MU survey aims to help woodland owners

By Sarah Havens

The University of Missouri Extension and partners are asking woodland owners to take a survey to find out how they can best assist them.

Private citizens own more than 85% of the state’s 15.2 million acres, which make up a third of the state’s land area. MU Extension natural resources specialist Sarah Havens says only one out of 10 Missouri woodland owners actively manage their forests.

Havens wants to help those landowners do a better job of protecting one of Missouri’s most treasured assets. “An unmanaged woodland is like a garden left to fend for itself,” she says.

Neglect leads to overcrowding, weeds and smaller yields of wood products, Havens says. “The end result is watersheds incapable of providing clean water, landscapes unable to adequately provide food and cover for wildlife, and fewer harvestable trees to support rural economies.”

MU Extension works with the Missouri Department of Conservation, Conservation Federation of Missouri, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and private organizations such as the National Wild Turkey Federation, Quail Forever and The Nature Conservancy to better serve Missourians and encourage more active management of woodlands.

The anonymous survey takes about 10 minutes to complete, Havens says.

Take the survey at bit.ly/3gT9Rqc or at the direct link: https://missouri.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cTpyyGvegb0a6mF.