Ozark Riverways Invites All to Attend Public Meetings

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Date: November 27, 2013
Contact: Dena Matteson, 573-323-8028

VAN BUREN MO: Ozark National Scenic Riverways Superintendent Bill Black invites the public to attend the upcoming meetings for the Draft General Management Plan/Wilderness Study/Environmental Statement (Draft Plan), which became available on November 8.   

There are three open house meetings and two wilderness hearings. The primary purpose for the open houses is to provide information and answer questions. No formal program is scheduled so that those interested in attending may arrive and gather information at their leisure. There will be computer stations available for anyone who would like to submit comments at that time. 

The wilderness hearings will provide an opportunity for individuals to present a brief statement related to the wilderness proposal and are not intended as a forum for discussion or debate. A wilderness hearing is required any time land is recommended for wilderness designation. An analysis of the testimony and a copy of the transcript will be incorporated into the final Environmental Impact Statement and Wilderness Study. Even though the National Park Service (NPS) is required to study the suitability of lands within the national park system for preservation as wilderness, only Congress can make that designation.

According to Superintendent Black, the inclusion of a wilderness evaluation in the current planning effort is to fulfill a commitment in the 1984 General Management Plan to identify areas in the Riverways that could qualify for wilderness designation. The only acres being considered are located in the Big Spring Wilderness Study Area, which is located adjacent to Highway Z south of Big Spring. Under the preferred alternative the NPS is recommending wilderness designation for 3,430 acres that do not contain any public roadways or border the Current River.  Public use of the area would remain unchanged from current management conditions. 

The public meeting schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Van Buren Youth & Community Center

Intersection of Business Highway 60 and D Highway, Van Buren, MO 63965

6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.Open House

8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.Wilderness Hearing

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Salem City Hall Auditorium

202 North Washington, Salem, MO 65560

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.Open House

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

11715 Cragwold Road, Kirkwood, MO 63122

6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.Open House

8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.Wilderness Hearing

The Draft Plan may be reviewed online at www.parkplanning.nps.gov/ozar. Comments may also be submitted on this website. The public comment period will be open throughJanuary 8, 2014

We look forward to hearing from the public and encourage all to visit the park's website at www.nps.gov/ozaror our Facebook page for further updates. For more information, please contact Dena Matteson at (573) 323-8028 or e-mail us.

 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.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 490
Van Buren, MO 63965


(573) 323-4236

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