Healthy Forests

Our Glorious Forests: River Hills Forest Habitat Project

Project Area: 300,000 acres of public and private land

Location: In southern Warren, Montgomery and Callaway counties

Highlights: Little Lost Creek and Daniel Boone Conservation Areas form the project’s core. Both areas serve as habitat for ruffed grouse and migrant songbirds. Both areas permit and facilitate a wide variety of outdoor activities: hunting, camping, hiking, biking, horseback riding, birding, etc.

Find more info: Call area manager Gus Raeker at (636) 456-3368

Historically, wildfires and other natural disturbances kept the forested river hills of Warren, Montgomery and Callaway counties in good shape for ruffed grouse and migrant songbirds. Today, thanks to the River Hills Forest Habitat Project, those hills are once again becoming a paradise of birds. The project partners, including the Conservation Department, Ruffed Grouse Society, Audubon Society of Missouri, National Wild Turkey Federation and private landowners, began their work in 2002. Their goal was to increase declining populations of sensitive bird species by restoring the woodland natural communities on which they depend. Through various cost-share programs, the project has restored approximately 7,000 acres of privately owned forest habitat. Populations of many native plants and wildlife species have already rebounded, and project members hope ruffed grouse will soon follow. Although the project area is mostly on private land, visitors can view restoration results at Daniel Boone or Little Lost Creek Conservation Areas.

Arbor Day Contest Winner

Student’s artwork goes on to compete nationally.

Every year the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Missouri Community Forestry Council invite the state’s fifth-grade students to enter the Fifth Grade Arbor Day Poster contest. This year’s contest theme, established by the National Arbor Day Foundation, was “Trees are Terrific…Inside and Out!” Missouri’s 2008 winner is Katie Lyle, of Lewis and Clark Elementary in St. Peters. “I feel honored that my poster was chosen out of entries from all across the state,” she said.

The Conservation Department will plant a tree in Katie’s honor in her community. She will also receive a $50 savings bond from Forest ReLeaf of Missouri and advance to the national contest, where prizes include a $1,000 savings bond and an expense-paid trip to the 2008 National Arbor Day celebration.

Through the Arbor Day Poster contest and accompanying curriculum materials, children in more than 75,000 classrooms nationwide learn why healthy forests need a diverse mix of tree species. Instructional materials are designed to meet national standards for science, geography and education.