overview of resources

Grazing Management

Range - Cows

Rangelands form a component of ecosystems in the Mark Twain National Forest. Vegetative communities represented include: grasslands, shrub-lands, woodlands, riparian ecosystems, and open canopied forests. Forest rangelands are managed with the goal of providing healthy ecosystems and sustainable resource uses. Well-managed rangelands provide wildlife habitat, livestock forage, stable watersheds, and recreational opportunities.

Prescribed Burning as a Tool for Resource Management on Mark Twain National Forest

Fire Fighter using drip tourch

The Mark Twain National Forest prescribed burn program focuses treatment on priority landscapes to meet goals and objectives stated in the 2005 Land & Resource Management Plan. As of 2015, there are about 244,410 acres (16% of total Forest acres) designated as Priority burn acres. These are the acres (or “footprint”) that the Forest intends to manage into the future, with prescribed burning as part of the treatment, to create and maintain sustainable, healthy, woodland and glade natural communities.

When developing future project plans, there may be a limited number of additional acres added to this base of priority acres; and there may be some burn units dropped for a variety of reasons. But the total footprint of prescribed burning on the Mark Twain National Forest will remain somewhere around 250,000 acres, or 17% of the Forest.

In any given year, or span of years, almost all of the prescribed burning will take place within these 244,410 acres. Very few acres will be “new” areas that have never had prescribed burn treatments before. Most have already had at least one, and probably several, prescribed burn treatments over the past decade or two. Each burn unit is on a schedule to be burned approximately every 2-5 years at the beginning of treatment, and approximately every 3-10 years in the maintenance phase.

In the 5 year period of 2011-2015, the Mark Twain National Forest conducted prescribed burns on a total of 110,905 acres (7% of Forest acres) within the 244,410 priority landscape areas. 39,722 of those acres (or 36%) were included in a prescribed burn in multiple years during that time.

Each year, the Mark Twain National Forest will conduct prescribed burns on an average of 30,000 acres (within the 244,410 acre footprint of priority landscapes). Each individual unit is on a recurring schedule of prescribed burning every 2-5 years or every 3-10 years depending on its progress in meeting vegetative objectives. Most of the units within the 244,410 acres have already been burned at least once, and many have been under a burn rotation for 15-20 years.

Travel Analysis – Subpart A

The U.S. Forest Service is committed to balancing your needs for access to the National Forests & Prairie with the responsibility to sustain a productive, diverse, and healthy forest. As part of this commitment, the Forest Service performed a forest-by-forest road analysis (also known as Travel Analysis – Subpart A) intended to guide future road management planning and address concerns about the future sustainability of the National Forest/Prairie road system. This analysis was not a decision, but was intended to recommend a minimum road system that takes into consideration access for the public and forest management activities, environmental impacts, public input, and budget constraints. Currently, all road analyses are being reviewed and then will be made available. This web site will continue to be updated with any new information.


Mark Twain National Forest is looking for campground managers to operate nine national forest campgrounds, their associated recreation areas, and one rental cabin. Prospectus Info