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Ozark National Scenic Rivers need your input


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Missouri's largest national park, the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, needs your help. The National Park Service has begun the process of updating the General Management Plan for the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, encompassing 134 miles of the Current and Jacks Fork

Rivers. The last plan was developed in 1984, so opportunities to

influence park management don't come along often. The new Plan will guide the NPS in its decisions regarding the Riverways for 15-20 years.

Please voice your opinions for restoring, improving, and protecting this unique Ozark gem. Horseback riding, off-road vehicles, canoeing, fishing, hiking, camping, and other recreational uses, and new facilites in the park, must be managed to protect the park while serving public needs.

The National Park Service is hosting open "scoping" meetings to receive input from people like you before they draft the new Plan (schedule below). It is imperative that you participate in one of the meetings or send in your comments to ensure that your values are reflected in the final Plan.

Meeting Schedule:

September 18, Van Buren Community Center (Intersection of Business Highway 60 and D Highway) September 19, Eminence Elementary School (On State Route 106, 1 mile west of Route 19) September 20, Three Rivers Community College, Westover Adminstration Bldg, Poplar Bluff (Off Three Rivers Drive, 0.3 miles from Hardee's) September 21, Salem City Auditorium ( 202 North Washington St) September 22, Holiday Inn Southwest & Viking Conference Center (10709 Watson Rd, off I-44 east of I-270)

Meetings will run from 5:00 to 8:00 pm, you may come at any time. There will be discussion tables for you to submit your comments. There will also be "moderated conversations" in break-out rooms which will be held at 5:00, 6:00 and 6:45, where you can discuss issues in a more structured format.

Please visit the website at


for more information. You can also email comments from the website, or

mail comments to the address below.

Superintendent, Ozark National Scenic Riverways P.O. Box 490 Van Buren, MO 63965 573/ 323 4236 573/323-4140 FAX

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  • Root Admin

For those who know these rivers and the area, educate those of us who don't.

What needs to be done? Improvements? What needs to be left the same?

It will help us know better what to ask for in our letters/emails.

Lilleys Landing logo 150.jpg

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Phil, here are some of the issues that are likely to come up.

-The drastic increase in horse and atv use in the park. Many of of the foot trails are in really bad shape because of the increased horse traffic & illegal atv use. What to do?

-The proliferation of unauthorized roads & trails in the park. Most probably dont notice while they are canoeing, but there are new trails & roads popping up all over the place. Horses, atv's, & 4x4's

-To many rental boats, what to do?

-Floaters behaving badly, what to do?

-Water Quality..Horses, drunks, nearby cattle farms, agricultural runoff, etc.

-Jet boats. those who fish from them, those who race them, and those who cant stand them. Keep the status quo, expand the use area, or get rid of them entirely?

-Riverfront Development-MDC's Presley Center (former Alton Club), what to do with the existing facility at Welch Spring, reopen the CG at Akers?, plus changes to repair or removal of other park facilities.(boat ramps, paved roads parking lots, etc.)

-Trout stocking between Akers & Pulltite. NPS probably wont budge but we can ask for it again anyway.

-Law enforcement in the park...poaching, drug activty, drunks, theft, etc.

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Thanks for the update. I just sent a email to the park manager regarding the SMB fishing and will make an effort to attend the session at the viking on 9-22.

"Smallmouth bass management.

This river is an great SMB river in the middle to lower sections of the park. The State has a SMB management plan for many other rivers of the state, but not our national jewel. Why? This river sustains a huge amount of recreational use and still maintains a decent SMB fishery. But it could be much better if the proper regulations were in effect.

I would like to see the MDC and the NPS in a partnership to create a trophy SMB management area on a large portion of the ONSR. Maybe from Round springs to the lower end of the park.

Please be open to this idea and think of the positives both recreationally and economicly to the region if this park was nationally recognized as a trophy SMB stream. Promoting catch and release only areas or a strict slot limit (11" - 22") would allow the fish the chance to really get large. I remember a trip with my father in the early 1970's catching a 25", 22" and an 19" SMB from one hole of water. Since then, the size of the fish has plunged to a good day being several 12" - 13" fish with an occasional 15" or 16" fish. It's been several years since I caught an 18" fish and haven't caught a 20" fish since that day in the early 1970's.

I'm sure the river will produce large fish if given a chance to grow.

" Too many hobbies to work" - "Must work to eat and play"

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I made it to the Viking and put in my 2 cents on the SMB management area. I was a nice turn out and the park service personel were very receptive to comments. I got there about 5:30 and saw where you had signed in, but had no way to put a face w/ a name.

Sorry, maybe next time.

" Too many hobbies to work" - "Must work to eat and play"

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