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MDC accepting applications for MRAP

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites eligible private landowners to apply for its Missouri Outdoor Recreational Access Program (MRAP). The program provides incentive payments and habitat improvement help to participating private landowners who open their properties to the public for walk-in hunting, fishing, or wildlife viewing. More than 6,300 acres of private land are currently enrolled in MRAP.

MDC is accepting MRAP applications from private landowners through Jan. 17.

Offered lands must meet eligibility requirements, such as being at least 40 contiguous acres or at least a one-acre pond for fishing access. Land must also contain minimum amounts of quality wildlife habitat, such as native grass fields, crop-field buffers, restored wetlands, or managed woodlands. MDC encourages landowners who participate in other conservation programs, such as the Conservation Reserve Program, to apply.

Annual payment rates are determined by factors such as the access type selected by the landowner and the amount of quality habitat available. Most participating landowners earn $15-$25 per acre each year they participate. Payment rates for fishing-only access are on an adjusted scale and are based largely on impoundment size or stream length.

Landowners determine the type of activities that will be permitted on their land by selecting one of six public-access options: All Access Hunting and Fishing, Small Game and Turkey Hunting, Youth Only Hunting and Fishing, Archery Hunting, Fishing Only, or Wildlife Viewing.

MRAP lands are open to foot traffic only and area users self-register at designated entry points. Parking typically occurs along roadsides. Participating landowners are offered liability protection under Missouri’s Recreational Use Immunity Law.

For more information and an MRAP application, visit mdc.mo.gov/mrap, or contact local MDC Private Land Services staff.