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Cedar Creek Grazing Association

Working with the Mark Twain National Forest, Missouri

Cedar Creek farm in 1939 showing a gully. Prior to 1939 the lands that comprise what is now the Cedar Creek Ranger District were privately owned. During this time period strip mining, intensive cultivation and over-grazing led to erosion, depletion of the soil resource, and significant reduction in quality of the Cedar Creek watershed. Thousands of these acres, which had been cultivated and abandoned, were known as "The Land That No One Wanted". The picture above (ca. 1935) is one of the eight farms originally selected for purchase within the Cedar Creek Purchase Unit.

Early Conservation

In the 1930s the Soil Conservation Service began management activities to improve these lands. The United States Forest Service was given the responsibility to manage this area in the early 1950s. Of the 300 acres contained in this parcel, 151 acres had been in cultivation, only 20 acres were actually suitable for this use. The following pictures are from the 1940s showing an example an area before and after restoration.

Cedar Creek farm before restoration, showing corn rows parallel with the slope and resulting erosion. Cedar Creek farm after restoration showing restored grass cover.
Before - Erosion resulting from cultivation (Note corn rows up and down slope) After - Grass cover restored for pasture use.

Since the 1950s, the Cedar Creek Ranger District of the Mark Twain National Forest and the Cedar Creek Grazing Association have worked cooperatively to improve the Cedar Creek watershed for recreation, wildlife habitat, and grazing. Early watershed improvement and soil stabilization efforts included seeding with tall fescue, planned grazing, and constructing erosion control structures.

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Last modified: Thursday, 28-Mar-2013 15:56:09 CDT