Ask National Park Service for Local Open House

The ONSR is a national treasure that includes 134 miles of clear cool water fed by beautiful springs, numerous caves, huge bluffs, diverse wildlife and a variety of recreational opportunities. The natural scenic, primitive and cultural values of this area have earned a place in the hearts of fisherman, canoeists and conservationists all over the state.
by Patty Brown, Conservation Committee

Chair You may remember that in 2009 the National Park Service was working on its new management plan for the Ozark National Scenic Riverways (the Current and Jacks Fork Rivers in Missouri, designated in 1964 as a National Park). At that time, the NPS presented preliminary alternative approaches to the next 15-year management plan and hosted five open houses for the public in Van Buren, Eminence, Salem, Columbia and St. Louis.

Since there was no public meeting in Kansas City, we and the Missouri Coalition for the Environment put together a program featuring the documentary Why We Must Save the Current River, Again (see it on Youtube and Vimeo) and panel discussion of the threats to the area and possible solutions. The program was well attended and many letters from our area were sent to the superintendent about what should be included in the future management plan.

In 2010 the park held a stakeholders workshop in the Ozark region and did studies to collect additional information on river use and trail conditions. Based on all the information collected in 2009 and 2010 the park service is refining the preliminary alternatives to prepare a Draft General Management Plan, Wilderness Study, and Environmental Impact Statement. This winter the public will again have opportunities to attend meetings and provide comments. For more information about the Ozark General Management Plan go to:

Kansas City needs to be included in these meetings! Please contact the ONSR, Superintendent Reed Detring, at 573-323-4236 to ask for one of their future public meetings about management plans to be held in Kansas City.

You can also write to Superintendent,

Ozark National Scenic Riverways
P.O. Box 490
Van Buren, MO 63965

Or you can go online and contact the ONSR at: and click on “by email.”

Please also see Friends of Ozark Riverways on Facebook.

Here is a sample letter:

In 2009 open houses were held about preliminary alternatives to management plans for the ONSR in 5 towns in MO, but none in KC. That summer a few conservation groups put together an ONSR panel discussion/ program at the Discovery Center in KCMO. It was well attended and even got some media attention, showing that Kansas City cares very much about our state’s National Park. Superintendent Reed Detring’s attendance at this was appreciated. I think this would be a good location for a meeting this fall or winter when the alternatives are refined and the NPS planning process is at the next step to be ready to receive comments again. Please do not leave Kansas City out.

(For another way to learn about the Ozark Rivers, through a guided natural experience, refer to the outing listed as “Ozark Springs Tour” on Saturday, May 21st. The places to be seen are considered by many to be the most beautiful spots in Missouri.)