How many acres of Missouri's state-owned forests are used for
wildlife or recreation, and how many acres are also managed through
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has recently
released a plan for managing forests on conservation lands that
answers these questions.
By formalizing its forest management policy, MDC has given
Missourians a picture of how forests are used on conservation
areas. Forestry field programs supervisor Carl Hauser says the
Missouri Conservation Commission asked the agency's staff to
establish how much of the agency's land is managed for natural
values, timber, wildlife, research and intensive recreation to
accommodate high levels of public use. "We wanted to show how much
forest land should be allocated to various management categories,"
Most lands (83 percent) are open to a variety of uses, with 10
percent of those set aside for old-forest growth and not available
for timber harvest. Most rural forest lands fall within this
Some 7 percent of MDC forest lands are used more for a
narrowest of values, such as unique plant and animal communities.
They are relatively roadless, nonmotorized areas with no timber
harvesting and limited or no development. An additional 3 percent
of MDC forest lands are designated primarily for research,
education or demonstration.
Timber harvesting may occasionally occur on a large scale or
may never occur, depending on research objectives. Timber
production or wildlife habitat would probably not be a factor. The
Missouri Ozark Forest Ecosystem Project and the Presley
Conservation Education Center are examples of this category.
The final 7 percent of forested tracts are used for urban and
intense recreation. Rockwoods Reservation in the St. Louis area and
Burr Oak Woods just outside Kansas City are examples of this
category. In these areas managed for high public use, aesthetic
concerns are more important than other uses.
Missourians were given a chance to comment on the policy, and
MDC rece ived about 100 letters. "Some asked for less timber
cutting on conservation lands, and some asked for more," Hauser
MDC forest managers were asked to assign tracts to one of four
categories. "Our staff didn't change categories, but noted how the
lands were currently designated," Hauser adds.
As new lands become available, they will be assigned a category
based on a planning team's recommendations and public input. MDC
will continue to focus on user surveys and telephone surveys to
gauge public opinion, information that will be used to guide future
1,000 Stream Teams
BOURBON, Mo. - Mark VanPatten beams like a proud father when he
talks about the birth of Stream Team No. 1,000. Part of his pride
stems from the program's phenomenal growth, which began in 1989.
But he's also proud that the state's 1,000th Stream Team has a
proven commitment to stream conservation and the knack for
grass-roots stewardship that typifies Stream Teams 1 through 999.
VanPatten's paternal feelings toward Missouri Stream Teams is
understandable. Although he has only been Stream Team coordinator
for the Conservation Federation of Missouri since 1993, he was
president of the Roubidoux Fly Fishers when that group became
Stream Team No. 1. The Conservation Federation and the Missouri
Departments of Conservation and Natural Resources are the program's
cosponsors, but VanPatten has been involved from the start.
VanPatten says it is particularly gratifying that Missouri's
landmark 1,000th stream team - Explorer Post No. 2429 of Bourbon -
has a proven track record of making things happen. The group is six
years old. Like most Explorer posts, it is coed, with members
ranging from 14 to 18 years of age. Aggressive fundraising and
community service efforts have enabled the Explorer post to conduct
an annual stream cleanup, operate a recycling program and
participate in the work of providing food and housing for the needy
in Crawford County. …