- A Whopper of an honor: Local company named top Burger King franchisee (11/15/17)3
- Southern Illinois farmer's grapevines destroyed by dicamba; four years of work lost (10/29/17)2
- Aldi store reopens after renovations (11/14/17)3
- Chantelle Becking strives to make a difference through her family and community (11/10/17)
- Federal jury finds surgeon Fonn guilty of kickback scheme (11/10/17)4
- Residents view pedestrian bridge as eyesore; city manager says it's designed to rust (11/13/17)8
- Jackson elementary students try to help others with 'kindness boxes' (11/6/17)1
- Decisions coming soon on steel mill, smelter in New Madrid (11/17/17)1
- State audit: Bollinger County tax levies violate state law; county commission disagrees (11/17/17)3
- Search reveals body in lake near Poplar Bluff; foul play suspected (11/12/17)
An endangered riverway
If floating down a river or spending time in nature is on your summer to-do list, then you'll likely be going to the Current River to kick off your vacation.
Located in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, the Current River and its tributary, the Jacks Fork, were the first rivers in the nation to be protected as a national park, and bring in an average 1.3 million visitors for outdoor activities in and along its banks. Many Missourians and others from the region have fond memories of family vacations to this scenic river.
However, the Current River was recently named one of the nation's 10 most endangered riverways, due to a rise in illegal roadways, torn up trails, and the resulting degradation of water quality and natural habitat. If the river is not better managed, the family float trip tradition may fade, endangered species such as the Ozark Hellbender will continue to be threatened, and we'll lose this gem that helps define Missouri.
But, this summer we have a special chance to improve the future of the Current River. The National Park Service is working on a management plan for the river, which will be in effect for the next 20 years. It's absolutely vital for the future of this park that the National Park Service adopt a strong plan to rehabilitate the park to the state that many fondly remember it as, and it's our job to persuade them to implement much-needed protections.
MELISSA SAALE, Waterloo, Ill.