Runge Conservation Nature Center in Jefferson City. MDC is in the multi-year process of updating management plans for almost 1,000 conservation areas throughout the state, and invites public comments.
MDC invites public comment at the Runge Nature Center to aid staff in developing a 10-year management plan for the area. Interested persons or groups are invited to stop by and bring their ideas to an open house between 6 – 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 15, at the Runge Nature Center, 330 Commerce Drive in Jefferson City. MDC welcomes input on the plan from recreational users, neighboring landowners, conservation groups, elected officials and government agencies.
The public is welcome to share ideas, compliments or suggestions with MDC staff at the open house. This draft plan focuses on the grounds of the nature center and not the facility or educational programs.  Staff will answer questions about management practices at Runge or about conservation in general. Visitors will also be able to fill out comment sheets.
“No matter your age or ability, Runge is a great place to explore and discover nature,” said Nature Center Manager Kathy Cavender. “The public input and planning process we have underway will help ensure that Runge will continue to meet the diverse interests of Missouri citizens who utilize the area today and in the future.”
Stop by for refreshments and some good discussion on various topics, including deer/wildlife issues, habitat management, and trails.  The draft area plan will also be available online for public comment,March 1-31, at mdc.mo.gov/areaplans
Decisions on which ideas to incorporate into area plans and on how to best incorporate them are 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.  After considering all public comments, the final plan will be drafted, approved, and posted online.
Runge Nature Center occupies 112 acres and includes a 27,000 square-foot nature center building. Venture outside to explore the five different hiking trails that wind through savanna, prairie, marsh, wetland, and woodland habitats.
Runge Nature Center is located on Hwy 179 in Jefferson City approximately a half-mile north of Hwy 50. Building hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.Tuesday through Saturday with extended hours until 8 p.m. on Thursdays. The building is closed on Sunday and Monday. The outdoor trails are open from 6 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily.  

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

MDC offers reloading workshop in Columbia March 15

Register to attend a free course on basic reloading of metallic cartridges.
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will offer a free workshop on the basics of reloading metallic ammunition cartridges. 
The workshop will take place on Tuesday, March 15, from 5:30 – 9 p.m. at the MDC Central Region Office located at 3500 East Gans Road in Columbia.   
Participants must be at least 18-years of age, or at least 15-years if accompanied by an adult.  To attend, participants must register by contacting MDC Outdoor Skills Specialist Brian Flowers atbrian.flowers@mdc.mo.gov or (573) 815-7901 ext. 3388.  Register for the workshop by March 8.
Whether participants want to enjoy more time on the shooting range or develop a special load for their next hunt, this class will teach the basics.  Participants will learn about safety, techniques, equipment, and more.  This program will consist of classroom lessons mentored by an experienced ammunition reloader. 
Discover Nature programs, such as this workshop, aim to help Missourians explore nature and master outdoor skills together.  To learn more about Discover Nature programs, visithttp://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/discover-nature-programs.

Girls Camp scheduled at Wappapello June 21-23

This free camp aims to introduce girls to outdoor skills.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- The Missouri Department of Conservation will offer a Discover Nature Girls Camp in the Southeast Missouri June 21-23 at Camp SEMO in Wappapello, Mo.  According to the camp organizer, Conservation Agent Christa Cox, this camp is a free, three-day, two-night experience aimed at introducing girls ages 11 to 15 to outdoor skills in a supportive learning environment.  
“Our goal is to lead the girls in outdoor activities so when they leave they’ll have the skills and confidence to explore our diverse landscape on their own and with their families,” Cox said.
Campers will spend three fun-filled days learning by participating in “hands on” outdoor skills, led by conservation professionals.  Some of the planned activities include hunter education, firearms safety and target shooting, archery equipment safety, walking through a safety trail,canoeing, orienteering and fishing. 
“We will actually go fishing, and we’ll also teach the girls how to identify the fish they catch, how to cast, tie knots and how to clean the fish they catch,” Cox said.
Cox said the Discover Nature Girls Camp is right in line with the Department’s goal to help people discover nature.
“This camp will equip the girls to discover nature on their own for years to come,” Cox said.
To apply for Discover Nature Girls Camp, please contact your local Conservation Agent or the Southeast Regional office in Cape Girardeau at (573) 290-5730 for an application. The camp is limited to 40 girls between the ages of 11 to 15 years old. Applications must be received by April 22.  The first 40 applications will be selected with all remaining applications placed on a waiting list.  For information on this and other nature programs, go online tomdc.mo.gov/CapeNatureCenter.