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Contact: Dena Matteson, 573-323-4814Van Buren, MO: Local land management agencies are working more closely together as a result of a recently signed agreement between the U.S. Forest Service (Mark Twain National Forest) and National Park Service (Ozark National Scenic Riverways). Known as a “Service First” agreement, it provides legal authority for these agencies to exchange resources and share equipment across jurisdictional boundaries.
“We hope with this agreement to improve customer service to the public while increasing operational efficiencies between agencies,” said Superintendent Larry Johnson of Ozark National Scenic Riverways. “We share common borders and in many cases, similar issues. In this time of budget shortfalls, working together as good neighbors just makes sense and benefits everyone, especially the taxpayers.”
Legislation authorizing Service First agreements was passed in 2012, and was expanded in 2014 to include all bureaus within the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The authority allows federal land management agencies to carry out shared or joint management activities to achieve mutually beneficial resource management goals.
The Service First agreement facilitates the sharing of equipment and services, including skills and expertise of agency staff. This cooperation will improve efficiency by helping to reduce costs, eliminate redundant efforts, improve communication and enable better focus on watershed and landscape management.
Sherri Schwenke, Forest Supervisor for Mark Twain National Forest, stated, “We are very excited to have a mechanism like Service First to quickly share resources between the Ozark National Scenic Riverways and the Mark Twain National Forest. Collectively, we can more efficiently and effectively provide benefits to the public we serve, and that’s a win for everyone.”
For more information about Service First, visit: http://www.fs.fed.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. For more information about the Riverways, call (573) 323-4236; visit the park’s Facebook page, or website at www.nps.gov/ozar.
-NPS-About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees who care for America’s 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.