Environment Missouri Research and Policy Center, a citizen-based environmental non-profit, released the Citizen’s Guide to the Current River this morning. The Citizen’s Guide serves as an educational tool for the 1.3 million people who visit the Ozark National Scenic Riverways each year, outlining the stunning beauty of the park, must-see natural wonders and several of the recreational opportunities available to park visitors. The guide also provides a brief history of the park, outlines several threats to the park ecosystem, and provides a list of ways for Missourians to support the park. Todd Oswald, the Marketing Director of Alpine Shop, joined state advocate Stuart Keating in speaking about the natural, cultural, historical and recreational importance of the park to Missourians.
“The Current and Jacks Fork Rivers are major natural and cultural treasures for our state,” said Stuart Keating, Environment Missouri State Advocate. “In 1964 Congress created the Ozark National Scenic Riverways in response to local residents, state and local officials, small businesses, conservation groups and citizens from across the state, who all called for protection of the Current and Jacks Fork Rivers. In fact, the park is the first ever created to protect an entire river system, which is a testament to the great value and importance of the rivers.”
Environment Missouri is publishing the Citizen’s Guide to educate the public about the Riverways as the National Park Service prepares to release a new General Management Plan for the park, which will replace the plan that has governed the operation of the park since 1984. Environment Missouri and coalition partners have spent several years building public support for the Riverways, collecting over 15,000 signed petitions urging the NPS to release a management plan that addresses longstanding issues like illegal motorized access and unauthorized horse trails.
“We know the public overwhelmingly supports the NPS and the park” said Keating. “The Citizen’s Guide is a tool for people from across the state to learn more about what makes the park so special, to plan their next visit, and to find out how to get involved with the park through volunteering and advocacy.”
Environment Missouri Research & Policy Center is a 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to protecting our air, water and open spaces.