Friday, February 17, 2017

One month after opening Missouri state park closes because of 'potential public safety concerns'

Jay Nixon State Park (photo by
Missouri Department of Natural Resources)
One month after opening, Missouri's newest state park has closed over “potential public safety concerns," Kurt Erickson reports for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "The Missouri Department of Natural Resources confirmed Wednesday that Jay Nixon State Park in Reynolds County" was shut down on Feb. 8. DNR spokesman Tom Bastian told the Post-Dispatch the park's status "was re-evaluated due to limited access and lack of facilities." There are reports that the park in the Ozark foothills is inaccessible and in no condition to hike. It is near two other state parks.

There also is talk of re-naming the park when it re-opens, Erickson writes. Nixon is a Democrat who was governor from 2009-2017 and "championed the state park system during his two terms in office, arguing that an expansion will help draw tourism spending to the state. In the weeks before he left office, Nixon oversaw the opening of four parks," one of which DNR decided to name after him, a move that has angered lawmakers and was cited as a reason behind the firing of the state park director, whom Nixon appointed.

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