New program to benefit hunters and landowners

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COLUMBIA – A new program will increase outdoor activities for both hunters and landowners.

The Missouri Department of Conservation has started a Missouri Outdoor Recreational Access Program, or MRAP. The program will pay landowners who allow public access to their lands for recreational activities.

Landowners will have the option to allow the public on their land for: all access hunting and fishing, small game hunting, youth only hunting and fishing, or wildlife viewing only.

All land used for the program must meet wildlife habitat requirements. The land must be real property under the ownership of a legal representative. The land must be at least forty acres in size and have wildlife on the property.

Landowners who are willing to use their land for public access would receive payments from about $11 to $28 per acre. Those wanting to participate can also receive more money by having greater habitats on their land.

There are currently four areas available to the public in Macon and Shelby counties.