Our major national park in Missouri, the Ozark Scenic Riverways, has suffered from “too much love” and excessive use in recent years. The federal park includes long stretches of the Jacks Fork and Current rivers. Now the National Park Service (NPS) has plans to address some of the problems in the area. The NPS Management Plan A would close illegal roads and restore to natural conditions 50 miles of these roads; would close undesignated horse trails and restrict stream crossings; would bar vehicles such as ATVs from access to gravel bars; would provide wilderness status for Big Spring.
Where do you stand on all of this? Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and Jason Smith, R-Salem say the feds are doing it all wrong, and they should cede the rivers and river lands back to local control. They say the NPS plans are unenforceable and unfair to “those most affected, the people who live, work and play along the rivers.”
So here’s the Big Question: Should we support the NPS plan to protect the rivers from too many ATVs, motorboats, horse trail rides and access roads?
Feel free to comment if you have more to say on this issue.