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Joplin Globe Article On Coe, Np, Fs Closers


timr0123

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Thought I'd share this. Article states there are eight still open. Article names Shell Knob Hwy 39 access. What are the other eight? Sweetwater, H Hwy........

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By Andy Ostmeyer aostmeyer@joplinglobe.com The Joplin Globe Fri Oct 04, 2013, 03:00 PM CDT

October and the Ozarks were made for each other.

The smell of woodsmoke ... sharp blue skies and crisp nights ... the arrival of autumn colors ... Congress and the Affordable Care Act.

Say what?

Before heading out for a fall camping trip this weekend, better think again, because almost all federal campgrounds in the region as well as the nation — including those managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — have been closed.

That applies to Stockton, Table Rock and Beaver lakes, the Buffalo National River and Ozark National Scenic Riverways, and the Mark Twain and Ozark national forests.

At Table Rock Lake, all day-use areas and most boat ramps were shut down on Oct. 1, said Jay Townsend, public affairs specialist for the Little Rock District of the Corps, which manages lakes along the White River.

“Table Rock has eight (Corps) boat ramps that are still available,” he said, with the nearest to Joplin being the boat ramp at the Shell Knob Bridge on Missouri Highway 39.

All Beaver Lake boat ramps are closed.

He did have a couple bits of good news: “You can still hunt on Corps land at the moment.”

And the Dewey Short Visitor Center at the dam in Branson remains open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

“We are able to keep the visitor center open because of our partnership with the Ozarks Rivers Heritage Foundation and the Army’s Wounded Warrior Program,” Jim Sandberg, Table Rock Project Office operations project manager, said in a statement. “We have an active duty wounded warrior soldier assigned to the visitor center. The foundation is helping staff the gift shop and visitor center with their volunteers.”

The wounded warrior program assigns wounded active duty soldiers to other jobs within the military that they are able to perform as they recover from injuries received during active duty.

Townsend also said the locks at Corps lakes are still operated, lake levels are monitored and electricity is being generated.

“That type of critical infrastructure cannot be compromised in an event like this,” he said.

No one was available in the Corps’ Kansas City office, but a statement on the website said that all campgrounds, boat ramps and day-use area are closed at its 18 lakes, too, including Stockton Lake.

The Mark Twain and Ozark National Forests have posted announcements on their websites stating that “due to the lapse in federal government funding,” all campgrounds are closed, including the cabins and lodge at Lake Wedington, near Fayetteville, Ark.

The nearest Mark Twain campground to Joplin — Big Bay, in the Cassville district — was permanently closed in April of this year for reasons that had nothing to do with the current government shutdown.



What about Grand Lake?

Grand Lake is not a U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s lake, but is operated by the Grand River Dam Authority. Its services have not affected by the federal government shutdown.

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“We are able to keep the visitor center open because of our partnership with the Ozarks Rivers Heritage Foundation and the Army’s Wounded Warrior Program,” Jim Sandberg, Table Rock Project Office operations project manager, said in a statement. “We have an active duty wounded warrior soldier assigned to the visitor center. The foundation is helping staff the gift shop and visitor center with their volunteers.”

I understand that the Foundation managed many of the campgrounds also until the COE decided to end it. It sounds like it would be a good plan for all the COE parks. Let the states, counties, or tourist organizations run them or non profit organizations run them. There's no reason they couldn't keep the rangers for law enforcement, but maintenance employees might have to reduce in the long run.

Today's release is tomorrows gift to another fisherman.

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Wayne, there are many (friends of) groups that could easily and willingly work to maintain basic levels of safety and cleanliness to the Federal Parks and refuges. The Government will not allow it. These groups would work for no profit to empty trash pick up trash and maintain facilities. The parks could stay open, it is the FED who is not allowing it and that comes from the Executive Branch and its secretaries.

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F & F I was speaking more to the future about letting suitable organizations operate the facilities. There is no need really for the federal government to be involved in the day to day operation. Local non-profits could do a better job of maximizing the effect on the local economy. It's not a new concept. The day to day management now is done by people for a full service RV site and a small salary. This is why the government can allow it, their is nothing in the Constitution that forbids it and that is the law.

Today's release is tomorrows gift to another fisherman.

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Totally agree Wayne,

Your post actually reminded me of the "FRIENDS OF" Groups, and why I mentioned them. Talk about a way to run many programs it would be great, volunteers doing the work that already want to help. Think of all the "Grass Mowing" complaints we heard about this year and I would bet those groups would do it regularly and probably more often.

Wonder how much that would save the parks in money each year, Heck with that how much money they could put back in the Park for improvements.

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Quill, I drove down to big m today and all the corp had down there where 2 small signs that said " do not enter". The marina is open and the boat ramp is clear. I fished from the bank for awhile and never saw anyone except others driving around like usual.

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Quill, I drove down to big m today and all the corp had down there where 2 small signs that said " do not enter". The marina is open and the boat ramp is clear. I fished from the bank for awhile and never saw anyone except others driving around like usual.

Thanks Jacob.

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