-- 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: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=158&projectID=15793&documentID=56208
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:
Reflective Hull Decals
Touring Kayak Paddles
|Table of Contents|
|Messages in this Topic|
More info on draft management plan|
Posted by: pblanc on Nov-10-13 2:04 PM (EST)
The bottom line...............|
Posted by: thebob.com on Nov-10-13 2:45 PM (EST)
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.
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.
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)
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".
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)
Posted by: al_a on Nov-11-13 10:39 PM (EST)
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.
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 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.
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)
Posted by: canoeswithduckheads on Nov-11-13 3:08 PM (EST)
...body come attached with the head?
I did think of that...|
Posted by: kayamedic on Nov-11-13 5:38 PM (EST)
but didn't want to go there...
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?
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: thebob.com 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: thebob.com on Nov-11-13 6:16 PM (EST)
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.
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: thebob.com 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.
OK, OK, I get it now|
Posted by: vic on Nov-12-13 11:35 PM (EST)
Clarification on gravel bar access |
Posted by: pblanc on Nov-13-13 11:38 AM (EST)
Posted by: paddledad on Nov-13-13 2:52 PM (EST)
Outside the Alternative Boxes?|
Posted by: gremmie on Nov-15-13 8:54 AM (EST)
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.
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 think you misinterpreted Lou|
Posted by: pblanc on Nov-16-13 8:49 AM (EST)
Posted by: gremmie on Nov-16-13 9:28 AM (EST)
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".
Posted by: vic on Nov-16-13 1:51 PM (EST)
Noise and wakes are a problem, but some power boaters are downright dangerous.
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.
Posted by: Coldspring on Nov-16-13 5:32 PM (EST)
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.
Posted by: Guideboatguy on Nov-16-13 7:31 PM (EST)
It looks like you are missing the point|
Posted by: Guideboatguy on Nov-16-13 7:21 PM (EST)
More on "more knowledge" being required|
Posted by: Guideboatguy on Nov-16-13 7:48 PM (EST)
Posted by: Coldspring on Nov-16-13 9:21 PM (EST)
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.
Power boaters on the Current|
Posted by: thebob.com on Nov-16-13 10:57 PM (EST)
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?
Posted by: thebob.com on Nov-19-13 12:25 AM (EST)
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.
Posted by: thebob.com on Nov-19-13 2:09 PM (EST)
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.
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)
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)
NPS mismanagement of ONSR|
Posted by: thebob.com on Nov-17-13 11:17 AM (EST)
Posted by: pblanc on Nov-17-13 12:37 PM (EST)
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.
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.
Posted by: pblanc on Dec-02-13 5:52 PM (EST)
Representative Jason Smith claims the following regarding the ONSR draft management plan:
Not surprising really|
Posted by: kayamedic on Dec-02-13 6:12 PM (EST)
but a little shortsighted. Just a wee bit..
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.
Posted by: thebob.com on Dec-02-13 9:55 PM (EST)
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.
There's Some Really Telling Pictures....|
Posted by: wildernesswebb on Dec-03-13 10:37 AM (EST)
....in 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
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.
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.
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:
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.
Posted by: gremmie on Jan-04-14 8:50 AM (EST)
Local "Unanimous" Opinion|
Posted by: gremmie on Jan-05-14 8:02 AM (EST)
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.
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: thebob.com on Jan-06-14 11:53 AM (EST)
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)
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.
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.
Posted by: thebob.com on Jan-07-14 8:16 AM (EST)
Ever read The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey?
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.
Posted by: PamThePaddler on Jan-07-14 1:40 PM (EST)
Because of weather!
Arrows & spear chuckin'...........|
Posted by: thebob.com on Jan-07-14 5:28 PM (EST)
That is not too far fetched............
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.