Ozark National Scenic Riverways needs your help and your voice. The Boats and Motors Regulations for the ONSR are being reviewed, the comment period ends on March 7th. The Park Service is recommending modest revisions concerning the upper Current and Jacks Fork, but is recommending major increases in horsepower on the Lower Current below Van Buren. In concert with Marisa Frazier of the Sierra Club and Jessica Luraas, from the Schoolcraft Chapter of the Ozark Society, the Missouri Coalition for the Environment supports the following recommendations.
- For most of the peak float season, the upper Jacks Fork (above Alley Spring) is too low to float, encouraging large crowds of canoes and kayaks to float alongside motorized boats below Alley Spring. Please make the entire Jacks Fork River off limits to motorboats during peak float season.
- Thank you for finalizing and implementing the horsepower limits on the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. I support having a portion of the park closed to horsepower boats during peak float season.
- I support the proposed no-motorized vessel areas from April to September. I recommend extending the no motor rule to the entire length of the Jacks Fork during peak float season due to large crowds of canoeists and kayaks on the lower Jacks Fork. The no motor limit currently ends at Eminence.
- The 150HP limit below Big Spring in the Current River is too big and we recommend continuing the 40/60 rule to the lower park boundary.
- Wild and Scenic Rivers are few, and deserve a special degree of protection. There are numerous water bodies throughout the state for large motorboats, and their use should be very limited on the extremely unique river ecosystems of the Current and Jacks Fork. The Buffalo National Rivers motorboat rules are much more restrictive than the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, and we should keep with the standards of National Parks throughout the country and generally restrict motorboat use on these pristine rivers.
It’s important to note that the Park Service values and measures distinct personal comments. Please think about using the above recommendations as talking points, but don’t hesitate to let them know your personal feelings about motorboats on the Current and Jacks Fork River. These pristine resources demand the utmost protection and care.