Carman Springs Natural Area Receives Invasive Treatment

The NWTF, USDA Forest Service and Conservation Legacy contributed funds to conduct a 70-acre selective herbicide treatment in Missouri to eliminate invasive species, including Japanese silt grass, tree of heaven, Japanese honey suckle and sericea lespedeza, among others, along forest roadsides. The conservation project improved Forest Road 495, Forest Road 496 and Forest Road 718 on Carman Springs Natural Area, a 2,671-acre area located in Missouri’s Willow Springs Ranger District of the Mark Twain National Forest.

Maintaining a naturally-occurring habitat in Carman Springs Natural Area is critical because the public land protects a wide range of water systems and the species that inhabit and rely on them. In addition, the Missouri Department of Conservation notes that the area is home to eight distinct natural community types, including Ozark creeks, dry-mesic bottomland forest, moist dolomite cliffs, Ozark ferns, moist sandstone cliffs, a shrub swamp, a marsh and a chert cliff.

Eliminating overgrowth on forest roads in the Mark Twain National Forest facilitates habitat management, making project sites and hunting areas more accessible, which saves time, money and increases productivity.

“The herbicide treatment on the Carman Springs forest roads has helped cover one of the steps necessary to eventually accomplish the desired future condition — open woodland,” NWTF District Biologist John Burk said. “In areas that have invasive species present (which is the majority of our forests), you have to treat that problem first. If you skip this step and go straight to timber stand improvement, the invasive species will explode and negate your efforts.”

The 70 acres of invasive species treatment around the Carman Springs Natural Area will benefit future habitat management on the natural area’s entire 2,671 acres. The overall effort will also produce excellent turkey habitat.

“At a little over 1.6 million acres, the Mark Twain National Forest represents not only the largest public property in Missouri but also one of the most popular Eastern turkey hunting destinations in the country,” Burk said. “Through direct Super Fund contributions, as well as the work we do through stewardship agreements, our efforts conserve over 10,000 acres a year on the Twain. Most of this work is focused on improving nesting and brood-rearing habitat. We are making a substantial difference.”

For more information about hunting on the Mark Twain National Forest, visit:

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