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McGee Family Conservation Area will open for public use on Saturday, Sept. 15., for hunting, fishing and hiking in northwest Missouri. The almost 1,000-acre upland area is south of Plattsburg and can be accessed off Route C or County Road 240. In the area’s northeast corner there is frontage on both sides of the Little Platte River.
Kansas City businessman Thomas F. McGee Jr., who died in 2010, bequeathed his farm in Clinton County to the Missouri Department of Conservation so others could enjoy nature. The area’s rolling hills were primarily in pastures in past years.
Long-term plans call for converting upland fescue pastures to more wildlife friendly habitat such as row crops and native warm season grasses, said Dennis Browning, an MDC wildlife management biologist.
White-tailed deer and wild turkeys are seen on the area, especially in wooded areas near the Little Platte River. The timber corridor along the river may be expanded in the future. The area has six farm ponds, some suitable for fishing. Biologists are studying the feasibility of establishing a wetland area near the river.
The Little Platte River in that area is upstream of Smithville Lake. In early spring, white bass make spring spawning runs up the river if water flow is adequate.
Some special regulations for outdoor activities are in place at the McGee Area. More information about the area and regulations will be available soon on the Conservation Atlas at http://mdc.mo.gov/.
– Bill Graham, Missouri Department of Conservation