As funding runs dry, our state parks could slip into disrepair

From Lake of the Ozarks, where visitors can observe bald eagles, to the historic Katy Trail, which stretches through four-fifths of Missouri, our state parks rank among the nation's best and most visited. But some of our state leaders haven't been prioritizing our parks as the state treasures that they are.

In fact, many of our parks are falling apart, due to a backlog of nearly $400 million in critically needed infrastructure upgrades. Aging water and electrical systems and broken bridges and cabins are now commonplace in these amazing places.

For too long, our legislators have looked the other way and diverted funding away from conservation. And we can't let it happen anymore.

Our parks need steady funding

Without dedicated state funding, park managers can't afford to fix the unreliable water systems at Hawn State Park, restore aging cabins at Lake of the Ozarks, or repair stressed bridges along the Katy Trail.

We refuse to let our natural heritage crumble — and we have a plan to convince state leaders to get serious about funding for our state parks, from Katy Trail to Ha Ha Tonka. We're bringing together Missourians from all walks of life to protect our parks. All of us — bird-watchers, hikers, tourism businesses and Missourians across the state — have something to fight for.

With your activism and our advocacy, we can protect our state parks

Two years ago, we won protections for the State Parks Earnings Fund, a cornerstone parks funding source. And now we are calling on our leaders in Jefferson City to address the backlog of rehabilitation needs in our state parks to make sure that our treasured state parks are there for future generations of Missourians.

To make sure that our legislators stand up for state parks, we’re building and strengthening alliances with outdoor enthusiasts, recreational advocates, park advocates, and members of the business community. We're also testifying in Jefferson City, educating lawmakers, and shining a spotlight in the media on the need to protect our state parks.

Thousands of you have joined the fight too. Across the state, you're calling or emailing your legislators, signing petitions, spreading the word to your friends and family, speaking up in the media, and speaking out at official hearings.

Click here to send a message to your state leaders — and join the campaign today.


Preservation updates

News Release | Environment Missouri

Citizen Group responds to Current River Plan

The National Park Service’s draft General Management Plan for the Ozark National Scenic Riverways offers potentially tremendous improvements in protection and restoration for two of Missouri’s most beautiful rivers.  The NPS released the draft GMP on November 8th, after almost 9 years of delays.  The NPS will select one of the three alternatives presented in the draft plan and use it to guide the management of the park for the next twenty years.  Environment Missouri’s response may be found at http://environmentmissouri.org/reports/moe/official-comment-ozark-national-scenic-riverways-draft-general-management-plan.

The public can find the plan on the NPS website and may comment on the plan until February 7th, when the plan will undergo final review and approval by the NPS.  “While the NPS favors Alternative B, which they argue will provide the most balance between uses of the park, we think Alternative A—which does the most to restore the river for future generations to experience and enjoy—is the alternative that best conforms to the NPS’ original goals in establishing the park.” said Keating.  “Alternative A will close the most illegal roads, create the most miles of hiking trails, and restore more of the park to its 1964 state than the other alternatives.”

> Keep Reading
Report | Environment Missouri

Official Comment for the Ozark National Scenic Riverways draft General Management Plan

In this official comment on the NPS' draft General Management Plan for the Ozarks National Scenic Riverways, Environment Missouri urges a plan that will provide the strongest possible protections for the Current and Jacks Fork rivers.

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News Release | Environment Missouri Research and Policy Center

Environment Missouri Publishes Citizens Guide to the Current River

The Citizen's Guide to the Current River to provide information on park's natural wonders, history and ways for citizens to support the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.

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Report | Environment Missouri Research and Policy Center

Citizen's Guide to the Current River

Overwhelming public support for the Current and Jacks Fork Rivers led to the creation of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways in 1964, and the public still supports the rivers and NPS management of the park.

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News Release | Environment Missouri

With One Day Left, Some Progress on State Parks

Missouri's Legislature made some progress on state parks funding, but Senate must move quickly to approve bond measure.

> Keep Reading

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