Missouri officials eye new land to expand conservation area
WINONA — Visitors to a conservation area in southern Missouri could soon have more acreage to explore along the Jacks Fork River.
The Missouri Conservation Commission approved a plan this month to acquire nearly 1,200 acres (490 hectares) of Shannon County land to add to the Rocky Creek Conservation Area, the Springfield News-Leader reported .
The state's Department of Conservation is working to close on the property, according to Jennifer Battson Warren, the agency's deputy director.
Battson Warren declined to disclose how much the department will pay for the land, which she said has "a lot of natural heritage value."
The land lacks developed trails, but has some logging roads, she said. It sits near the Jacks Fork and Allen Branch, a small creek that flows into the river.
Indiana bats, long-eared bats and several salamander species are known to live on the land.
The property will join the more than 38,000 acres (15,400 hectares) that already make up the Rocky Creek Conservation Area. The site attracts visitors with a variety of offerings, from hiking and camping to bird-watching, hunting and fishing.