By Jim Karpowicz
When the Department of Natural Resources purchased 4,197 pristine acres along the Eleven Point River, intent on the creation of a spectacular new state park, local special interests developed a curious strategy in opposition. Claiming a state park would somehow negate the existing Wild & Scenic easement along the river, nearby landowners sued the DNR. An Oregon County judge concurred with this preposterous legal argument.
Fortunately, a more thoughtful and reasoned Missouri Court of Appeals overturned this decision. However, the special interests persevered, attempting to put the case before the Missouri Supreme Court. On November 1st, 2022 , the high court delivered the final decision. They would not hear the case; the decision of the Court of Appeals would remain the law of the land. Eleven Point State Park was and is an undisputed reality.
Former Governor Jay Nixon, instrumental in the parks initial purchase, was delighted with the decision.
“The strength of our legal and policy arguments and the power of our coalition helped make this possible,” said Nixon. “This beautiful and natural wild place is preserved forever. It is a very good day.”
Years of work from MCE advocating alongside countless partners throughout the state has led to this victory, and we will continue protecting our cherished public lands for many more.