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  Current and Jack's Fork Rivers
  Posted by: pblanc on Nov-09-13 2:52 PM (EST)
   Category: Destinations 

-- Last Updated: Nov-09-13 3:01 PM EST --

For those who paddle the Current and Jack's Fork Rivers in Missouri, or entertain thoughts of doing so in the future, please be advised that the National Park Service, which administers the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, has just released a draft management plan that outlines alternative proposed changes to the existing management plan that dates back to the 1980s and early 1990s.

The draft management plan is a nauseatingly lengthy government document (534 pages in length) that can be accessed in the form of a pdf file here:

I read as much of it as I could stand (until I got a migraine and threw up in my mouth). From the point of view of paddlers, I think the most important aspects of the proposed changes are those that would impact the current river use management plan that was adopted in 1989. There are three alternative proposals which would restrict motorized boat traffic on the Jack's Fork and Current River from what is currently permitted.

"Alternative A" would restrict motorized boat traffic the most, prohibiting it on the Jack's Fork entirely and on the Current River down to Two Rivers during peak season, and down to Round Spring in the off-season.

"Alternative B", which is favored by the NPS would restrict motorized boat traffic less, and "Alternative C" less still.

There is a table summarizing key differences among the alternatives here:

and another table summarizing the motorboat horsepower limits for the different alternatives here:

The draft management plan is open for public comment until Jan 8, 2014. If you would like to support one of the proposed management plan changes, or the status quo please go to this National Park Service website and register a comment:

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Messages in this Topic


  More info on draft management plan
  Posted by: pblanc on Nov-10-13 2:04 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Nov-10-13 2:06 PM EST --

I have tried, at considerable peril, to digest a bit more of the NPS draft management plan for the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.

The three alternative proposals of course involve much more than the river management plan changes that were summarized in the links I provided above.

I realize that few people are going to be inclined to wade through this 500+ page document so I have tried to summarize key differences between the three alternative proposals. Most of this info is taken from Table 13 of the draft management plan, pp. 145-150, which can be accessed through this site:

Alternative "A" key points:

The percentage of land in the ONSR that would be zoned as either "natural" or "primitive" would total 95.4%.

60/40 horsepower engines would be prohibited throughout the ONSR on the Current and Jack's Fork (note that 60/40 hp engines are currently being tolerated on some stretches of the ONSR but they are against the letter of the law. It is unclear to me if and when the NPS would enforce the law if the "No Action" alternative is adopted).

The 6 existing designated campgrounds would be preserved, but as far as I can tell, no new campgrounds would be developed.

Some river access points open for concession floating would be closed and reconditioned and new ones might be opened, but the total number of access points for concession floating would decrease.

As many as 25 miles of new horseback riding trails would be developed, but there would be no new stream crossings for horseback trails.

Illegally developed roads would be closed. Vehicular access to all gravel bars would be eliminated. Gravel bar access would be walk-in or by boat only. Roads to primitive campsites would be removed. There would be no horse camping.

Alternative "B" ("favored" by the NPS) key points:

Percentage of ONSR lands zoned "natural" or "primitive" would totl 88.4%.

60/40 horsepower outboard motors would be allowed on some stretches of river (they are currently tolerated on some stretches of river but technically speaking, they are against the law).

There would be up to 20 new concession access points for float trips (while some existing concession access points might be closed) but the total number of concession access points would remain the same, or decrease.

There would be up to 35 miles of new horseback riding trails including new stream crossings.

A 25 campsite horse campground may be established (it is not clear to me where this would be).

Two new designated campgrounds may be provided, at Akers on the upper Current, and at Blue Spring on the upper Jack's Fork.

A "learning center" may be constructed at Powder Mill.

Roads to primitive campsites would be removed. The number of gravel bars accessible to vehicles would be "designated" and reduced from the existing number.

Alternative "C" key points:

The percentage of ONSR lands zoned as "natural" or "primitive" would total 34.7% (that's right, thirty four point seven percent). 59,6% if lands would be zoned for "resource-based recreation" and the remaining 5.2% zoned "developed".

60/40 horsepower outboard motors would be allowed on some sections of the rivers.

Up to 45 miles of new horseback riding trails may be developed including new stream crossings.
A 25 campsite horse campground may be established on the Jack's Fork River.

Two new designated campgrounds may be established at Akers (Current River) and Blue Spring (Jack's Fork River).

Existing vehicular access to gravel bar sites and overnight camping would continue to be allowed. Roads to primitive campsites would be removed and replaced with hiking trails.

"Additional facilities would be necessary to accommodate
higher levels and different types of visitor use. There would
be more types of designated camping opportunities,
including primitive, semiprimitive, semideveloped, and
developed sites. There would also be more boat ramps and
trails for hiking and horseback riding"

(the last paragraph is taken verbatim from the draft management plan document).

Sorry for the length of this post, but believe me, it is better than trying to read the parent document.

  The bottom line...............
  Posted by: on Nov-10-13 2:45 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Nov-10-13 11:51 PM EST --

Alternative A is, in my opinion, without any doubt, the smart choice of "paddlers".

Alternative C is, in my opinion, without any doubt, the choice of those who view the river as nothing more than a place to use, to increase their personal income/fortune.

The people who cater to the "horse people" & all the money involved with that; horses, trailers, tack, feed, fuel, rental stalls, liquor sales, food sales, etc. They want more trails & more river crossings. Bet money on it; they have been & continue to lobby for alternative C.

Those who cater to the weekend "river dorks/drunks" & all that goes with that: canoe/kayak/raft rental, shuttle fees, liquor sales, food sales, etc. They want more accesses, and more campgrounds.Bet money on it; they have been & continue to lobby for alternative C.

Those who cater to the "jon boat jockeys" & all that goes with that: boat sales, trailers, motors, maintenance on boats & motors,parts, fuel, liquor sales, etc. They want more accesses, and they want the freedom to use higher horsepower motors. Bet money on it; they have been & continue to lobby for alternative C.

Those who cater to the travel trailers & all that goes with that: trailer sales, maintenance, fuel, food, repairs, liquor sales. They want more/larger campgrounds with electric hookup & sewage disposal available. Bet money on it; they have been & continue to lobby for alternative C.

Add to that those who want more land along the riverway opened to construction of the river Mcmansions. Real estate, builders, roofers, concrete companies, gas & electric companies, road builders, insurance agents, gravel companies, building suppliers, etc.

Those people will never quit, until they get what they want. And sooner or later; they'll get it!What do they want? More money flowing into their pockets.
The river? Screw the river! They don't give a tinker's dam about that river, and what happens to it! The river just presents opportunities for the greedy.
Anyone who thinks otherwise is naive at best.


P.S. Want to see what greed has done to the lower Jack's Fork River. Paddle from Eminence to where it joins the Current River at the Two Rivers access.
Check out the 2,000 plus horse barns/stalls for rent on river left, just below Emminence. As you continue downstream; check out the condition & the smell of the river. Looks & smells like a horse sewer.

Not to worry; the NPS is taking care of it; they've been "studying it" for about 15 years.
The river is polluted, but the horse business is great.

  Well, I agree with you Bob,
  Posted by: pblanc on Nov-10-13 4:14 PM (EST)
pretty much anyway, which I find slightly alarming.

I did leave a comment in favor of "Alternative A". I have to point out that "Alternative B" which is favored by the NPS is perhaps not entirely onerous.

It would allow 60/40 hp outboard motors, but only in areas where they are currently being "tolerated". It would restrict power boats significantly more than the current river management plan does, prohibiting all power boats on the Jack's Fork down to West Eminence and the Current down to Round Spring during peak season. It would still allow power boats as high as Pulltite and Bay Creek in the off-season.

Alternative "B" allows for the possibility that the Akers campground might reopen (which some might view as a good thing) as well as a new campground at Blue Spring. It also proposes to reduce vehicular access to gravel bars from what is currently permitted.

I have no objection to a "learning center" at Powder Mill as proposed in Alternative B. I am much less excited about new horse trails crossing the river and a possible 25 campsite horse campground opening on the river God knows where.

It is a minor point, but restricting motor traffic up to Pulltite during the off-season could work against our "Fall Ozark Rendezvous" gathering. When I called the ONSR last year to clarify whether or not the water would remain on at Pulltite through mid October (in view of the sequester) I was assured that it would remain on until the end of "gigging season" sometime in January.

Now I know next to nothing about gigging, but I am pretty sure it is traditionally conducted from powered craft, and if such are prohibited above Round Spring, it is perhaps likely that there would be no giggers at Pulltite and no water after the campground season is officially over.

I'm not trying to tell anyone which alternative to support, but it seems to me that "Alternative C" if adopted, could drastically change the nature of ONSR, IMO for the worse.
  Posted by: al_a on Nov-10-13 10:07 PM (EST)
those people don't even like alternative C. They want "no action". they like things as they are, with little plan for protection of the resource.

Our illustrious idiot of a House representative supports the no action alternative. He said something to the effect that he would fight "park service encroachment on our public lands". HUH???? Hey, doofus, those public lands are administered by the Park Service, and they wouldn't BE public lands if the Park Service hadn't come along and bought them up.

As much as I love my native Ozarks, I sure do dislike a whole lot of the people living there.
  Thank you VERY MUCH
  Posted by: deuce on Nov-11-13 9:10 AM (EST)
for posting this. It's immensely helpful to those of us disinclined to wade through all the BS to get to the really informative stuff you provided. I'll paste the link on the ACC web site and put something about this in the next newsletter.
  My view so far
  Posted by: vic on Nov-11-13 1:20 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Nov-11-13 1:58 AM EST --

I am still trying to digest the differences among the plans. So far I am leaning toward Plan A, except for the following provision (which is also in Plan B and Plan C):

“Camping on gravel bars would be allowed in designated campsites only.”

This is a direct quote from table 13 - the alternative comparison table found on page 126 of the draft plan. Under the non-action alternative “campers would continue to be allowed to locate their own campsites on gravel bars.”

I will explore this further but one of the objectives in my comments will be to continue to allow paddlers and hikers to locate our own campsites on gravel bars and not be restricted to gravel bar camping only in designated campsites. However, my comments will support restricting other campers (drive in, ATV, horseback, etc.) to designated campsites only.

We do have until January to submit our comments, so I have more time to study the draft plan before submitting my comments.

I can understand why some paddlers may think it’s not worth their effort to submit comments because the moneyed interests always win. Well, they didn’t win when the Ozark Scenic Riverways was created, and they didn’t win their attempts to dam up the Grand Canyon or the Buffalo River.

It’s true that they usually win. It’s true they will keep trying. It’s also true that we have to win every time and they only have to win once because when they win the resource we are trying to protect (in this case the Current and Jack Fork) will be forever changed for the worse.

But goddamn it we have to f--k--g keep trying because if we don’t comment and keep trying to protect what we love then they will surely win and the Current and Jacks Fork will be worse off forever.

  Good point
  Posted by: pblanc on Nov-11-13 8:01 AM (EST)
Yes, others have noticed the entry in the table of proposed alternatives that states "Camping on gravel bars would be allowed in designated campsites only".

Again, this applies to all three of the alternative management plans "A", "B", and "C". I have not as yet found in the text of the document clarification of this statement as to whether this applies to paddlers on overnight river trips, and if so, which gravel bars would constitute "designated campsites" and where would they be located. The index of the document has no entries for either "gravel bars" or "camping".

There is a facebook page for the Current, Jack's Fork, and Eleven Point Rivers and others have posted queries requesting clarification on this issue.
  Posted by: al_a on Nov-11-13 12:49 PM (EST)
In the plan, it specifically states that the gravel bar camping will be restricted to designated sites only, EXCEPT FOR PRIMITIVE CAMPING. In other words, in all three alternatives, camping as it is done while floating--setting up your tent on any gravel bar you come to--will still be allowed. What this provision is trying to stop is the nimrods who pull their campers out onto gravel bars that are accessible by the often unauthorized roads. Unfortunately, this wasn't pointed out in the news releases, so it's one of the things that has gotten a lot of people up in arms and is being exploited by the "aginners" who don't like the Park Service doing anything to control them.
  You might be right
  Posted by: pblanc on Nov-11-13 2:07 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Nov-11-13 2:14 PM EST --

but if you actually read this in the draft management plan can you support it with a page reference?

I certainly have yet to find in the document anything that clearly says that. On the contrary, what I have found thus far argues that gravel bar camping would only be allowed in designated areas.

I can refer you to Table 5, titled "Recreation Activities by Management Zone" which appears on page 49 of the plan. The fourth entry down in the "Activity" column is "Camping on Gravel Bars" and it carries the footnote "camping on gravel bars would only be allowed in designated areas." This applies to all of the river-based management zones, "non-motorized river", "seasonal mixed-use river", and "mixed-use river". As far as I can tell thus far the "designated areas" are not specified anywhere in the document.

Table 13 titled "Summary of Key Differences Among the Alternatives" says the same thing. In that table the row entry "gravel bar camping" which appears on page 126 states "Camping on gravel bars would be allowed in designated campsites only" and that is the same for all three proposals "A", "B", and "C".

As for camping being unrestricted in areas zoned "Primitive", even if that is true it won't help much in terms of camping on gravel bars accessible from the river. If you look at the land management zoning map for the proposed "Alternative A" that appears on page 67 you will see that even under that alternative, which has far and away the most land zoned "Primitive", only a small portion of the Current River above Round Spring would be zoned that way, just above and below Pulltite. None of the Jack's Fork below Bay Creek would be zoned "Primitive".

And if you look at the zoning map for "Alternative B" (favored by the NPS) on page 75 you will see that virtually none of the Current River (except for the aforementioned area near Pulltite) all the way down to Robert's Field would be so zoned. Under "Alternative B" the only portion of the Jack's Fork that would be zoned "Primitive" would be a portion of the stretch between Blue Spring and Rymers.

Under "Alternative C" (zoning map on page 81) you will find that none of the Current River would be zoned "Primitive" and the only part of the Jack's Fork that would be would again be a stretch between Blue Spring and Rymers.

It may be that the intent of the NPS is indeed to restrict gravel bar camping only for vehicular access but as far as I, and others, can tell so far, that is not spelled out clearly anywhere in the document.

Jo Shaper, who is the assistant editor of "River Hills Traveler Blog - Trav Talk" ( has made phone inquiries regarding this issue but has not yet received a definite answer. Here is a response she made earlier today to a query I posted on the blog:

"I asked for clarification on that Friday from the park’s information officer (in two phone calls) and was told that the “designated gravel bars” applied to drive-in party sites, and that the use of gravel bars by boat float campers needed to be clarified. I gave her my example that, in 1996, my husband, brother and I floated from Akers to Van Buren, and we never stayed in any designated campsite during the week because none of them were convenient to making 10-12 miles a day, plus we felt it actually safer NOT be at a developed campsite. If you read the document under Alternative A, it talks about preserving the character of remote float camping, but doesn’t go into any details. Remote float camping certainly would not entail herding people into designated sites. That defeats the purpose.

During my phone conversation, the information officer had an off the phone conversation with a co-worker; the gist of their discussion was it was directed against the drive in gravel bars, not the remote leave no trace float campers, but that was unofficial information.

After reading the interpretation in the story published yesterday in the Kansas City Star, I sent off an email re-asking the question to the Park’s fire information officer, whom I have been told is the guru on this document.

Today is a federal holiday, so won’t get an answer until tomorrow, but will post when I do. -Jo Schaper asst. editor
- See more at:"

Here is a link to the Kansas City Star article:

There has also been considerable discussion to the topic of gravel bar camping by river trippers on the Facebook page for the Current River, Jack's Fork, and Eleven Point, which interested parties can check out if they wish.

  Page 40:
  Posted by: al_a on Nov-11-13 10:39 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Nov-11-13 10:45 PM EST --

Under the heading:

Factor 3: Provide Desirable Visitor Experiences and Services

All three action alternatives would share the following actions:

(Down toward the bottom of the list)

Restrict gravel bar camping to designated campsites only--except for primitive camping)

This has nothing to do with zones marked "primitive". Primitive camping is usually meant to signify tent camping with no services, exactly what you do float camping on gravel bars. Yes, they should have spelled this out in each alternative, but it's there, and the employees appear to agree with that interpretation in their remarks to Jo. I would be VERY surprised if the higher ups don't agree as well.

  Thanks for the reference
  Posted by: pblanc on Nov-12-13 6:11 AM (EST)
Yes, I had noticed that but it is not entirely clear to me that the NPS will define "primitive camping" the same way that you have, to include camping on gravel bars by river trippers, in view of the fact that in several other places in the document they have stated that camping on gravel bars will be permitted in designated sites only.

I hope they do, of course, but I think this needs to be clearly spelled out by Superintendent Black. Hopefully, Jo will receive an official response soon.
  Primitive camping
  Posted by: paddledad on Nov-12-13 9:11 AM (EST)
is a pretty well defined term, I think we're safe. I would consider gravel bar camping sacrosanct in the ONSR.
I'm confident these plans won't restrict it. Even if they wanted to, it's largely unenforceable. I don't see NPS running a jon boat up and down the river after nightfall.
Bob's right about one thing. County and state officials will lobby for the rights of those who spend the most money in their districts.
And that's not primitive camping floaters.
  I have alot less confidence in the NPS
  Posted by: pblanc on Nov-12-13 10:09 AM (EST)
to do the "right thing" than I used to.

During the recent government shutdown there were many examples of the National Park Service going "above and beyond the call of duty" to shut down features when it would have cost nothing to anyone not to do so.

As for the ONSR, during the recent government shutdown Superintendent Black went on record to say the the NPS would not close the Current and Jack's Fork Rivers, not because it was the right thing to keep access open, but because he had been advised that he did not have the authority legally to do so. Of course, all access to the rivers was closed except in areas in which a county road abutted the river to allow access. Black did say that any river trippers who somehow managed to magically get on the river who were found camping overnight on gravel bars would be asked to leave.

That was probably unenforceable as well, which in my opinion was an excellent reason for the Superintendent not to go on record saying the gravel bars were closed. Especially in view of the fact that the NPS jurisdiction over gravel bars that are below the high water mark is very much in question.

So I for one would like to see this point clarified in writing rather than trusting to the "good intentions" of the NPS.
  I Will Make My Voice Heard
  Posted by: wildernesswebb on Nov-11-13 7:43 AM (EST)
Heck, I'm probably on the FBI's "Surveillance roster" as I have been VERY vocal about my concerns on his stances to our illustrious "Teabagger" representative, Jason Smith. I'm certain he'd promote logging it, mining it, and building 5-Star hotels on the banks if he could pull it off? So, PLEASE, any of you whom use the Riverways or would like to visit, let your voice be heard!
  That's it buddy
  Posted by: pblanc on Nov-11-13 8:32 AM (EST)
You're going on the "No Paddle" list straightaway.
  and will promptly be sent a
  Posted by: kayamedic on Nov-11-13 8:42 AM (EST)
  Posted by: wildernesswebb on Nov-11-13 10:48 AM (EST)
  Does the...
  Posted by: canoeswithduckheads on Nov-11-13 3:08 PM (EST)
...body come attached with the head?

No message...or is it? (OK! OK! Kill the scratchy violins play'n Nino Rota stuff!)
  I did think of that...
  Posted by: kayamedic on Nov-11-13 5:38 PM (EST)
but didn't want to go there...

Speaking of this group they all need to plan a retirement home on the Current River that allows geezers to paddle. And comes with a line of rockers on the bankside porch of course so they can continue their "conversation"

Because of the requirements, they will have to fund it. I don't think such an animal exists.
  Hey Terry
  Posted by: vic on Nov-11-13 12:14 PM (EST)
If it's a good horse you could trade it straight up for the Colden canoe of your choice - how does a Starfire sound?

Oh, by the way welcome to the club. I've been on the FBI surveillance list since 1969 when I circulated McGovern-Hatfield petitions to end the war while stationed in Minot. A year later we were under surveillance when we picketed Spiro Agnew at a campaign stop in Minot. I still have the peace flag I was carrying.
  Aha, so
  Posted by: pblanc on Nov-11-13 12:36 PM (EST)
does that make you a pusillanimous pussyfooter, a hopeless, hysterical hypochondriac of history, or just a plain, old nattering nabob of negativism?
  Posted by: on Nov-11-13 1:48 PM (EST)
Vic is a fan of Charlie Daniels; a loyal follower of brother John Birch, a member of the Antioch Baptist church, and has a commie flag tacked up in his garage.


  Posted by: pblanc on Nov-11-13 2:15 PM (EST)
he is a mastermind in the ways of espionage.
  Inquiring mind wants to know?
  Posted by: on Nov-11-13 6:16 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Nov-11-13 7:11 PM EST --

Where is all the money for those horse trails, trail camps, trail maintenance & upkeep, a learning center, 2 new campgrounds, and staff to man them, going to come from anyway?

They currently don't have the staffing necessary to man the fancy new Ranger stations at Akers Ferry, or Pulltite?
Those 2 edifices to government spending, the re-engineering cost, and cost overruns resulted in the addition of about 5 showers, and 5 bathrooms.
Those projects only cost several million dollars!
That some pretty damn expensive bathrooms!

Ranger presence on the river to curb the stupidity of the river dorks, dopers, 4 wheelers, goat ropers, and jon boat jockeys?
Virtually non-existent. I personally have not seen a ranger on the river in the past 2 years.
Solution: Build more horse trails, horse trail camps, campgrounds, learning centers, parking lots, bathrooms, and shower stalls?

I think what is needed is a merry go round at Two Rivers, a water park at Akers with a plume ride, a big roller coaster with a neat name at Round Springs, a go cart track at Cedar Grove, and zip wires strung over the river every 5 miles. Maybe a dirt bike track at Blue Spring?

That's what it's all about; screw that scenic riverway theme; we're talking Worlds of Fun!

All the ONSR really needs is a "community organizer", and a multi million dollar website that doesn't work! That would be a start.......


  Bob is mostly right
  Posted by: vic on Nov-11-13 8:39 PM (EST)
I haven't seen a ranger on the Current River EVER, but I've only been paddling the Current since 1993. But I betcha if we had the Fall Ozark Rendezvous on the Current this year during the shut down we would have seen some.

Also, I have to admit to liking some of Charlie Daniels stuff (can't bitch at The Devil Went Down to Georgia), but I would not call myself a big Charlie Daniels fan the same way I call myself a big fan of The Band.

I'm definitely not fan of John Birch, and never have or will belong to any Baptist church for obvious reasons. As for that commie stuff, have you heard my iPod playlist Songs of the Wobblies?
  Charlie Daniels
  Posted by: pblanc on Nov-12-13 6:04 AM (EST)
On peace signs, long hair, commie flags, and brother John Birch:
  Short version of the plan!
  Posted by: randy_morgart on Nov-12-13 9:43 PM (EST)
Jo and the crew at River Hills Traveler have done an outstanding job of shrinking the plan to 17 pages with an outstanding comparison and maps.

  Yeah right Vic..............
  Posted by: on Nov-12-13 11:17 PM (EST)
Next thing you know; you'll be telling us you don't have a commie flag tacked up on the wall in your garage.......because you don't even have a garage.

And if we don't believe you; we should call & ask your wife.

  OK, OK, I get it now
  Posted by: vic on Nov-12-13 11:35 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Nov-12-13 11:47 PM EST --

Forgot about that song. Thanks for the link Pete.

My only Charlie Daniels album is my old vinyl version of The Charlie Daniels Band A Decade of Hits from the early 80's. Haven't listened to my LPs in at least 10 years, so I forgot about "Uneasy Rider." Now I gotta see if I can digitize that LP and get that stuff on my iPod.

I'm not a fan of his more recent stuff that I've heard on the radio -- a bit too jingoistic for me.

Now John Prine's "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore" is more my style. We used to sing it in the barracks all the time (along with "Illegal Smile").

  Clarification on gravel bar access
  Posted by: pblanc on Nov-13-13 11:38 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Nov-13-13 12:39 PM EST --

Jo Schaper of River Hills Traveler has received official clarification from the NPS regarding paddler access to gravel bars:

In case you have difficulty accessing the site or don't wish to:

"By Jo Schaper

According to an email we received this morning from Dena Matteson, NPS park spokesman on the Draft General Management Plan said (and we quote) that none of the alternatives would change gravel bar camping where the gravel bar is accessed by boat, canoe, kayak, or tube. draftgmp

Matteson said:

“…we have found that the language in the draft GMP is confusing regarding gravel bar camping. None of the alternatives in the Draft GMP were intended to imply that all gravel bar camping was going to be restricted to designated sites only. Upon closer review of the document we discovered that this has been made unclear because it is discussed under the “Land-Based Recreation” section of each alternative, which is supposed to be specifically addressing gravel bar camping on gravel bars that are accessed by vehicles.

“This is unclear and understandably confusing. It has also been translated inaccurately to a couple of other places in the Draft GMP, such as Table 5 and Table 13. Those statements will need to be edited to something such as: “Camping on gravel bars accessed by vehicles would be allowed only in designated campsites.” These would actually be great points for folks to provide comments on – that the Draft GMP is unclear and confusing on this subject, so that we can make sure it is addressed before the final is issued.

So essentially, river access to gravel bars (e.g. by boat, canoe, kayak, raft, tube) will not change under any of the alternatives. However, camping on gravel bars that are accessed by vehicles would be allowed only in designated campsites. Please share this with your readers. We certainly understand the upset and anxiety that have developed and would like to put everyone’s fears about it to rest.”
- See more at:"

I had already commented on the unclear language pertaining to gravel bar camping in the draft document as NPS spokesperson Matteson suggests. It would be helpful if others did so as well when posting comments in support of one of the action alternatives. The site to post official comments to the NPS on the draft management plan for ONSR is here:

  Not cool
  Posted by: paddledad on Nov-13-13 2:52 PM (EST)
So folks not aware of this "coming correction" are currently providing comments and taking surveys without that info. NPS knows that gravel bar camping is a flashpoint. As soon as people read that gravel bar camping is restricted to designated sites on plans A, B and C, heck even Jo's much appreciated spreadsheet states this, and they see that the only plan that allows it is "no action", they won't even bother reading further.
I'm afraid they will be be overwhelmingly in favor of no action. I think we (primitive camping floaters) will be unwitting accomplices to the river abusers and profiteers that Al refers to above.
Call me skeptical that this was a simple oversight.
  Outside the Alternative Boxes?
  Posted by: gremmie on Nov-15-13 8:54 AM (EST)

Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

A quick look leaves me asking: is NPS stuck with the choice of just one of the alternatives or are there mix and match possibilites? Can some of the best features of Alt. A be matched with some of the best of "B"?

I am a little suspect of the "preferred" plan. Kind of easy for NPS to try to hit the middle path by presenting extremes on both sides while sneaking in some features that really don't square with the entire concept of National Scenic Rivers. This is especially the case with expanding motorized watercraft where NPS has already allowed it to creep past the allowed zones. Might as well just go ahead and legalize cannabis consumption on the river according to this logic. I can then set up my "NRS" concession -- Natural River Shaman, guide service. Slide to Power Off.
  Good question
  Posted by: pblanc on Nov-15-13 9:41 AM (EST)
Since the NPS calls the management plan proposal a "draft", one might assume that there would be some potential to modify the various action alternatives if there was great public pressure to do so.

A number of folks have expressed the suspicion that the NPS has basically already decided what they want to do (or rather what they want Congress to authorize them to do and appropriate funding for) and that the whole public discussion thing is just for appearances sake so they can say they moved ahead with public support. But perhaps that is an overly cynical view.

In addition to the public comment webpage that I provided a link to in several posts above, there will be three public meetings to educate the public and discuss the draft management plan.

Here is a (lengthy) excerpt taken from the "Friends of Ozark Riverways" Facebook page:

"Ozark Riverways Provides Clarification on
Draft General Management Plan

VAN BUREN MO: Ozark National Scenic Riverways Superintendent Bill Black encourages public review and comment on the Draft General Management Plan/Wilderness Study/Environmental Statement (Draft Plan), which became available on November 8. The Draft Plan may be reviewed online at Comments may also be submitted on this website.

Once the Draft Plan was released for public review, the park recognized the need for clarification on several issues related to the plan and the public meeting format. According to Superintendent Black, “We are aware that information on gravel bar camping in the document has caused confusion, and we would like to clarify that. Access from the river to gravel bars will not change under any of the alternatives. However, drive-in camping on gravel bars would be allowed only in designated campsites. Examples of places where this would occur are Logyard and the existing campsites at Two Rivers.”

Another point for clarification relates to primitive campsites. The NPS preferred alternative proposes that some roads to primitive sites may be closed, however this information was transferred incorrectly to one of the tables in the document.

Additionally, Black says, “Because this is the “Draft” Plan, we recognize that there are going to be details we need to adjust or clarify. This is the intent of public review - to help us identify where we need to make those adjustments.”

Superintendent Black invites everyone who is interested in learning more about the Draft Plan to attend one of the public meetings. “We want to reassure everyone that the primary purpose for the open houses is to provide information and answer questions. If you are unable to attend an open house, it will not limit your opportunity to comment on the Draft Plan. We are encouraging that public comments be submitted online, which can be done at any time through the end of the review period. For added convenience, there will be computer stations available at the open houses for those who would like to submit their comments at that time. If those options aren’t convenient, we still welcome an old-fashioned letter to the park.”

The public comment period will be open through January 8, 2014.

Three public meetings have been scheduled at this time. Each will consist of an open house session for asking questions and sharing information. In Van Buren and Kirkwood, the open houses will be followed by wilderness hearings in order to allow individuals to express their opinions about the proposed wilderness designation. Currently, public meetings are scheduled for:

Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Van Buren Youth & Community Center
Intersection of Business Highway 60 and D Highway, Van Buren, MO 63965
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Open House
8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Wilderness Hearing

Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Salem City Hall Auditorium
202 North Washington, Salem, MO 65560
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Open House

Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center
11715 Cragwold Road, Kirkwood, MO 63122
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Open House
8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Wilderness Hearing

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.

Faye Walmsley
Chief of Interpretation and Public Information Officer
Ozark National Scenic Riverways
P. O. Box 490
Van Buren, MO 63965
(573) 323-4844"
  Zones for Motorized Watercraft
  Posted by: gremmie on Nov-16-13 7:40 AM (EST)
Anyone have any sense of what the proposals for expanding the zones for motorized watercraft would actually look and sound like?

I have been fortunate not to have experienced any of this during my few and limited trips on the Current in October.
So, I don't know how much motorized traffic has been occurring already (Plan A). Plan B does seem to be a significant expansion. Allowing 60 HP jet boats access all the way to Round Spring? The stretch from Round Spring to Two Rivers does give one a feeling of being truly remote in an incredibly beautiful wilderness setting -- just as fine as many stretches on the Buffalo. Tranquility would be seriously breached and undermined by the noise created by gas engines.

I realize the NPS is in the hot seat here attempting to ride the rough edge between the interests of those seeking near wilderness experiences and the interests of those who are attempting to make livings, grow businesses, create jobs, and carry on local outdoor tradition (e.g. sucker gigging). And attempting to do this in an increasingly crowded world populated by people hungry for outdoor experiences. Without undermining the quality of the natural environment by affording more access via increased development. In an area where anti government sentiment dominates.

I can only make it as simple as Henry David Thoreau did, "In wildness is the preservation of the world." I continue to come back to this as my one guiding light. We gotta have faith in the wild seed.

Placing all of this in the context of a civilization that grows increasingly unsustainable perhaps puts all of this in the proper perspective of folly chasing folly.
  I think you misinterpreted Lou
  Posted by: pblanc on Nov-16-13 8:49 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Nov-16-13 8:59 AM EST --

The "no action" alternative described in the draft management plan represents the status quo with regards to river and land management use.

Action alternative "A" would limit motor powered craft usage very significantly from what is permitted now. In fact, all of the management plan action alternatives would limit motor traffic on some of the upper stretches of the rivers (down to Akers on the Current and down to Rymers on the Jack's Fork) from what is currently allowed.

Refer to this table from the draft management plan which appears on page 48:

The first column titled "No-action alternative" shows the horsepower limits which are currently permitted by the NPS. This reflects the current river management plan that dates back to 1989. But there is a caveat. The 60/40 hp motors which are currently being allowed on the rivers are actually prohibited by the Code of Federal Regulations but this has not been enforced by the NPS. Action alternatives "B" and "C" would formally allow these motors on certain stretches of the river as shown in the table.

Here is an except from page 47 of the draft management plan:

"During public scoping meetings it became
apparent a major topic of public interest
was in the size of motors currently allowed
on the rivers. Existing park regulations (36
CFR 7.83(a) (2), see appendix C) prohibits
the use of motors rated higher than 40 hp
by the manufacturer from Big Springs
upriver to Alley Springs and Round
Springs. However, for many years the
National Riverways has interpreted the
regulations as allowing (and the public has
been using) motors rated up to 60 hp if
they were equipped with a jet powered
prop that effectively lowered the usable
horsepower to 40 hp. The National Park
Service has recently been advised that this
interpretation of the regulations is in
variance with the Code of Federal
Regulations. This issue has been included in
this comprehensive planning process
because the discussion of motor size could
logically include a range of alternatives for
how the public recreates on and uses the

I am a relative newcomer to the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. I have paddled most of the Jack's Fork from the Prongs down to West Eminence, and all of the Current from Baptist Camp down to Two Rivers and thus far I have relatively infrequently encountered power boats. I haven't had any really unpleasant encounters with power boat users in the ONSR (and I certainly have elsewhere) but most of my trips have either been in the off-season or during weekdays. I have heard some pretty loud gigging boats at night at Pulltite in October but the din was rather brief in duration.

I imagine that power boats are encountered much more frequently on the lower stretches of the rivers and on weekend days in peak season.

It would seem that none of the action alternatives would likely result in paddlers being more likely to encounter power boats unless enactment of one of the action proposals somehow encouraged more power boat users to come to the rivers.

  Posted by: gremmie on Nov-16-13 9:28 AM (EST)


I got "A" mixed up with the no action plan. But, I consider "A" to be highly preferable to "B" regarding the motorized craft. The barn door may be open now but no need to make it any wider.

  I agree
  Posted by: pblanc on Nov-16-13 10:27 AM (EST)
As a paddler, I find action alternative "A" preferable to "B" and vastly preferable to "C".

I guess my position might be considered selfish by power boat users, but I would really prefer not to encounter the noise and wakes that go along with power boats. One usually hears them coming long before they are seen, and very often the same boat is encountered twice, once going upstream and once going back down. There are relatively few places left in the Midwest where one can paddle a river free from the sounds and smells of powerboats and the Current and Jack's Fork are two of them, and being spring fed they can be paddled year round. There are many places for power boaters to go.
  Power Boats
  Posted by: vic on Nov-16-13 1:51 PM (EST)
Noise and wakes are a problem, but some power boaters are downright dangerous.

I specifically recall one incident on the Current in mid October and the river was low. We were between Bee Bluff and Two Rivers paddling loaded canoes. I was the third canoe in line paddling downriver in the narrow channel.

We heard, but could not see, a power boat coming upstream around a bend. As he became visible he was approaching our lead canoe at a high rate of speed and yelling "get out of the road."

There was no place for us to go except in the channel because the river was so low. Even if we had taken to the shallows we would have run aground before being able to get out of his way.

At the last second he decided not to collide with our lead canoe and veered off to the shallows as he cussed us in language I had not heard since growing up in New York City. He barely missed ramming the lead canoe head on.

So, my comments are going to support the power boat limitations of Plan A. I really don't see the need for 40hp above Two Rivers. Aside from a few idiots like the one we encountered above, the responsible power boater I have seen above Two River are primarily fishing. I believe they can easily move among their fishing spots with less than 40hp motors placing paddlers in jeopardy.

In my experience power boat motor horsepower is like boundary bag capacity. Whatever capacity you have you will use. So for a lighter load, use a smaller bag. For lower speed use less horsepower.

  Posted by: pblanc on Nov-16-13 3:16 PM (EST)
I have had more encounters of that type with power boaters than I would have liked. I have been lucky thus far on the Current and Jack's Fork.

I should probably say that it is only a minority of power boaters who behave in a way that is at best rude and at worst dangerous to paddlers, but the yahoos certainly stick in your mind.

I lived for a number of years on Tim's Ford Lake in Tennessee, and it did seem at times that the power boat operators' IQs were inversely proportional to the horsepower of their motors.

On a narrow river, when I hear a powerboat coming I will try to get over next to the bank before it appears, just in case the driver happens to be a jackass, but as you point out, that is not always possible.
  powertrip paddlers
  Posted by: Coldspring on Nov-16-13 5:32 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Nov-16-13 6:04 PM EST --

I've never had any problems with any power boaters on any river, or horse riders. I've been purposely rammed by canoers though, and found several paddlers to be of the arrogant or unfriendly persuasion. I don't particulary want to see many people everytime I go out, but they are there and have as much right to be there as I do. If I wanted privacy, I would buy my own's cheap in the Ozarks...and put up no trespassing signs. If you don't want to encounter other users take up another hobby in a place that isn't so popular. Backpacking in the Ozarks requires physical effort, more than sitting in a boat and steering. Try mountain biking, rock climbing whatever. Maybe paddlers are just as lazy as they accuse the powerboaters of being. A river like the Current is a lazy man's river, and will attract lazy people. It's not like it takes a high IQ or knowledge of technology to steer a canoe or kayak on the Current or Jacks Fork, the indians did it long before white man arrived in Missouri, and they built their canoes, they didn't purchase a storebought petroleum product with a mastercard and immediately cop an attitude that they are some kind of wilderness voyageur. Fact it requires more knowledge to work a motor boat as it has parts and requires registation licenses. The paddlers bother them more than they bother the paddlers because they have to be on the lookout and have the liability of injury to worry about. Powerboaters could arguably be smarter than paddlers, they have a larger investment in the vehicle for starters. They can take their whole family out for a pleasant day, and some of those family members might be feeble, handicapped, or elderly.

  discourteous paddlers
  Posted by: pblanc on Nov-16-13 7:06 PM (EST)
There is no question that one encounters loud, unruly and discourteous paddlers on the Jack's Fork and Current Rivers. That has been the experience of many others who post here who paddle the ONSR and it is addressed in the draft management plan as well.

In my experience, these people have always been patrons of canoe liveries, not that there are not many well-mannered canoe livery clients as well. But paddlers simply don't have the potential to endanger others' safety the way a power boater can.

As I said before, I have not encountered a power boater who exhibited malicious behavior on the Current or Jack's Fork Rivers. But I have elsewhere, particularly on lakes in Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

I have had power boaters pass me at high speed unnecessarily closely many times. I have had some deliberately set a course straight at me and veer off at the last moment. I have twice had power boaters come at me at speed and turn quickly in close proximity in an attempt to throw up a big wake to swamp my canoe. Objecting to behavior of this type does not constitute a "power trip".

It might interest you to know that there are quite a few paddlers who are mountain bikers as well. I am one, and in years past I did quite a bit of road biking. A number of times I had drivers zoom past me when I was as far onto the shoulder as I could get, at very high speed coming as close to my bike as they could. I also have had bottles and other objects thrown at me from passing cars.

Obviously, only a tiny minority of drivers engage in truly nefarious behavior like this, just as a tiny fraction of power boaters engage in the types of activities I described. But those who do certainly don't manifest high IQ.
  Me too
  Posted by: Guideboatguy on Nov-16-13 7:31 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Nov-16-13 8:31 PM EST --

Within the small minority of powerboaters who've I've considered rude or stupid, many of them got some sort of a thrill out of passing by at high speed really closely, and driver and passengers all crane their necks to see the expected carnage in their wake. I've found the best way to deal with them is by "not even noticing" them and continuing calmly on as if this sort of thing happened every few minutes or so. And yes, the ones who do that sort of thing are just plain stupid, and whether that's in I.Q. or actions, it makes no difference to me. Still, I'm not lumping all powerboaters, or even a significant proportion of them into that category, but such people ARE out there.

  It looks like you are missing the point
  Posted by: Guideboatguy on Nov-16-13 7:21 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Nov-16-13 8:03 PM EST --

The NPS is proposing possible policy changes, and considering that it is a National Scenic Riverway, naturally some people on a paddling message board are going to prefer that the new plans do not include less stringent rules regarding power boats. The fact that some people here have had bad experiences with a few power boaters (and it looks very clear to me that it's been with a "few"), is no reason to act as if that means they are in actuality bad-mouthing the whole bunch. Going one step farther, the idea that powerboaters must somehow be smarter than paddlers, or that naturally they are more careful than paddlers just makes no sense. Applying that form of logic would lead one to conclude that drivers on the road would be smarter and more safety conscious too, which we all know would be ridiculous. Within any recreational group you'll find the whole range of personalities and behaviors. Speaking for myself, I can say that the vast majority of powerboaters I've run across are "regular people" like us who don't want to cause anyone any grief, but I've also noticed that when the careless ones among them screw up, the results are a lot more catastrophic than what happens when an unskilled paddler simply bumps his canoe into a rock or another boat (brilliant observation, huh?). Fortunately, the powerboat wrecks I've observed were more humorous than dangerous, at least once they were over and done with (though in each case not at all humorous to the boat's owner), but on a small river like the Current it's not hard to imagine the danger level to others on the water being a lot greater. Think about it. What's wrong with horsepower limits based on the size of the river? They put speed limits on small winding roads and residential streets for the same reason. On rivers, speed limits can't be enforced, but rules regarding the size of the motor can be.

  More on "more knowledge" being required
  Posted by: Guideboatguy on Nov-16-13 7:48 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Nov-16-13 8:08 PM EST --

You say running a power boat requires more knowledge than paddling, but I say it's not necessarily so. First off, most powerboaters don't know any more about the workings of their machines than most drivers know about fixing their own cars. That's obvious.

Second, the one comment I hear from powerboaters more than any other is "that looks like a lot of work". That's what I frequently hear from them when I'm out rowing, which actually is easier, in terms of overall exertion, than paddling. Anyway, it's obvious that those folks have a distorted view of what small, human-powered boats are all about, and actually, I've had to bite my tongue a few times to keep myself from replying "in your case, it looks like it must be a lot of work to just crawl out of your boat onto the dock" (Oh, did *I* just think about saying that?). Fortunately, what I can say in the defense of MOST powerboaters is that what I hear a lot more often from them is "nice boat!" But it really takes no special skill or knowledge to drive a power boat "from here to there" which is all they are doing. Doing it well in difficult conditions would be a different story, but how many have ever had to do that? Like drivers on the road, the usual way to deal with difficult conditions is to just go slower (and the ones that don't sometimes end up a bit like the drivers you see in the ditch during a snowstorm).

Finally, anyone I've ever met who refers to going down the river by "steering" has been ignorant of the nuances of what a good paddler can do. There are plenty of folks who can make a canoe dance, and they didn't learn to do that in a day, or even just a few years. The powerboater who basically knows how to turn a steering wheel and operate two levers (or to just operate a twist-grip tiller) is not necessarily any different in skill level than the canoe-paddler who only maneuvers by switching which side he paddles on and/or dragging his paddle like a rudder. In fact, a first-time powerboater doesn't ever go weaving all over the water and bumping into obstacles like a first-time canoer does, yet the power boat takes more skill?

  powertrip paddlers
  Posted by: Coldspring on Nov-16-13 9:21 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Nov-16-13 9:29 PM EST --

I hope there aren't too many changes made. Minor adjustments here and there, and some additions and improvements sounds okay enough. Some of those who were discussing in the backrooms their plot to get non-paddler users off the river were alarmed when the possiblity of them not being able to gravel bar camp came about! Typos in three places! Hmmm.

We all want to be able to continue to access the river No one is getting very wealthy there using the river for their gain, hauling canoes, serving food, selling horse tack and hay, paying increasing insurance, meeting more stringent regulations. Many of them should have some right to do make a few dollars, considering how much land was taken, the manners in which was taken, the land removed from the tax rolls of the counties, the increasing regulations put on it, the direction the park has taken towards more restrictions in the name of the environment and being a national monument istead of a recreational riverway like was promissed to the locals. The massaged pro-NPS figures that assume no visitor dollars and visits would come to the Current River if it wasn't a protected National Park with those brown national park signs and rangers...would probably be more than the paltry $39 chump change per visit.

I don't particularly enjoy seeing big homes built on the hlls overlooking the park, but that's not part of the park. Same with powerlines and cellphone towers. You have to keep in mind that other riverways never thought up the great idea to turn their land into a park and preserve and sell it all off for pennies on the dollar forced to relocate so they would eventually not even be able to drive their pickup down to the same gravel bar and set up a lounge chair and have a cold beverage w/o some snobs telling them they are destroying the environment and their tranquility for disturbing some gravel that will wash away after the next rain.

  notes about boats..,
  Posted by: al_a on Nov-16-13 9:52 PM (EST)
On rivers like the Current, the "powerboats" are all jet boats. Putting a jet lower unit on an outboard motor reduces the horsepower that the motor actually produces to propel the craft by about 1/3. So a motor with a 60 hp engine is actually putting out the energy of 40 hp to move the boat. That's why motors up to a rated 60 hp have been allowed in the 40 hp limit sections of the river, but apparently that was not the way it was supposed to be.

Now, at least one manufacturer (Mercury) is rating their factory jet outboards for the true hp that they are producing, so while limiting the hp to 40 at the engine will reduce the power actually produced with many outboards, the Mercs will still be as powerful as what was being allowed before.

It's generally believed that a motor rated for 40 hp at the engine (which is about 25-30 hp at the pump, what it's actually producing to move the boat) is about the least amount of power you can have and still have an efficient jet engine. On the Eleven Point River, there's a 25 hp limit, and while some of the people using jetboats on it are using 25 hp motors (which are putting out about 17-18 hp at the jet pump), others are using 40 hp engines and trying to say that they're only putting out 25 at the pump, or they're "re-labeling" their engines so that they say they're 25 hp.

I own a jetboat. I use it almost entirely from October to April, on rivers in the Ozarks the size of the Current, for fishing. I don't like to use it on the popular rivers in the summer because I don't want to have to worry about having an accident with the numbers of people canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and tubing. I am surprised there have not been more accidents on these rivers, because of the inability of many of the other users to move fast enough to get out of the way of a jetboat coming around a blind bend in fast, shallow water. What non-boaters don't always understand is, while jetboats can run in about 5-6 inches of water, the channels they can run are often narrow and winding. A jet operates by sucking in water from the bottom of the motor's "foot", and jetting it out. If the boater has to slow down or stop in a riffle in order to avoid hitting something (like a canoeist), the boat comes off plane and sinks six inches or more, and if the motor is still running when the "foot" comes within 6 inches of the bottom when it's not moving fast, it sucks up gravel and rocks which can really damage the jet pump. That's why boaters don't want to have to slow down going up or down a riffle, and why a few of them will push the envelope and buzz by you dangerously close.

Another reason jetboaters don't always slow down when passing canoes and kayaks, is that the boat throws less wake while on plane that it does when it slows enough to come off plane. Slowing down makes the boat sink lower in the water and throw a much larger wake, and the only way to avoid it is to slow down to idling speed, something that few boaters want to do because it means they are barely making any headway.

When a river like the Current between Round Spring and Two Rivers is at summertime levels, it is not easy to run in a jetboat. Because jet outboards have to run at nearly full speed to stay on plane and run shallow, and because so little of the motor (and boat) is actually in the water when going fast, it is not easy to control sharp turns. The boat wants to slide sideways instead of turning, almost like you're on ice. So it isn't as easy to maneuver in shallow water as what the non-boater might think.

I hope this helps some of the paddlers on here to understand jetboats a little better. Personally, even though I own a jetboat, I'd be very happy with alternative A. I've only fished the Current above Two Rivers once out of my jetboat, though I often fish it from Powdermill downstream in the winter.
  Power boaters on the Current
  Posted by: on Nov-16-13 10:57 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Nov-17-13 10:15 AM EST --

The major problem with power boaters on the Current River is that the vast majority of them are are under the influence of alcohol. No doubt, a very high percentage of them are legally drunk. If they were stopped, and had to submit to tests that a drunk on the highway had to submit too; they would be found to be legally drunk.
I have never seen one power boat stopped for careless, or reckless operation.
I have never seen one power boater submitting to any test for drunkenness.
Along with the ownership of a power boat comes the responsibility of operating the power boat in a safe & responsbile manner, and NOT being drunk (or stoned) when you are operating that power boat.

Face the facts. For every jonboat that is being used for fishing on the Current river; there are at least 99 jon boats being used to go from point A to point B, as fast as they can.

Canoes cause more problems for power boaters than power boaters cause for canoes? That's about like saying that cars create more problems for trailer trucks on the interstate than trailer trucks create for cars. Power boaters are not going to stop using the Current river; neither are the canoes. Cars are not going to stop using the interstate; neither are the trailer trucks.
Deal with it...........
In both cases(interstate/river), the solution is the same; aggressive enforcement of laws on the books. Get those who are drunk, stoned, careless, reckless, going to fast, or who are too aggressive off the interstates & the river.
Enforce the laws that are already in the books aggressively. And while they're at it; those in charge of enforcement need to keep the 4x4 pickups, 4 wheelers, dirt bikes, and horses OUT of the river.

Obviously, NPS can't do it; not even with help from Missouri Conservation Agents, Highway Patrolmen, and County Sheriff Deputies. Park Rangers are woefuly understaffed. Solution; more campgrounds, more primitive/horse campgrounds, more interepretive centers? I think not!

All the blame for problems can't be placed on any particular group. The problem as I see it is the lack of enforcement by those responsible for law enforcement on the Current river. The river was allowed to gain the reputation as a "party river. Money rolled in, and those making it, love it. Enforcement became lax; problems got worse. In some cases, non enforcement of laws, or looking the other way became the norm. The party river reputation, and atmosphere is still hangin' on.

Too many come for the party; too few to really enjoy the river. Family groups are wise to stay home, or go elsewhere, and more & more they do.


P.S. I don't fancy myself a voyageur, did not buy my canoe with a Mastercard, and I don't think I'm on some powertrip. I have done quite a bit of backpacking, rock climbing, caving, and I do ride a hybrid bike these days. I don't think I'm lazy.
Having multiple college degrees; I don't think I qualify as lacking in IQ.

I took my first trip on the Current river when I was 4 years old; that was 1946. That trip was in a wood jon boat with NO motor. It was poled; motors weren't/aren't necessary.

Many such trips (hundreds) followed that one. I first soloed a canoe on the Current river when I was 13 years old; 2 cousins & I in 3 old beater Grumman 17 footers, and we didn't wearing pfds(I do now). I have spent more than 2 years of my life camped on Current & Eleven Point river gravel bars, and have paddled in excess of 3,000 miles on the Current river alone.
Many members of my family & relatives of my family have lived(since the 1950s), and still live in Ripley County, and close to the Current River.
While I don't have all the answers; 3 thing I know for sure. 1. I have a pretty good idea of what goes down in that area. 2. I didn't just fall off the damn pumpkin wagon. 3. Those responsible for the river need to get the drunks & dopers off the river; no matter what they paddle, drive, or ride. That will assist in curing the need for expansion because the drunks & dopers will migrate elsewhere in droves. Family groups, and more people who fish might come back to the river if that happened. The politicians & money men won't allow that to happen.

  Posted by: Coldspring on Nov-18-13 10:25 PM (EST)
Where does the fact of 99 powerboaters out of 100 are racing as fast as possible on the river. Is there a stat for this?

In all seriousness, how many deaths have occurred on Current River from powerboats striking paddlers, swimmers, and tubers? Or injuries?

I can't recall hearing of any recently, although there have been several canoers and tubers drown in the larger part of the river around Van Buren.
  Collisions retort.....................
  Posted by: on Nov-19-13 12:25 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Nov-19-13 2:21 AM EST --

As far as I know; there are (no statistics) kept for any type of lawless behavior on the national scenic riverways. That does not mean that lawless behavior does not occur.
If there are statistics; I for one would like to see them published. Why aren't they published?

I have no idea how many paddlers, rafters, tubers, or swimmers have been hit, injured, or killed on the Current river by jon boats. As far as I know,no statistics are available. Would 1 injury & 1 death a year be acceptable to you? None is the only number acceptable to me. Just because none of those types of incidents were viewed by you does not mean that none occured.
How many incidents have gone unreported, or were buried on page 6 of the weekly wiper. No statistics on this are available as far as I know.

99 of 100 is (not a verifiable statistic).
I will say instead; I believe that the vast majority of jon boats are going unnecessarily fast,(you brought up racing; I did not), and the vast majority in use on the Current river are not used by people who are fishing.

While I did not mention racing; I have seen jonboats/2 abreast racing on the river on several occasions. Is that acceptable behavior to you, on a crowded river?
Not really that unusual to see a jon boat spin out of control on curves, or when jumping other jon boat wakes.(No statistics available). And do it violently enough to throw the operator out of their seat. On two occasions I've seen jon boat turn into the pool in front of Cave Spring at speed. Acceptable speed & acceptable behavior on a crowded river?

When the vast number(statistics not available) of paddlers, rafters, tubers, and swimmers on the Current are taken into consideration; excessive speed equals recklessness in my opinion.

Statistics are impossible to come up with if jon boaters are seldom stopped. In over 50 years of paddling on the Current river; I have yet to see 1 jon boat pulled over by any law enforcement agency. If none are stopped; no statistics are created. Therefore we should assume that all jonboats are being driven at a reasonable speed, they are never operated in a careless, or reckless manner, and the operators never drink to excess, or use any drugs? Either that, or law enforcement is lax, understaffed, or not doing their job; none of which is acceptable to me.

Again: Use the laws on the books; get those involved in unlawful, reckless, and aggressive behavior, and those that are drunk or stoned off the river. I don't care what you, or they choose to drive, ride, float on, or paddle. It's a national scenic river; not the damn Mardi Gras! It is not a NASCAR track either!


P.S. I feel sorry for the guys who unwittingly bring their wife & kids to the Current river for the weekend during the Summer. A whole lot of them will never come back again (their words). That is truly a shame, and says a lot about what is happening there.

  invented danger
  Posted by: Coldspring on Nov-19-13 1:24 PM (EST)
Didn't think you would have any reports of deaths or injuries. Maybe you should read water patrol reports and read the papers. And you said you pretty much know what goes on in Shannon and Carter County since you have been coming to the river for so long.
  Invented danger........................
  Posted by: on Nov-19-13 2:09 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Nov-19-13 6:32 PM EST --

Sept. 15, 2011
Daily American Republic
by Michelle Friedrich

Van Buren, Mo. A Poplar Bluff woman will stand trial in the spring of 2012 in connection with a boating accident on Current River that left "two people dead and three people injured".

A 29 year old woman is charged with 2 felonies of involuntary manslaughter with a vessel, 3 felonies of second degree assault with a vessel, and the felony of first degree endangerment of a child.

The charges stem from a two boat collision, that occurred near Worley's Rock, a couple of miles upstream of Doniphan, Mo., on the Current river.

A Water Patrol officer at the scene reportedly noted a "strong odor of intoxicants being omitted from the boat driver's breath", and noticed her eyes were glassy & pupil's dilated. The driver submitted to a field sobriety test, including a preliminary breath test, which indicated "she was intoxicated".

The driver was transported to the Doniphan, Mo. Police Dept., where she "reportedly registered a blood alcohol content of .123" on a breath test.

The state, represented by the Missouri Attorney General's office, filed a second amended information with the court in June. The driver had been accused of causing the deaths and or injuries with criminal negligence in that "she "operated the vessel at a speed which was too fast for prevailing conditions". The amended information charges she "operated the vessel while failing to keep a careful lookout" and "failing to pass on the left side of another vehicle".

The vehicles involved in the collision were Blazer utility boats. I would describe them as a short version of a jon boat.

One of the dead was an 11 year old child.
That's 2 deaths & 3 injuries.
NOT invented danger!

I never made "any" comment referencing Shannon or Carter County. That's you trying to put words in my mouth.

Your quote: "Didn't think you would have any reports of deaths or injuries".

  I've seen...
  Posted by: al_a on Nov-19-13 9:39 PM (EST)
Youtube videos of jetboaters on the Current doing lots of really stupid things, and proud of it, like running in the six foot wide gap between a person sitting in the water and a gravel bar. And it's a continual wonder to me that there AREN'T more fatal accidents. One of these days a jet boat is going to wipe out some kid who can't get out of the way, and then there will be a lot of handwringing and wondering what to do to keep it from happening again.

I know the mantra is that everybody has the right to enjoy the resource in their own way. But the jetboat motorheads who do nothing but race up and down the river just to see how fast they can go simply make me sick. The river resource deserves better. And as I noted before, I own a jetboat. But you won't see me using it on the river on summer weekends, and you definitely won't see me going past you more than once going upstream and maybe once going downstream a lot later in the day. Most of the time I use it only to go upstream as far as I want to fish that day, and then I mostly drift back downstream.
  Doniphan is downstream
  Posted by: Coldspring on Nov-20-13 1:56 PM (EST)
You didn't have a report of a serious accident in the Riverways. Doniphan is not in the Nationl Park area.
  Seems like arguing for arguing's sake
  Posted by: Guideboatguy on Nov-20-13 2:23 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Nov-20-13 2:24 PM EST --

Plenty of the people here have seen dangerous behavior of jet-boat operators, so I don't see why it's so important to you that they "prove" this with accident statistics. For example, I live on a residential street where the speed limit is 25 mph. For a stretch of about three years there was a teenage boy in the neighborhood who would drive by most evenings in excess of 50 mph, probably closer to 65 mph farther down the block since his speed was steadily increasing as he went by my house. Since no one was ever killed by that driver and he never hit a parked car or anything, does that mean he was doing nothing wrong, or that there was nothing inherently dangerous about driving at that speed on such a road? I see no problem with recognizing dangerous behavior prior to the time when something terrible happens.

  Posted by: gremmie on Nov-19-13 6:39 AM (EST)
My only encounter with power boaters on float streams in MO was on the Big Piney in MO. Some friends I had just put our solo canoes in the current. A jet boater powered up beside us and warned us that law enforcement was on the water that day. Like he was assuming that we were carrying something the lawmen might be interested in. He continued to race up and down the river warning other boaters that the man was about to ruin their day. We didn't encounter the men with 4 eyes. And I haven't been back to the Big Piney either, not for fear of the law, but for fear of those who fear the law.
  Thanks for the info
  Posted by: pblanc on Nov-17-13 6:55 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Nov-17-13 8:31 AM EST --

Yes, many of us are aware that planing boats raise less wake than when they settle down in the water. I was not aware of some of the nuances of jet boat engines, however.

Of course, as Vic's experience indicates, canoes are sometimes limited to the same channel as the power boats at lower water levels or in shallows and can't necessarily get out of the way quickly either.

And canoes paddled by livery customers sometimes handle even more clumsily and skid worse in turns than jet boats do.

What you say suggests that there is some danger in paddle craft and power boats sharing the same stream bed in the narrower, shallower upper reaches of these rivers. Since the upper Current and Jack's Fork are virtually ideally suited for paddlers, especially overnight river trippers, and not all that well-suited for power boaters, it seems reasonable to preserve them for the former use.

  NPS mismanagement of ONSR
  Posted by: on Nov-17-13 11:17 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Nov-17-13 11:27 AM EST --


A Legacy of Neglect: The Ozark National Scenic Riverway flader.pdf

What happens to a national scenic riverway when the government agency in charge passes the buck, denies problems, ignores problems, allows problems to continue, does decades of paper studies w/o follow up action, and yields to local business & political pressure.

  Thanks Bob
  Posted by: pblanc on Nov-17-13 12:37 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Nov-17-13 1:05 PM EST --

Very interesting read. It sounds as if the National Park Service's stewardship of the ONSR has been a bit lacking to say the least.

Perhaps a new management plan is long overdue. But a plan isn't worth much if the will and means by which to enact and enforce it are lacking.

  I agree...
  Posted by: al_a on Nov-17-13 10:21 PM (EST)
I liken it to a narrow, paved "road" on which hikers and walkers and little kids are allowed, at the same time that autos are also allowed with a 45 mph speed limit and there's little or no enforcement of the DWI laws. We'd never do that. And yet we allow high speed boats on the same waters as canoes and kayaks and rafts and inner tubes and swimming...and we don't even patrol the water most of the time.
  Tool Identity
  Posted by: gremmie on Nov-19-13 6:21 AM (EST)
We have allowed ourselves to identify more with our tools and technologies than we do with the natural environment. Our modes of movement do shape our perceptions not only of what we do see in the natural world but also what we see and judge of our fellow travelers. Our identities are so molded by our technologies that perpetuating those choices have become more important than perpetuating life itself. Sportsmanship or the application of ethical restraint in the wild is only for the effete, sensitive weenie tree huggers. And the industries that bring us the power over the wild and over our fellow humans reap big reward. Yeah, misanthropic humanist here. Slide to power off.
  Nothing misanthropic about that
  Posted by: deuce on Nov-19-13 10:18 AM (EST)
assessment in my mind, Gremmie. I participate in a mentoring proram for at risk kids and we spend some time each week in one on one Bible study. One thing I learned during that time that has really stuck with me was the difference between dominion and domination within the context of humanity's relationship with the earth. Something that merits serious consideration. Sorry to disappoint you, but if it will help I'll always think of you as a misanthrope. Imagine smiley face thingy here.
  What good is plan?
  Posted by: Boyscout on Nov-21-13 1:00 PM (EST)
Given the history of nps and current river. will they just pass something and continue to do so little? Nps probably did more enforcement during the shutdown.than they did during the summer.
  A request for comments
  Posted by: pblanc on Nov-25-13 4:49 PM (EST)
Jo Schaper of the River Hills Traveler blog "Trav Talk" is soliciting comments from individuals on the draft management plan which she will use in a writeup to be posted on the River Hills Traveler site. This is another way you can make your thoughts known to the NPS.

If you have comments for Jo the email address to send them to is
  Hey Terry
  Posted by: pblanc on Dec-02-13 5:52 PM (EST)
Representative Jason Smith claims the following regarding the ONSR draft management plan:

"The outcry I have heard from my constituents is unanimous, they believe the Ozark National Scenic Riverways are already over managed and my constituents do not want the National Park Service to further intrude on their access to public rivers and lands."

See video here:
  Not surprising really
  Posted by: kayamedic on Dec-02-13 6:12 PM (EST)
but a little shortsighted. Just a wee bit..
  Typical politician
  Posted by: Guideboatguy on Dec-02-13 6:28 PM (EST)
He says "the outcry is unanimous". There's no way it can be unanimous, especially nowadays when so many people see the downside of over-use and extreme partying on public lands. Only a lawyer or a politician could show such blatant disregard for actual facts, and unfortunately, those in both fields have absolutely no compunctions about looking like an idiot to those with some background info if it means creating the impression that they choose. In that ultra-conservative region, I can believe that a simple majority are opposed, but "unanimous"? It's just one more in an endless stream of political lies. Trouble is, both sides act that way.
  Representative Smith
  Posted by: on Dec-02-13 9:55 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Dec-03-13 12:24 AM EST --

He is a politician.
He is a lawyer.
And he has been, or currently is involved in real estate.

The vast majority of the political contributions he has received came from business; agriculture, real estate, lawyers, builders, contractors, Lucas Oil, Peabody, banks, special interest groups, and lobbyists. Information is readily available on the internet.

Contributions for 2013-2014 cycle:
Large individual contributions $488,200.00
PAC contributions $454,500.00
Small individual contributors $4,020.00

Makes one wonder who Smith's constituents really are, and how he represent them?


P.S. Maybe Peabody Energy could come down to the ONSR, and get it "squared away"; as they did in Kentucky, and West Virginia.

  He Doesn't Count Me (LOL)!
  Posted by: wildernesswebb on Dec-03-13 1:27 AM (EST)
No, if it were up to him and a few of my local citizens we'd have jet skis, casinos, and massage parlors on the banks of the river. Plus, 365 days a year deer dogging.
  Big business running amok
  Posted by: Guideboatguy on Dec-03-13 2:23 AM (EST)
Those are good examples of what can go wrong, but the Ozarks are not unscathed. Let's not forget that big business already DID run amok in the Ozarks. When the timber industry stripped the forests with no plan or regard for the future, the rivers died, for a pretty long time, at least for practical purposes. Once the forests recovered, so did the rivers, but they weren't the same, and never will be. Shallow and gravelly is not what the rivers used to be. River beds composed mostly of bedrock was the original situation, and of course the whole river ecosystem was completely different then than it ever can be again. What's there now is nice, but big business run amok is the reason it's not the same as it once was.

By the way, Bob already knows this, but many do not, so this post adds to the topic rather than being a reply to Bob.
  There's Some Really Telling Pictures....
  Posted by: wildernesswebb on Dec-03-13 10:37 AM (EST) the mill at Alley (or at least there used to be) that shows bare hills as far as the eye can see. Most people don't realize that Shannon County was primarily shortleaf pine forests before the timber barons came. And most folks don't realize the same was true for much of the north woods. It's hard to imagine a canopy of old growth pine forests with enough room to drive a horse & wagon, but that's the way it used to be.
  You got it Bob - remember "Paradise"
  Posted by: vic on Dec-03-13 11:51 AM (EST)
"Then the coal company came with the world's largest shovel
And they tortured the timber and stripped all the land
Well, they dug for their coal till the land was forsaken
Then they wrote it all down as the progress of man."


"And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County
Down by the Green River where Paradise lay
Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking
Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away"

Paradise by John Prine

If they get their way you can replace Muhlenberg County with Shannon County, and replace Green River with Current River.
  Posted by: gremmie on Dec-08-13 9:30 AM (EST)
how his emphasis shifts from public rivers to "their" rivers. So much for the "national" part of Ozark National Scenic Rivers.

If he heard from 5 constituents, all of whom expressed their outcry, I guess he could say it was unanimous. But far from universal.

These wingers are all on the same page when it comes to doing "the will of the American people." Like they don't play a key role in manufacturing that opinion, based on the interests of the monied few.

  More from Congressman Jason Smith
  Posted by: pblanc on Dec-06-13 3:56 PM (EST)
  Congressman Jason Smith
  Posted by: vic on Dec-06-13 4:31 PM (EST)
Congressman Jason Smith has been given the name Walking Eagle by one of the tribes that originally hunted the Current River valley. They named him Walking Eagle.

Walking Eagle is the name given to a bird so full of shit it can no longer fly. Magnify Pete's youtube link of Smith's comments on the floor of Congress large enough and you can see it coming out of his ears.
  THAT Is an Appropriate Name....
  Posted by: wildernesswebb on Dec-10-13 9:24 AM (EST)
...for this guy! After several contacts with him, it is easy to figure out why congress is so unproductive.
  MO Lt. Governor Peter Kinder
  Posted by: pblanc on Jan-03-14 1:00 PM (EST)
Is the latest to raise his voice in opposition to the NPS draft general management plan for the ONSR in this op-ed piece:

Lieutenant Governor Kinder goes a bit farther still in stating that:

"It's time for Missouri to begin efforts to reclaim this resource from the federal government."

I'm curious as to how Mr. Kinder sees this playing out. Does he plan to petition the federal government to revoke and annul the Act of Congress, passed and signed into law in August of 1964, that created the park?

Would the State of Missouri then buy the lands in the ONSR that were purchased by the NPS with federal tax dollars appropriated by Congress?

If so, how does he propose the State of Missouri would raise that money?

Or does he simply envision forming a local militia to drive those damned federals out?

The Southeast Missourian does require registration to post comments on this piece, but if any feel inclined to leave comments either in support or against Lt. Governor Kinder's comments it is fairly painless to do so.
  I like the comment re
  Posted by: kayamedic on Jan-03-14 1:15 PM (EST)
the article being a piece of drivel. Spin to the utmost.

  Posted by: paddledad on Jan-03-14 1:54 PM (EST)
Yep, old Pete "Stripper Pole" Kinder still has his eyes on a governor's mansion. He knows what side his bread's buttered on.
Cape absolutely fawns over him and the Limbaugh's.

Hell, let's give the Grand Canyon to Arizona. They've got lots of state parks. I'll bet they could figure something out.
  Pete, thanks
  Posted by: gremmie on Jan-04-14 8:50 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Jan-04-14 10:45 AM EST --

I read your comments. They were responsibly right on and honest in stark comparison with the ideologically driven lies of the Lt. Gov. Jeez, this dude, rough out of the Limbaugh mold, is an icon of just how screwed up MO's and much of the country's politics have become. At least MO did elect a stand up governor who has helped to stifle some of the extremist nonsense coming from their state legislature.

This should inspire anyone who has not commented on the NPS proposal to do so. See the link in Pete's first post above. Even a few sentences will help to let them know where you stand.

  Local "Unanimous" Opinion
  Posted by: gremmie on Jan-05-14 8:02 AM (EST)


And the prize goes to "Guest" from West Plains:
"Yep! Them there jack-booted gov'ment thugs are gonna call in the UN's black helicopters and turn Shut Off the River.

They're gonna goose-step up every creek and tributary and turn the valves off. The rivers will dry up! Shut off for good! There won't be nothing left no more! Then they are going to post armed guards at every faucet so nobody can shut 'em back on.

All those "traditional uses" like racing up and down the river in 100 HP jet boats - gone. 2,000 horses a day crapping in the water - gone. Wall to wall drunken college kids blocking the river with tubes - gone. All them time-honored traditions that my family have enjoyed for thousands of years - gone.

You just wait! When them black helicopters start landing, you better be afraid!"

2nd Place: "Local Yokel" Ozark, MO
"Eminence - gone. Van Buren - gone. I like your way of thinking."

Like I said before, Daniel Woodrell has a lot to work from in them hills and creeks. You just don't dream up 'Winters Bone' in a vacuum. There is real talent down there.
  Black helicopters?
  Posted by: vic on Jan-05-14 7:28 PM (EST)
I thought they were being replaced by black drones. One guy that lives near me believed the Iowa DNR was using helicopters to drop mountain lions all around Iowa. Now he thinks they'll start using drones instead.
  Actually Vic,
  Posted by: deuce on Jan-06-14 8:53 AM (EST)
you scoff, but I have it on good authority the mountain lions are drones. Furthermore, I am convinced the wild horses have interbred with the elk the drones dropped. I haven't personally seen any hork, but we were up there a few days ago and saw plenty of hork sign. Ask Peter.
  Posted by: on Jan-06-14 11:53 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Jan-06-14 11:58 AM EST --

Haven't seen a hork on the Current yet, but have damn sure seen a plethora of "river dorks" there on Summer weekends.

Department of Conservation should consider an open season on river dorks; perhaps something similiar to the feral hog "population control" program. A mini gun, mounted on a drone might work quite well.


  Posted by: deuce on Jan-06-14 1:08 PM (EST)
whadayathink the mountain lion drones are for?
  Attend meeting if you can!
  Posted by: PamThePaddler on Jan-06-14 8:01 PM (EST)

Rob and I will be at Kirkwood on Wednesday, this should be interesting!
  Why not ...
  Posted by: gremmie on Jan-07-14 6:41 AM (EST)
present testimony at the Salem and Van Buren meetings? Now that would be interesting. None the less, I appreciate your attendance. Thanks.
  I wish I could
  Posted by: pblanc on Jan-07-14 8:43 AM (EST)
But for me the round trip would involve 9 or more hours of driving time plus however long the meeting lasted.

But you and Rob can certainly feel free to speak for me.

Or on second thought, perhaps it would be best for all not to mention my name.
  Posted by: gremmie on Jan-07-14 6:58 AM (EST)
Out on the creek last Fall a thought occurred to me -- what if the Sanity police started flying drones equipped with sanity detectors around the country to detect insanity. But then I got confused. Perhaps the Sanity police really represent an insane system. And they are attempting to ferret out the remaining sane people surviving in an insane system. And then I powered off my GPS. I mean everyone admits the freaking world has gone crazy but everyone lives like it ain't and they ain't.

Please help me with my confusion on the river. I go to the freaking river to stay sane and then this ...
OK million dollar sellers have been composed on lesser themes. If I just had some ambition.

Creek Bum journals
  Posted by: on Jan-07-14 8:16 AM (EST)
Ever read The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey?

Drones are "monkey wrench" worthy targets.

  Monkey Wrench Gangsta
  Posted by: gremmie on Jan-07-14 8:56 AM (EST)
Yes, I read the Monkey Wrench Gang. Need to reread it sometime.

Yes! Attacking drones is sure to become a growth sport! When the Amazon delivery drones made the news a few weeks past, some talking head postulated about the neighbor kids using them as targets for baseballs.

I guess I fell into it early on. Must be some atavistic instinct. Anything moving was a natural target for rocks, mudballs, tomatoes, snowballs, water balloons, tall ragweed spears, whatever. How we all survived childhood with two good eyes? Leading vehicles running 55 mph was particularly good game. Corn fields made great escapes from our highway ambushes. Man, if we'd have only had drones to attack then! Our arrows couldn't reach the planes, but drones ... yes! Stone age meet the digital age! YEEEEHAAAWW!

Amazon is gonna have to start running their drones in convoys protected by Black Hawk style fighter drones.
  Meetings Postponed!
  Posted by: PamThePaddler on Jan-07-14 1:40 PM (EST)
Because of weather!
  Arrows & spear chuckin'...........
  Posted by: on Jan-07-14 5:28 PM (EST)
That is not too far fetched............

In the early years of US involvement in Viet Nam; it would hot have been that unusual for booby traps designed to throw spears into helicopter rotor blades to be be found, rigged on prospective landing zones.

I'd have been more than happy to deal with spears; as opposed to assault rifles, machine guns, hand and rocket propelled grenades. Experienced all of the upgrades in person, but never dealt with a spear.

Colonel Kurtz sez, The horror! The horror!

  Spear Days
  Posted by: gremmie on Jan-08-14 6:37 AM (EST)
'course could you replicate living in the days of spears and spear throwers, pre history and pre hierarchy, you would have been deceased for about 40 years now. Still a day to them, when they weren't freezing or starving or dieing in childbirth or suffering the gauntlet of weaning, must have been an eternity at times. Kinda like a day on the river.


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