Healthy Forests

Our Glorious Forests

Deer Ridge CA

  • Size: 6,995.89 acres
  • Location: Lewis County in northeast Missouri
  • Importance: Breeding habitat for Indiana bats and neo-tropical migratory songbirds; many recreation opportunities
  • Things to do: Picnic, bird, use trails, hunt, fish and camp
  • Online information: visit our online atlas and search “Deer Ridge ”
  • For more information contact the area manager: (660) 727-2955

The endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) finds excellent breeding habitat in one of northeast Missouri’s largest forested conservation areas. After hibernating in caves in southeast Missouri, Indiana and Kentucky, many Indiana bats spend the summer at Deer Ridge Conservation Area, where they set up maternity colonies and feed on nocturnal insects along the North Fabius River. Deer Ridge managers look for ways to improve forest habitat structure for the Indiana bat and other species, including neo-tropical migratory birds, deer, turkey and quail. One strategy they use is promoting snags (standing dead trees), which serve as ideal roost sites for the bats’ maternity colonies.

Although Deer Ridge CA appeals to bats, birds and other wildlife, it has many features that people like, too: nearly 20 miles of trails, several campsites, a 48-acre lake, shelters and a shooting range.

Turn Red Cedar Into Cash

Learn how at Springfield workshop.

Explore the challenges and opportunities inherent in managing Eastern red cedar August 9 through 11 in Springfield. Co-sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation, the workshop will include courses such as ecology, management, value-added products and marketing. Designed for landowners, foresters and industry, the workshop is $75 per person. To register or get more information, call the Southwest Missouri Resource Conservation and Development Office at (417) 732-6485.

We All Live in a Forest

Don’t bring gypsy moths home from vacation.

You probably wouldn’t give a hitchhiker a ride, but if you’re traveling through states infested with the gypsy moth this summer, you could return with one of missouri’s most unwanted stowaways. Since the 1800s, the oak-leaf-eating gypsy moth has spread slowly from New England as far west as Wisconsin, northeastern Illinois and Indiana. Gypsy moths have not established in Missouri yet, but where they do, they’re expected to severely damage our oak forests. To hold the line against gypsy moths, inspect your gear, including your vehicle and camper, before returning home from infested areas. Look for fuzzy egg masses, pupae and moths.

If you find evidence of gypsy moths, notify the departments of Agriculture ((573) 751-5505) or Conservation ((573) 751-4115). For help identifying and destroying gypsy moths, see the links listed below for more information.