Public can comment through Feb. 28 on draft management plan

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 conservation areas are important to Missourians.

A draft management plan for MDC’s Ted Shanks Conservation Area is available for public review through Feb. 28. To preview this draft management plan and share comments online, visit mdc.mo.gov/areaplans.

Ted Shanks Conservation Area contains 6,705 acres of bottomland hardwood timber, open marsh, mixed shrub/scrub/emergent wetlands, row crops, oxbow lakes and sloughs, old fields and upland woods. The area consists of 3,827 acres of MDC property and 2,878 acres of land managed under a cooperative agreement between MDC, US Fish and Wildlife Service and US Army Corps of Engineers. Ted Shanks Conservation Area borders 8.75 miles of Mississippi River frontage, 4.75 miles of the Salt River, and 2.25 miles of river bluffs. The area contains 35 miles of levees, 24 management units, three pump stations, ten miles of water canals and 38 water control structures. The area offers visitors opportunities for fishing, hunting, camping, birdwatching and hiking.

MDC manages this area to provide diverse habitat for fish and wildlife species, to protect soil and water quality and provide recreational and educational opportunities for the citizens of Missouri.

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.

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.