Other Reports & Publications

Editorial: Park Service must protect Missouri's scenic rivers

By the Editorial Board STLtoday.com | Posted: Sunday, May 29, 2011 12:00 am [St Louis Post-Dispatch]

Memorial Day weekend revelers headed to one of Missouri's lakes or rivers for the unofficial beginning of summer should take note: Flooding from heavy spring rains have rendered some of Missouri's beautiful waters dangerous.

The high waters might keep some people away from a true gem, the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. This year, that's not a bad thing.

Located in south central Missouri, in the heart of the Ozarks, the scenic riverways is a federal protected area consisting of 134 miles of the Current and Jack's Fork rivers, two of the clearest, most tranquil stream-fed waterways in the country.

Unfortunately, the ecosystem surrounding the rivers has been defiled by decades of overuse, leading the national conservation group American Rivers to list the Ozark National Scenic Riverways as one of the 10 most-endangered waterways in the country.
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Updated: Unenviable List: Ozark National Scenic Riverways Ranked Among 10 Most Endangered Rivers

Submitted by Kurt Repanshek on May 17, 2011 - 9:15am

The most recent data from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Water Protection Program shows that E.coli levels in the lower seven miles of the Jacks Fork have been increasing since 2002. E.coli levels have been linked to increased horse waste in the river and its tributaries. These rivers, the Jacks Fork and the Current, are supposed to be of the highest water quality in Missouri. Their high quality for recreation, especially for swimming in the national park, must not be degraded. In 2002 at river mile 4.5 the annual E.coli geometric mean was 26 and ... in 2009 it was 116. We must reverse this alarming trend.
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#10 Ozark National Scenic Riverways Missouri


2011 America’s Most Endangered Rivers™ www.americanrivers.org

The Ozark National Scenic Riverways feature clear water flowing from abundant springs and provide some of the Midwest’s best river recreation to 1.3 million visitors each year. However, poor management has led to motor vehicles and horses approaching and entering the river wherever they can, destroying vegetation, and causing severe erosion and pollution. Unless the National Park Service gives the Riverways the protections afforded to the country’s other national parks, the area’s clean water and rare remote experience will be lost.
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A Legacy of Neglect: The Ozark National Scenic Riverways

By Susan Flader

Missouri’s Current River and its tributary, the Jacks Fork, were the nation’s first fed- erally protected rivers. Congressionally authorized in 1964 as the Ozark National Scenic Riverways (ONSR),they served as a prototype for the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968.But in May 2011 ONSR was identified by American Rivers as one of America’s ten most endangered rivers, owing to a history of inadequate management by the National Park Service (NPS).
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Wild, Scenic & Trashed

If not for their horse, ORV and jet-boat hatches, the first two scenic rivers designated by Congress would offer only inspiring scenery and quiet, enjoyable fishing.

By Ted Williams for FlyRod & Reel

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Vehicles and Horses in the Riparian Corridor: A Call for Management to NPS Standards

By Friends of Ozark Riverways January 29, 2011

This paper reports on work that Friends of Ozark Riverways (FOR) has done in identifying critical resource management issues related to motor vehicle river access and uncontrolled horse use in the riparian corridor of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways (OZAR). It addresses two of the four issues of greatest concern to us, the others being inadequate supervision and outright violation of scenic easements, including a highly irregular and inappropriate land exchange that took place in 2002, and protection for Big Spring Wilderness. 
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Guest Editorial in Current Waves

By Kally Coleman

...To be clear, we aren't asking to close every road. We aren't saying no horses. We aren't advocating further horsepowere restrictions on motors. We're simply asking NPS to do their job and manage horses in our park and to do an honest inventory of roads and trails and close the ones that have an negative impact on the resource.
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