ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Activists upset about the state of the Current River presented 5,000 petition signatures to the National Park Service Tuesday, some of them symbolically written on canoe paddles.
The problem, according to John Hickey with the Sierra Club-Missouri Chapter?
Mismanagement by Park Service officials and way too much traffic on the river, which he called “Missouri’s premier float stream”.
“There’s three core things that we want to see the National Park Service do,” Hickey explained during a press conference at City Hall in downtown St. Louis. “Number one, shut down illegal roads that allow ATVs to get into the rivers. Number two, end the e-coli contamination in the Jack’s Fork River caused by excessive horse use. And number three, enforce the scenic easements in the park so people aren’t building cabins right on the river.”
A statewide coalition of environmental groups is calling on the National Park Service to rehabilitate the Current River, which lies at the heart of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.
“The Current River is Missouri’s river jewel,” said Ted Mathys with Environment Missouri. “But over development, illegal and unauthorized vehicle use, and torn up trails are taking a terrible toll. This petition unifies thousands of citizens from across the state and around the country who know that it’s time for the Park Service to step up.”
The petition effort comes as the National Park Service prepares to release its new General Management Plan for the Ozark National Scenic Riverways in early 2012.
The plan will guide Park Service decisions about management of the Riverways for the next 20 years.
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