Getting private land owners to open up properties to outdoor recreation activities

ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – There are some new outdoor recreation opportunities in our area, thanks to the cooperation of landowners and a new program administered by the Missouri Department of Conservation. Conservationist Jeff Esely visits KPLR 11 News at Noon to give an update on the results of the program.

Q. What is the program is all about?
• The Missouri Outdoor Recreational Access Program (MRAP)
• A cooperative effort between MDC and willing landowners
• Enhance public access opportunities for outdoor recreation, especially in areas where public land is more limited
• Landowners enroll portions of their property to allow public access to hunt, fish or view wildlife
• They receive financial incentives in return based on a number of factors
• Participation is 100% voluntary
• We are especially targeting 4 urban proximity zones, and St. Louis is one of them

Q. So where does MRAP stand now?
• As of this month about 6,300 acres are enrolled statewide and available for public use
• MRAP properties range in size from a few acres to several hundred acres
• They offer varying types of outdoor recreation
• Of those, 745 acres are enrolled in Lincoln County, and 5 in Jefferson County

Q. What can people do on those properties?
• Wildlife viewing/photography in Lincoln County
• Fishing in Jefferson County

Q. When can we begin using them?
• MRAP field crews have begun installing signage on the newly enrolled properties
• Lincoln and Jefferson County properties should be open to the public in about 1 week

Q. What are some other things we need to know about the program?
• MRAP properties are open to foot traffic only
• Area users are asked to self-register at the designated parking and entry points
• All rules and regulations enforced by MDC apply on MRAP lands
• Respect land owners and their property

Q. Where can viewers find out more?
• Visit the MDC-MRAP webpage at mdc.mo.gov/mrap
• Find all the properties enrolled using the interactive map
• See public access options
• Also find enrollment information for landowners