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Ozark National Scenic Riverways Releases Draft General Management Plan

Superintendent Bill Black announced today (Dec. 9, 2013) that the public meetings for the Draft General Management Plan have been rescheduled due to the recent winter storm and poor condition of many roads in the vicinity of Ozark National Scenic Riverways. States Superintendent Black, "We want to consider the safety of the public and our staff, and wish to avoid unnecessary travel that would put anyone in harm's way."

The public review of the Draft Plan began on November 8th. Due to the rescheduled meetings, the public comment period for the Draft Plan has been extended until February 7, 2014; comments received by then will be most helpful in developing the final plan. The public is encouraged to provide comments online. Comments will also be accepted at the public meetings, or through the mail using the address listed below.

The Draft Plan includes detailed maps and narratives describing a No-Action Alternative and three Action Alternatives. The No-Action Alternative explains how the Riverways is currently managed. "The 'Preferred' Alternative was developed from the public comments we received and incorporates elements of the other alternatives mentioned since the public scoping for the plan began. The park management team and I are especially interested in the public's reaction to the 'Preferred' Alternative, since it represents a balance among the wide range of interests people have in Ozark National Scenic Riverways," said Black.

Please click the "Open for Comment" tab to the left to download, review, and comment on the Draft Plan.

Reference copies of the Draft Plan will be made available at the public libraries in several local communities, including: Van Buren, Eminence, Winona, Birch Tree, Mountain View, Summersville, Salem, Ellington, and Ellsinore. CD copies will also be available to participants attending the public open house meetings or upon request to the park.

Superintendent Black states, "With the publication of the Draft Plan, we have moved into the last phase of public input in the planning process. The draft document is a detailed look at the Alternatives and their impacts, and a thorough public review is essential in finalizing the plan. Our goal remains to develop a final plan that will provide a variety of recreational opportunities while continuing to preserve and protect the natural and cultural resources of Ozark National Scenic Riverways for future generations."

Superintendent Black invites all interested individuals to attend and provide comments during upcoming public meetings. Each meeting will consist of an Open House session for distributing information and receiving comments related to the Draft GMP, followed by a formal Wilderness Hearing to allow individuals to voice their opinion about the proposed wilderness designation. Please click the "Meeting Notices" tab to the left for locations, dates, and times for these open houses.

As always, we look forward to hearing from the public and encourage all to visit the park's website at or our Facebook page for further updates. For more information, please contact Dena Matteson at (573) 323-8028 or

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.
Contact Information
Ozark National Scenic Riverways
P. O. Box 490
Van Buren, Missouri 63965