Young CA

Wear orange: A forest actively managed for wildlife and hunting.

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Every hiking season has its pluses and minuses. In the spring, green takes on a special beauty, especially after winter's monochromes, but it tends to rain a lot. Summer days go on forever, but Missouri can be beastly hot. If there's a perfect season, it's autumm, but usually it isn't cold enough to shut down the chiggers.

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Young Conservation Area is a good place to think about land management. The whole of the Ozarks--the whole of the United States, in fact--is owned by someone, even if that someone is a government agency. And those owners all have agendas of one kind or another. Sometimes, especially if they're like the Missouri Department of Conservation or the U.S. Forest Service, they have multiple goals on their agendas, and those goals get worked out differently in the different parcels owned by the agency.

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A nice stand of nearly mature trees rise in the back of the Young Conservation Area, between ares where the Department of Conservation has been thinning timber. The trees are large enough to shade out the underbrush, so the forest floor is clear and open.

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