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Current And Jacks Fork Need Help


Al Agnew

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Well, the doofuses in the MO House passed Concurrent Resolution 52, which would direct the Scenic Riverways management to choose the "no action" alternative in the draft general management plan for the Riverways. Thanks to a group of local people who want to keep their supposed rights to do whatever the heck they please in and around the Current and Jacks Fork, including riding their ATVs up and down every little obscure track leading to the rivers and who don't want the "gov'mint" tellin' 'em what to do, and have apparently convinced the idiots in the MO House that they know a lot more about how to manage a National Park than the people who are hired to manage it. Oh...don't dare call it a "National Park", either.

These rivers belong to all of us. They are NOT, and never have been, the exclusive playground of the people who live in and around the area. The "roads" they don't want closed were mostly never public roads, nor was the land they go through public land until the Riverways was formed. There is no way the Riverways management can police all those so-called roads, and for every "family" that uses them to get to the river and get away from the crowds of "tourists", there are probably a dozen people that use them to do everything from poaching to tearing up gravel bars to dumping trash. The only effective way to manage these PUBLIC lands is to control access. And that is exactly what those people don't want.

The Resolution goes to the MO Senate next. Please take the time to contact your State Senator and tell them to let the Riverways management manage the Riverways! Or at least go here: https://secure3.convio.net/engage/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=5573 to sign a petition on it.

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With great freedom comes great responsibility. IF people don't act right, we all lose a little freedom to manage the problem. I hope they get a handle on the problems and let the qualified folks do their job.

Every Saint has a past, every Sinner has a future. On Instagram @hamneedstofish

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I wonder how much weight the NPS would give to this meaningless resolution. Legally, it means nothing. Politically, it reflects concerns that have been well-aired AND politics should, ideally, have nothing to do with the determination. And did I miss something - did MDC really weigh in and recommend the "no action" alternative? I doubt the MDC decisionmakers actually have any particular familiairty with the rivers.

I just got back from a short overnighter with my two pre-K kids - floated from Akers-Pulltite. I was, again, just stunned at how much larger the illegal roads are along the river. My recollection goes back almost 20 years now; and I simply do not remember a full fledged gravel road that would permit one to launch a jet boat at a a mile or so above Pulltite at that gravel bar where the big "jumping rock" is - saw a jet launch there last September and road seemed even bigger now - with a full fledged circle drive up in the woods. Also last September, I saw three full sized RV travel trailers parked up on the river bank above Williams Landing and one at Twin Rocks - at Twin Rocks!!! Can't help but wonder if my kids will be able to enjoy a slice of semi-intact Ozarks or, if in 25 years, it'll be a roadside river. When its gone, its gone, and the next generation won't know the difference and bar gets set that much lower.

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The NPS has acknowlged the problems down there...So its unlikely that the "no change" option will be selected. I just wish that NPS would get the ball rolling..Their late with the plan draft.

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Really? Sorry to hear that, but over here on my side of the state that is commonplace at every creek you go to! I am talking the gravel roads, atv riders in the stream and even 4 wheel drive trucks in the stream. That goes on all the time down here. Not that it is right nor do I approve of it in any manner, but MDC won't do anything about it nor will the locals. So I take it the difference is the Current and Jacks are NPS? I have been on the Current and Jacks but didn't know they were NPS. I would love to see a lot more enforcement on issues such as ATVs in creeks and such, but unless the local population can see the benefits of staying out of the stream bed and local law helps out it will be an uphill battle for us all. Although Al pointed out that unless access is controled then the problem will continue. I will say one thing about access around here and that is that it is getting harder to just go to the creek for free anymore.

"you can always beat the keeper, but you can never beat the post"

There are only three things in life that are certain : death, taxes, and the wind blowing at Capps Creek!

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I'm a Community & Regional Planner in the South Central Ozarks region, so I know how the Property Rights & Farm Bureau crowd can really circle the wagons and hold a lot of sway. I'm afraid that proper management of this resource i.e. controlling/monitoring access will come as a reactionary measure when the streams start to be considered impaired--if even then.

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I appreciate the heads up. I signed the petition and will be writing my senator just as soon as I can.

I believe unfortunately that the Jacks Fork and Current already are considered to be impaired. Or anyway they made the American Rivers list of the "10 Most Endangered Rivers". When the Current and Jacks Fork end up a list that also includes the Chicago and the Susquehanna, that's never good.

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I received an email this morning from the chief of staff of Bob Dixon, my state senator, that said this:

Having looked at the status of HCR 52, I noticed it has been referred to a Senate committee, but a public hearing on it has not yet been scheduled. Two weeks remain in this year’s legislative session, leaving limited time for any House bills to move to the Senate floor for consideration. It appears unlikely that HCR 52 will reach the Senate floor for debate.

It'd be nice to hear an actual stance on this issue, but I guess in this case, "no action" on "no action" by the Missouri Senate might be the best action.

I've been thinking a lot about this recently, thinking about how the NPS manages other parks and NPS-managed properties. A lottery system was instated on Half Dome in Yosemite NP, another heavily used park, to help manage use while they hash out a new management plan. Much closer to home, in 2009 the federal government sued a developer for 1/2 acre of damage to Wilson Creek National Battlefield (which falls under NPS jurisdiction), caused when a bulldozer "unintentionally" trespassed on battlefield land adjacent to private property. The suit was made on the basis of the Park System Resources Protection Act. (Interestingly, as a parallel to the ONSR issues, the Wilson Creek case involved road-blazing--the developer of the private property had sold 157 acres to NPS for the battlefield but retained a 200-foot strip of land in order to build a road. The problems came when the bulldozer strayed off-course.) What would NPS do if someone had, over time, illegally cut a dirt road through Wilson Creek National Battlefield? What would NPS do if someone parked their RVs in the middle of Yosemite?

Save Scratch, Raise Cash. Fish Itch!

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