Once again, out-of-state extreme environmental groups are attempting to interfere in how Missourians manage the natural resources in our state. The Ozark National Scenic Riverways is a crown jewel of our natural resources, enjoyed by more than a million visitors. But it is not access for float trips and encouraging tourism to our beautiful region that these groups want; they desire a hands-off approach that puts vast portions of our forests and rivers off limits to boating, camping, access and sporting activities.
The National Park Service has attempted to implement a management plan for the Ozark National Scenic Riverways that reduces access, use and safety. I've told them this is unacceptable to me and to Missouri families who have enjoyed the Ozark National Scenic Riverways for generations. They have to do better.
We cannot have an adversarial relationship with our national parks. They are part of our history and heritage, and access to them is essential. Environmental extremists do not enjoy these resources by coming to Missouri to fish, hike, boat or camp in them. Instead, from a distance, they savor the knowledge that none of us may do those things.
JO ANN EMERSON,
U.S. Representative, Cape Girardeau