Congressman Jason Smith is making life a bit difficult for the National Park Service in Washington, DC. Here is an article regarding a recent grilling he gave the NPS:
The Ozark National Scenic Riverways was not on today’s agenda.
But U.S. Rep. Jason Smith, R-Salem, wasn’t going to allow the opportunity to slip past.
The associate director at the National Park Service had been called to Capitol Hill to talk about some minor business, such as renaming a peak at Yellowstone and creating memorials to the two wars with Iraq.
Smith used the day’s House subcommittee hearing to bring up the Ozark Riverways, which includes the Current and Jacks Fork Rivers in Smith’s district.
The Park Service is finalizing a long-range management plan for the park. The federal agency already has stated it was leaning toward a plan with new restrictions on motorboats, horseback riders and ATVs. That has provoked clashes with some residents living along the rivers.
Smith has vowed to fight the Park Service on any changes. Earlier this month, he filed a bill asking the Park Service to surrender the park to Missouri.
Today, in a hearing of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation, Smith had some comments for Park Service associate director Victor Knox.
“I have, you know, extremely great concerns with the ONSR general management plan,” Smith told Knox.
Smith said the current plan has “worked just great.”
“You understand that I will fight tooth and nail to stop any wilderness area from every being designated in that area,” Smith continued. “And if your agency attempts to put in a wilderness area by administrative order, I will do everything in my power to see that you’re unfunded to do that.”
“Well, congressman,” he said, “we certainly appreciate that you’re engaged and working with this plan. It takes all of us to come up with the right management plan for the area. So we appreciate your engagement and support.”