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Contact: Dena Matteson, 573-323-8028
VAN BUREN, MO: On January 22, Acting Midwest Regional Director Patricia Trap signed the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Final General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (GMP) for Ozark National Scenic Riverways (Riverways).With her signature, the Final GMP becomes the official guiding document for approximately the next 20 years.
The Final GMP was released to the public on December 12, 2014.The required 30-day review period began at that time in order for the National Park Service (NPS) to consider the plan for approval.It allowed 30 days for the public to review the plan before any proposed management action could be implemented.
"We look forward to engaging the public as we move to the next steps in the planning process," stated Acting Ozark National Scenic Riverways Superintendent Larry Johnson. "We will first turn our attention to development of a roads and trails management plan, which will evaluate access points and river crossings, including protection of the resources.It will also address the designation of 25-45 additional miles of horse trails within the park."
Throughout the GMP process, which began in 2006, the NPS encouraged and appreciated public involvement at every stage.Over the course of developing the GMP, more than 3,000 public comments were submitted.The Final GMP represents the careful consideration of a wide range of public comments in order to develop a balanced management approach that will protect park resources while providing a diverse mix of traditional recreational opportunities.
NPS approval does not guarantee that funding or staffing needed to implement certain elements of the plan will be immediately forthcoming.Some management proposals will require additional planning and design, public feedback, or regulation before they can be implemented.
The Final GMP and Record of Decision can be downloaded from the National Park Service website at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/ozarkgmp. For more information, visit the park's Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, visit the park website at www.nps.gov/ozar, or phone (573) 323-4236.
Ozark National Scenic Riverways preserves the free-flowing Current and Jacks Fork Rivers, the surrounding resources, and the unique cultural heritage of the Ozark people.