Future of 4 State Parks Annouced Last Year Is Unclear

Sep 4, 2017

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Four new Missouri state parks announced late in former Gov. Jay Nixon's tenure are either closed or never opened, and some environmentalists worry that now-protected land will be sold to private developers.

St. Louis Public Radio reports that all four park sites, scattered across the Ozarks, are near active mining operations.

Ben Ellis, the parks director under Republican Gov. Eric Greitens, says the four closed parks and three others that opened last year were added without additional staff or funding, while existing parks need maintenance and repair. He says the agency is looking at all options.

John Hickey of the Missouri Sierra Club says the parks should be opened for residents to enjoy. He says maintaining them shouldn't be expensive.