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GOLDEN PRAIRIE

Edge Wade, 2017

530 acres Barton Co.  DeLorme 50, 5-F

GPS: 7.3602562,-94.151006

Owned by Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF); for more information see: http://www.moprairie.org/placemarks/golden-prairie-barton-county/

Directions: From the junction of US 160 and MO 126 in Golden City go west on MO 126 for 0.7 mile to MO 37. Turn south on MO 37 and go two miles to a right turn onto SE 90th Rd. and go west for 2.5 miles to the area.

From northbound I-49, take exit 66, turn east (right) onto Rt. K, and go about 8.5 miles to a left turn onto SE 90th Lane, drive 2 miles north, turn left onto SE 90th Rd., then drive about 0.5 mile west. 

From southbound I-49, take exit 70, turn east (left) onto Missouri 126, and drive about 6 miles.  Turn right onto Rt. T, drive 2 miles south, turn left onto SE 90th Rd., and go 2.5 miles east to the prairie on the south (right) side of the road. 

ADA Information: No facilities.

When to Visit/Species to Expect:  As late as 2000, about 40 Greater Prairie-Chickens were resident and viewed on the lek at Golden Prairie. With the extirpation of that population, birding visits to the site have been few and have produced fewer reports. Birders are missing some great opportunities here.

Upland Sandpiper, Henslow’s and LeConte’s Sparrow, Northern Harrier, and Short-eared Owl may be present in season. Barn Owl has been reported in late February. Winter species include Loggerhead Shrike, Prairie Falcon and Lapland Longspur.

Features of interest to birders: The original 320 acres were saved by MPF between 1970 and 1975, and was declared a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service in May 1975. To the west of the original site, 480 acres are cooperatively managed by the neighboring landowner, thus comprising 1,100 acres managed as unit. Management activities include controlled burns, haying and seed harvest.

There are both natural and restored unglaciated prairie tracts, two natural springs and two man-made ponds. About 250 plant species have been identified here. There are two gravel parking areas.

Toilets: None

Camping: None 

Hazards/Limitations: None noted

Nearby Birding Sites: Dorris Creek Prairie CA, Pa Sole Prairie CA, Horse Creek Prairie CA, Providence Prairie CA, Treaty Line Prairie CA.