St. Joseph, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) offers a partnership program with private landowners that gives the public more options for outdoor recreation. Wildlife watchers, anglers, and hunters can use the Missouri Outdoor Recreational Access Program (MRAP) to locate private lands that are open to specified types of hiking, hunting, or fishing. MDC offers MRAP in partnership with the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Under MRAP, private landowners receive incentive payments from MDC in return for allowing walk-in access to property for designated outdoor recreation uses. The recreation allowed on each property varies according to the natural resource and agreements between the owner and MDC. Signs mark the boundaries for MRAP land open for public use, and maps are available online at the MDC website at https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places/mrap. Users should respect all boundaries, follow regulations, minimize disturbance of natural resources, and be respectful of other visitors.
Hunters and anglers should also be aware that designated and allowed uses sometimes change for a property in the MRAP program. For example, in DeKalb County in northwest Missouri, the Union Star tract in the past has allowed all access for hunting and fishing. However, this fall, the area has changed to allowing only archery deer hunting and small game and wild turkey hunting. Hunting deer with firearms is no longer allowed on the Union Star tract.
For more information on the MRAP program, property open for public use, and the specific types of uses allowed on individual tracts, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/Zcs.