Archive for the ‘Heritage Areas’ Category

OPRC Meeting Gainesville, MO

Monday, April 11th, 2011

OZARKS PROPERTY RIGHTS CONGRESS MEETING
April 14 -7:00 p.m.— Vaught’s Family Restaurant
Gainesville, Missouri 
On meeting nights, food is served from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. There will be a buffet on this meeting night. 

Vaught’s Restaurant is on Highway 160 West of  Highway 5  South

Discussion Topics

The Ozarks Highlands National Heritage Area has been stopped for now. Bob Parker will speak on following the money trail of how some $189,000 was spent on this effort to infringe on our property rights. We are not convinced that the OHNHA is really going away all together. We must be extra vigilant that is does not sneak back into our lives in some other form. Guess we are just suspicious that way, judging from past experience dealing with government agencies.
 
Combating the effects of the Food Safety Modernization Act by passing Local Food Freedom Ordinances. Patterned after the ordinance passed in Sedgewick, Maine, Doreen Hannes has drawn up a similar ordinance for counties in Missouri. We will discuss what the Act enables agencies to do to our right to grow food, and what the local food freedom ordinance can do to help protect us. Mary Rivera will be talking about that and County Land Use Plans.
 
Counties that have land use plans should use those plans to stop these efforts by the Federal Government to tell them how to run their county. We need to get back to local citizens being in charge of their rights.
 

OPRC Meeting in Mountain Grove, Missouri
April 28, 7 p.m.– Hayloft Restaurant.

c. Russell Wood Letter on NHA

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

An open letter to Kris Norman
Ozarks Preservation, INC.

March 23, 2011

 Mr. Norman,
  
 When Ray Cunio and I met with you and Mrs. Brenda Bell some six years ago concerning your ambition to form a National Heritage Area, we advised you that we would oppose such action. You, in turn,  assured us you would notify us if you decided to pursue such a designation. Subsequently, you choose to ignore that dialogue and worked under our radar during the ensuing years to achieve your goal  Due to your successful methods of subterfuge, we did not engage in your project until the fall of 2010. 

Only after Mr. L.D. Davis reminded you of your promise to inform me did you attempt to contact us and arrange the meeting we had at Cabool in Nov. 2010. At the Cabool meeting we were told there was no documentation or paper work and that the feasibility study was an incomplete work in progress and there was nothing to show. We soon learned there were over 700 pages of relative material in your files and that the draft plan had been compiled at the time we were told it did not exist.

You must have thought we were complete fools or “useful idiots.”

While your effort pulled down about $200,000.00 of taxpayer money to fund you in 2010, we rely on our private resources and time to stave off these unneeded and unwanted designations with their potential regulations and restrictions on our private property.

You should not be surprised that many of our rank and file do not accept at face value your statement of withdrawal based on your past track record. We have compiled a large file of evidence of public opposition to  any Heritage Area or similar designation that, in any way, includes our private property within any proclaimed boundaries. We prepared this file to present to the appropriate congressional committees, Missouri’s congressional delegation,  National Park Service, and any other decision making body involved.

We will retain this file made up of letters from county commissions, newspaper articles and pictures, letters to the editors and complete audio recording of the Mtn. View meeting etc. for future dissemination, as needed, should this or a similar issue. reappear.

I hope I have made our position clear.

Thank you,
c.Russell Wood
President Ozarks Property Right Congress

Proposed National Heritage Area Dropped

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Statement From OPRC On Decision to Drop Heritage Area Plan
    The Ozarks Property Rights Congress applauds the decision by the West Plains Council on the Arts and Ozarks Preservation Inc. to stop their pursuit of the proposed  Ozarks Highlands National Heritage Area designation for the 13 county area in southern Missouri. We thank them for listening to the landowners, County Commissioners, and citizens in general.
    OPRC expresses appreciation to the many, many citizens across the entire 13 county area for making their concerns heard regarding the designation.
    We wish the sponsors of this attempt well, as they pursue other avenues to achieve their worthwhile goals that do not require alignment with regulatory government agencies or funding with tax payers’ dollars.
c. Russell Wood, President Ozarks Property Rights Congress

Open Letter from W.P. Council on the Arts/Ozarks Preservation, Inc
From: “arts@townsqr.com” <arts@townsqr.com>
Date: March 13, 2011 11:32:00 PM CDT
To: arts@townsqr.com
Subject: Important announcement about the National Heritage Area feasibility study

    An important announcement from Ozarks Preservation, Inc., and the West Plains Council on the Arts appears below.  Thank you.

An open letter to our fellow residents of the Missouri Ozarks from Ozarks Preservation, Inc., and the West Plains Council on the Arts

Dear friends and neighbors,

    As many of you know, our two local organizations, Ozarks Preservation, Inc., and the West Plains Council on the Arts, have been interested for some years now in seeking practical and affordable ways to document and conserve the heritage of our part of southern Missouri while also making apparent the connection between cultural conservation and economic development.  We became interested in the possibility of National Heritage Area status several years ago because we believed that it might help us to achieve our goal of conserving the truly extraordinary culture of this region that we love and making it a basis for much-needed economic opportunity.  We recently completed a feasibility study about the potential for a National Heritage Area here in the Missouri Ozarks, and a report based on that study is available online at www.wparts.org.

    We were excited by the prospect that the feasibility study report would continue a genuine, civil, friendly conversation with fellow residents of the Missouri Ozarks about how to hold on to what makes this part of the country such a special place; how the many remarkable artists, craftspeople, local historians, and cultural practitioners who live here might be able to benefit more from their talents; and how the important stories that we have to tell can express to our nation what it means to be an Ozarker. 

Unfortunately, the conversation recently has turned in an unpleasant direction.  Many of our friends and neighbors are troubled by the association of National Heritage Areas with the National Park Service, which, sadly, has had strained relationships with many residents of our region over its history here.  Additionally, a number of rumors and misconceptions about National Heritage Areas have been circulating, and those rumors and misconceptions have caused many of our neighbors to become alarmed and angry.  Because of such misinformation, many people are now understandably confused about what National Heritage Areas are and aren’t, what they do and don’t do, and why we think having one here is an idea worth considering.

    We apologize to anyone who has been alarmed or offended.  That was never our intention.  In light of the situation that has developed and in a demonstration of our good faith in this effort, we have decided to redirect our attention toward opportunities to foster cultural conservation and economic opportunity that won’t necessitate the involvement of the National Heritage Area program and will rely as much as possible on private funding.  We hope that this demonstration of our true intentions will help to mend and strengthen our partnerships with the many wonderful people and organizations with whom we’ve become acquainted in recent years.  We look forward to further discussions about ways to cooperate on projects that will benefit our region.  There are many potential cultural projects that would benefit from and build upon research that we’ve done over the past several years.  We would like to discuss with you your good ideas about the preservation of your cultural heritage and see if we might work together to bring them to fruition.  We sincerely seek mutual understanding and shared efforts toward the preservation of our exceptionally distinctive regional culture, many aspects of which are rapidly changing or disappearing.

    We are always happy to visit with our neighbors and discuss our shared concerns.  Contact us anytime at (417) 256-1813, arts@townsqr.com, or P.O. Box 339, West Plains, MO 65775.  And please join us for any of the programs and activities in which we’re involved, including the 2011 Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival in West Plains.  The third weekend in June is just around the bend!

Sincerely,

Ozarks Preservation, Inc.,
Kris Norman, president

The West Plains Council on the Arts,
Paula Speraneo, president;
Matt Meacham, folklorist;
Kathleen Morrissey, project volunteer

National Heritage Areas – Who Benefits?

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Please read this very important letter. This is in response to the attached editorial by Frank Martin, editor of the West Plains Quill Newspaper. The facts are on my side. This is what we must go through to take on Big Government. The liberals attack us on every side. I say bring it on. I know what I am talking about. I know not everyone receiving this information is in the proposed Heritage region but nearly 80 Heritage Areas are either in place or in the process so this will probably concern you shortly.
May God help us save our freedoms!
Bob Parker

Who Benefits from a National Heritage Area?
By Bob Parker March 2, 2011

While some accuse defenders of private property rights against the Ozarks Highlands National Heritage Area (OHNHA) of being black helicopter conspiracy theorists, they evidently haven’t read the documents. Helicopters are not mentioned. I like facts. I like documents. I like documented facts. The best way to find out what a law or a contract really means is to read it; and those of us fighting against the OHNHA have read it.
 
Proponents of the Heritage plan say I am just doing this to further my political ambitions. My primary “political ambition” is, and always has been, to preserve freedom. I’m fighting this Heritage Area designation because I want to use my land without a bunch of permits and expenses that only benefit bureaucrats. My neighbors and friends want the same thing. It is true that the documents say that federal money can not be used to seize private land in a National Heritage Area. I have never said anything else. However, it does not say that no regulations on private property will ever result from being in a National Heritage Area.
 
Some proponents say that there are no mandatory hearings needed because no new laws are needed. The  1,600 pages of documents we received from Ozark Action in a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request say the following:
 
(page 2 of a letter from consultant Mike McGrew) ”A National Heritage Area isn’t just created, there is a multiple stage process and it must be acknowledged by Congress and signed into law.”
 
(page 14 of the National Heritage Area feasibility study proposal); Team will craft a series of materials tailored to the region to best provide quality civic engagement to meet the goals of the NPS Heritage Area designation. [end]  In other words, public meetings to receive your consent are a required part of this process. To state that ”no laws are needed to implement it” is clearly wrong. All Heritage Areas literally require an act of Congress that is then entered into Public Law. Yes, law.
 
Some proponents of the plan have stated ”no public money is involved unless voluntary participants request it”. They have also stated that opponents are, and I quote,  “are using  underhanded methods and outright lies”.  Yet the documents state (on page 19) that Jeffery L. Bruce & Company billed $39,795.00 to do the Feasibility study. Where did this money come from? The funding came from the American Recovery and Re-investment Act [ARRA] to the tune of $189,850 with another $15,000 taken from Ozark County Department of Family Services. Last time I checked, when the government funds something, it is done with public funds.

Additionally, the feasibility study draft states that proponents of the Heritage Area intend to build a National Heritage Area Interpretive Center with taxpayer dollars. According to the chart on page 51 of the draft, $2,650,000 [2.65 MILLION] will come from the Federal Government, and $2,552,000 [2.552 MILLION] will come from the State of Missouri. The annual budget for this Center will average $200,000 to $250,000, increasing to $500,000 per year after construction. That’s over 5.2 million dollars of (ahem) public funds just for the building. These are NOT my figures; they are taken directly from the documents obtained through the FOIA request. Ozark Action did not voluntarily hand over these documents, and the general public has not seen them. The proponents say no public funds will be used unless voluntary participants have requested it. That is true, but very misleading. Those attempting to establish this 13 county Heritage Area have volunteered to take your money and have received your public funds. To keep receiving your money, they must get an Act of Congress establishing the OHNHA passed.

As for property rights concerns, the documents state on page 22 that the National Park Service requires a management plan including ”Resource Protection”: ” The act or process of preventing, eliminating, or reducing human caused impacts to natural resources and natural processes.” Page 54 of the draft states that the OHNHA will, “Incorporate approaches employed by European nations for preserving parks and other special places without removing them from the life and culture of the nation.”

So European Land Management shouldn’t concern us? All Heritage Areas include a “private property protection clause” that states:

”Nothing in this Management Plan shall be construed to require any private property owner to permit public access [including Federal, State, or local governments access] to such private property. Nothing in this Management Plan shall be construed to modify any provisions of the Federal, State, or local law with regard to public access to or use of private lands.”

This Act will not change Federal Law; other than creating a new law. The National Park Service already has federal authority to control land use through restrictions and regulations of lands they administer.

What this will do is put us under National Park Service administration with a “Management Entity” acting as a filter for the NPS. This “Management Entity” is an un-elected board that includes a NPS member. What they do to “manage” us must meet the guidelines of the Park Service. One of the board’s first duties after the NPS designation is to develop a MANAGEMENT PLAN for our Natural Resources. [pages 22, 23, and 46]

I think the public deserves facts about this complex and expensive proposition. The issue is massive. If you want the federal government to spend more money and have more control over your decisions, then you will love Ozarks Highlands National Heritage Area. They are from the government, and they are here to ”help”….Whether you asked for it or not.

OPRC Meeting February 24

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Ozarks Property Rights Congress Meeting
February 24 -7:00 p.m.-Hayloft Restaurant– Mountain Grove, Missouri

Come early if you care to eat as no food is allowed in the meeting room.

Much is happening with the proposed 13 County Ozarks Highland National Heritage Area and we will bring the updates to you at the meeting. It is getting down to crunch time to stop it. The 13 counties are Wright, Douglas, Ozark, Texas, Howell, Dent, Reynolds, Iron, Wayne, Carter, Ripley, Shannon, and Oregon

County Commissioners across the areas are becoming aware of the burdens this NHA will bring on their counties if it is allowed to become law. The National Park Service will bring their rules to bear on the counties through the local management entity who is pushing for this. If their rules are not accepted then funding will be withheld. Follow the money.

We need to stop this land control proposal, disguised as a “save the stories and heritage of the area” warm fuzzy thing. The West Plains Council on the Arts (the local management entity) has opened a comment period through March 5. The address is P.O. Box 339, West Plains, MO 65775. Email: arts@townsqr.com or call Matt Meacham at 417-372-3177. Remember, the only way there is a record of your comment, is if you put it in writing, either letter or email. We recommend that you also send copies to both MO Senators, Rep. JoAnn Emerson, the National Park Service director, and your state senator & representative. Also, let your County Commissioners that you don’t want any part of it.

 Thousands of dollars received by the Missouri Dept of Social Services, Family Support Division, from the Federal Stimulus funds have already been spent on this for Feasibility Studies, websites, and other NHA related things. How does this help disadvantaged families in our counties?

Straight Talk: Ozarks Highlands National Heritage Area

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

OZARKS PROPERTY RIGHTS CONGRESS MEETING
February 17 -7:00 p.m. Vaught’s Family Restaurant
West of Gainesville, Missouri  on Highway 160
On meeting nights,
food is served from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Doreen Hannes will hit the highlights and answer questions about the proposed Ozarks Highlands National Heritage Area
The groundwork is laid. The Feasibility Studies are complete. Time is short. 

Ozarks Highlands National Heritage Area is an attempt to establish governmental authority over the Ozarks region. While the proponents of the Heritage Area designation may deny this, excerpts from Ozark Action, Inc sponsored feasibility study and National Park Service documents tell a different story. OPRC will present these and  let you decide what their intentions are. Documents (700+ pages), obtained only by a freedom of information act (FOIA) request, after weeks of waiting for voluntarily shared documents, show that they had fear of property rights advocates getting access to these documents. That fear was substantiated. Promoters have taken pains to hide the facts about this program. They have quietly gone about ”selling” the ”program”, telling unsuspecting County Commissioners and Community leaders how this program will help save our ”stories”, market local products, & bring busloads of tourists to their area.

Documents detailing what has happened  to landowners in other Heritage Areas do not paint a pretty picture. Once the National Park Service hands down its “guidelines,” property rights go out the window. And there is no “opting-out.” Steve Hodapp ( formerly worked with the National Park Service  to create the NHA program and was point person for NHA legislation on the House Resource Committee) said,  ”It (opting-out) is a physical and geographical impossibility. One is either inside the boundaries of a National Heritage Area, or outside the boundaries. And if one is within the boundaries, and there is a management plan that prescribes, indeed mandates, programs and activities to protect, enhance, and manage natural and scenic values within the National Heritage Area—in one way or another private landowners are not goint to be allowed to convert their cornfield to a pig farm or paint their silo purple with yellow stripes.”  From The Virginia Land Rights Coalition website.  NHA Testimony from Robert J. Smith    http://www.vlc.org/articles/168.html

These are times that call for all who care about their rights, to become educated and knowlegeable on  issues that seek to restrict the freedom to live their lives as free Americans.
Please come to the meeting and bring someone with you.

Ozarks Highlands National Heritage Area Feasibility Study

Friday, February 11th, 2011

OK Folks,

Here is the Draft Copy of the Ozarks Highlands National Heritage Area Feasibility Study that  OPRC received in the Freedom of Information Act documents requested from Ozarks Action, Inc. Also, the Feasibility Study that has been made public. There are differences.

Download the Feasibility Studies here (These files are large. It is better to right-click, save-as to your hard drive to view.):

Draft Copy of the Ozarks Highlands National Heritage Area Feasibility Study

http://ozarkspropertyrightscongress.com/_archive/foia-heritage-area-feasibility_draft.pdf

Public Copy of the Ozarks Highlands National Heritage Area Feasibility Study
http://ozarkspropertyrightscongress.com/_archive/110121_ohnha-feasibility-study.pdf

Ozarks Highland National Heritage Area

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Big Government puts crosshairs on the Ozarks

By Bob Parker  January 26, 2011
 
 
 There have been several attempts over the years by the Federal government to establish it’s authority over the Ozarks region. These include; The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, The Natural Streams Act, the FEMA Hazard Mitigation plan, the United Nations ”Man in the Biosphere” designation, Scenic Byways designations, and now, the Ozarks Highlands National Heritage Area. This most recent effort consists of 13 Ozarks counties including, Wright, Douglas, Ozark, Texas, Howell, Dent, Reynolds, Iron, Wayne, Carter, Ripley, Shannon, and Oregon being taken under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service and the global planners. While the proponents of the Heritage Area designation may deny this, I will share gleaned excerpts from two feasibility studies taken in 2010 that were sponsored by Ozark Action and let you decide what their intentions are.
 
Ozark Action and other promoters of this scheme have taken great pains to hide the facts about this program. They have quietly gone about their business of ”selling” the ”program”, telling unsuspecting County Commissioners and Community leaders wonderful things about how this program will help save our ”stories”, and also improve our economy by promoting tourism and marketing of local products. These are wonderful things I agree, but let me share the dark underbelly of this program.

  The Ozark Highlands National Heritage Area feasibility studies, which were only obtained by a freedom of information act (FOIA) request after weeks of waiting for voluntarily shared documents, show that they had great fear of property rights advocates getting access to these documents. That fear was substantiated.

 It’s doubtful the supporters of the program on the local level, including all thirteen county commissions, had ever read or were ever shown these documents. There are over 700 pages on this program to date. I have found that government officials almost never have the documents available and never want you to read them, they just want you to believe what a wonderful program it will be.
 
 The OHNHA  feasibility study documents say the following (my comments in italics):

 Page 1  “The National Heritage area program has been developed by the National Park Service.”  This program will basically take our 13 counties under the jurisdiction of the United States Park Service.

 Page 54  “Incorporate approaches employed by European nations for preserving parks and other special places without removing them from the life and culture of the nation.”
That is a system where everything is regulated, permitted, and controlled. You will no longer control your private property. You will now be in a National Park. They call it a ”Heritage Area”, but it will give them control over you and your property when fully implemented.

 Page 54  “ The formal administration of the National Park Service of the National Heritage Area program in the Ozarks Highlands would likely continue to facilitate a culture of distrust of the National Park Service in the area, particularly by private property protection groups and alternative heritage preservation methods would likely be preferred.”
Seems as if they understand there will be opposition to their program once the information got out. They are trying to figure out how to keep us from understanding the Park Service will be in charge. How? Local representation is appointed, not elected, but Park Service will have final say because everything must match up with their ”criteria” or goals to keep the designation and keep the federal dollars flowing.

 
Page 57 “The efforts of the national heritage area program to facilitate the goals of the NPS guideline are foremost….”
This will be a gradual takeover of our area by the Park Service and it’s global goals. European style management systems? The facts are clear.

 
Page 58 “Public officials from EVERY COUNTY have been contacted and been provided information concerning the function of a National Heritage Area and have offered their support towards this effort.”
Did your local official read the documents about this program? Did they have any idea what they were signing on to support? Have them read this letter and ask them to get these feasibility studies and read it for themselves. Have them research and Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development. This is the socialist style of land control. Do we want that in America?

 
Page 58  “Special attention has also been made toward those groups who are interested in Private Property Protection to provide them with information and documentation in this process.”
We just received these documents after weeks of waiting and only then by FOIA requests. When we met with officials from Ozark Action and other supporting entities no official documents were produced. I suspect no community leaders understood what was happening either. Warning; Get educated about Sustainable development and Agenda 21. All the federal and state agencies are promoting these concepts and programs. They cannot be trusted to tell you the details of these programs. It’s likely that they don’t know the details themselves. DON’T BE FOOLED!

 
Page 58  “…the National Heritage Area would likely have no negative impact on economic activity.”
Resource control, regulations, planning, permitting, unelected boards determining the future of your farm or business.Increased taxation to bring the Heritage Area into “self reliance”… This will have NO impact? Are you kidding?? Key word is ”likely”.
 
Page 59  “This sustainable development approach…”
Again, this is sustainable development. Google or youtube it. Lot’s of good information on the about this program.

 
Page 23  “Management” Specified actions, policies, strategies, taken to meet the goals and recommendations of the heritage area.
The National Park service will tell the local committee what they must do to get funding. They must meet the NPS guidelines and criteria. NPC will pick who is on the board and what they do. This is the Soviet style of governing by council and committee. We have elected officials and a State and Federal Constitution. I think we should stick with that. Soviet means unelected or appointed councils that rule. This is what the regional planning centers, Federal Agencies and these other schemes are all doing, creating another layer of government over our Constitutional one. This is the socialist model of governing. Most elected officials have no idea what is happening.

 
 
Page 23  “Resource Protection” the act or process of preventing, eliminating, or reducing human-caused impacts to natural resources and natural processes.
This is the ultimate goal, total control over our farms and businesses. Permits, regulations, inspectors, boards, and councils that can take over control and implement the new federal agency guidelines of Agenda 21 Sustainable Development. This will destroy our property rights and destroy our system of government. Are you feeling GREEN?….

 
In conclusion;
 
I have very briefly described the plan. They keep trying to gain control and are slowly doing so. As I said before, all the federal agencies are working towards these goals. Our founders were very wise in the way they set up our government, this system goes around our constitutional protections. This has been going on for many years.

 
The Ozark Highlands National Heritage Area is ready to be adopted. It takes an act of Congress to do it. They have all the local support from our elected officials they need according to their documents, all 13 counties!

 
They are currently working to get this adopted and in place for our region. If you are against this, immediately contact your elected officials, County Commissioners and mayors. Give them this letter. Ask them to get the feasibility studies and get educated about sustainable development and what this Heritage Area designation area will really do. Get them to send letters to Ozark Action rescinding their letters of support immediately. Call your Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson and ask her not to support this declaration. Educate your friends and neighbors about this program. This is an immediate threat to our property rights and freedom to use our land and streams.

 
If we lose our private property rights. They may be lost forever.
 

===Bob Parker is a cattle rancher and specializes in farm and ranch property sales in 7 counties in the Southern Missouri Ozarks. He operated Rock Creek Dairy in Texas County from 1983 to 1998. He is a  long time property rights advocate. He has been a guest speaker at many property rights meetings, NAIS meetings, Tea Parties, Radio shows, as well as political events.

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Ozarks Property Rights Congress Meeting
November 11 -7:00 p.m.—Gainesville, Missouri 
Vaught’s Family Restaurant
On meeting nights, food is served from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Meeting Topics will include
 13 County National Heritage Area Proposal (see above link Local Counties . . . )

Thirteen  south central Missouri counties are being considered for inclusion in a proposed National Heritage Area designation by Ozark Action in West Plains. The counties are Texas, Wright, Douglas, Carter, Dent, Howell, Iron, Oregon, Ozark, Reynolds, Ripley, Shannon, and Wayne. Ozark Action has initiated a government funded feasibility study.
        
Supporters say NHA is a way to preserve cultural heritage. Property rights groups see NHA designation as Federal land use zoning, a way to put restrictions on private land use.
     
The Ozarks Heritage Project is a collaborative effort between the West Plains Council on the Arts, Ozarks Action  and Missouri State University-West Plains. The organizers are funded with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus) funds received from the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services provided by the MO Dept. of Social Services, Family Support Division. There is also funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. MSU-West Plains is providing personnel to fill key positions.

Mountain View, Missouri’s Morningland Dairy’s trouble
with the Missouri Milk Board, USDA, and FDA

Go to http://uncheeseparty.wordpress.com/ and read the articles that explain the situation.  Doreen Hannes is very active in getting the word out on this serious rights issue.

We will also have comments on the Missouri Conservation Commission meeting in Kirksville, Missouri  and their vote to stock Elk in the state.

There will be no November meeting in Mountain Grove.

LOCAL COUNTIES INCLUDED IN HERITAGE AREA DESIGNATION STUDY

Monday, October 11th, 2010

South Central Missouri 13 County National Heritage Area Proposed 

    Thirteen  south central Missouri counties are being considered for inclusion in a proposed National Heritage Area designation by a West Plains group.  Members of the Ozarks Property Rights Congress were made aware of  a  government funded  feasibility study initiated by Ozark Action at their recent meeting.
     The targeted counties are Texas, Wright, Douglas, Carter, Dent, Howell, Iron, Oregon, Ozark, Reynolds, Ripley, Shannon, and Wayne.
     According to available information  on an Ozark Action letter head, grant money obtained by Ozark Action is being used to hire a Kansas City firm, Jeffrey L. Bruce and Co. to do the study. Mike McGrew of that company says in a release that his company is working with Ozark Action to create an official feasibility document that the National Park Service will review. He says that, “NPS does have specific  criteria to follow including resource inventories that document the significant features in a potential National Heritage Area.”
     The National Park Service oversees the NHA program and funnels money to a local governing board which regulates the area with Park Service approval.  Inclusion in the national program requires an act of Congress and support of the congress person from the district involved.
     While supporters of the effort tout it as a way to preserve cultural heritage, opponents see NHA designation as a  form of Federal land use zoning.  Nationwide, property rights groups oppose the program as a conduit for imposing outside restrictions on private land use.
     According to Ozark Action information, The Ozarks Heritage Project is a collaborative effort between the West Plains Council on the Arts, Ozarks Action  and Missouri State University-West Plains. The organizers are funded with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus) funds received from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provided by the Missouri Department of Social Services, Family Support Division. There is also funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.
 MSU-West Plains is providing personnel to fill key positions.