Current River

Three crown jewels of the state park system—Round Spring, Alley Spring, and Big Spring—were transferred to the National Park Service as part of the deal that led to Congressional establishment in 1964 of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, the nation's first federally designated rivers. As a result—and because of other state parks in the area, including Current River and Echo Bluff State Parks—the Missouri Parks Association has long been interested in the Ozark Riverways and their management. We watched in dismay as a pattern of permissive management took hold and resources degraded.

The National Park Service issued its long-awaited General Management Plan for the Park in December 2014.  Public comments at all stages were numerous, passionate, and polarized--about half asking for stronger management to deal with festering problems and half asking for no change, meaning anything goes.  Owing to an outpouring of support from members of MPA, Audubon, Sierra Club, and other citizen conservation organizations, the plan presents a reasonable range of alternatives that reveal a strong NPS commitment to improve conditions in the park. But now NPS is preparing a potentially even more contentious Roads and Trails Plan, which unfortunately has been delayed by massive destruction along the Riverways by historic floods in April 2016. In its coming stages, perhaps as early as late 2017, the Roads and Trails Plan will require continued strong citizen participation if the problems are to be addressed, so stay tuned.

Read an article "A Legacy of Neglect" by MPA's Susan Flader

Watch a video "Why We Must Save the Current River, Again" by MPA's John Karel and Greg Iffrig

Review a summary and key excerpts from the General Management Plan.

Check the official status of the Roads and Trails plan.

To keep up-to-date and became engaged, check the Facebook page of Friends of Ozarks Riverways.