Applications are being accepted now through Oct. 15 for the Missouri Outdoor Recreational Access Program.
The program provides participating landowners with annual incentive payments of $15 to $25 per enrolled acre and financial assistance to improve wildlife habitat on their properties for public walk-in hunting, fishing or wildlife viewing. The standard landowner commitment period is three years, with annual renewal opportunities.
MRAP funding is provided by a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant, which allows for the additional enrollment of approximately 10,000 acres into MRAP this year.
Recreation allowed on each property varies according to the public access option selected by the participating landowner. MRAP access types include all access hunting and fishing, small game and turkey hunting, youth only hunting and fishing, archery hunting, fishing only or wildlife viewing. Most MRAP access types are open to the public year-round, however, archery hunting and small game and turkey properties are open only during relevant legal seasons.
Offered lands must meet minimum eligibility requirements such as being at least 40 contiguous acres or at least a one-acre pond for fishing access. Wildlife viewing properties must be at least five contiguous acres and be located within highly populated counties. Eligible lands must be comprised of at least 20% quality wildlife habitat such as native grass fields, crop field buffers, restored wetlands, or managed woodlands.
Public use is limited to foot traffic only. Properties must be open one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset. Equipment and gear are carry-in-carry-out daily.
Participating landowners are offered liability protection through Missouri’s Recreational Use Immunity Law.
To learn more about MRAP and apply to the program, click here.
To apply, complete the MRAP application. Completed applications can be submitted by Oct. 15 to local Department of Conservation private land conservationists, Quail Forever farm bill biologists or emailed to Rachel.Williams@mdc.mo.gov.
Missouri has approximately 13,700 acres enrolled in the MRAP program across 55 properties. To find enrolled MRAP properties and offerings online, click here.