It’s on! Old-fashioned debate about Ozark National Scenic Riverways is set for May 3

On May 3, Lt. Governor Peter Kinder and Missouri state Representative Chris Kelly will square off on the courthouse steps of Shannon County in Eminence, Mo., to discuss the future management of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. It’s an old-school debate that started in a very new-school way: through exchanges on Twitter. Rudi Keller of the Columbia Tribune reports:

The Kelly-Kinder debate sprang from a Twitter exchange in February on the day Kinder participated in a news conference calling for state control. Kelly, taking aim at the idea, wrote that it would go “back the way it was … with Dodge trucks caught in the rootwads. The oil in the water made neat rainbows.”

The issue is not whether to allow unlimited development or allow “Dodge trucks caught in the rootwads,” Kinder said. “That is a straw man and unworthy of a serious argument. No one wants to go back to that. It is how best to preserve these glittering jewels of God’s creation in the Ozarks.”

Read more…

At issue are values around the economics and ecology of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways – particularly the conservation, preservation and recreation of this important recreation area. We encourage Stream Teamers to keep up with this ever-evolving story. In past weeks, we have covered legislative action potentially allowing the state to take control over national land. Recently, Jennifer Davidson of KSMU in Springfield covered the issue in a two-part series, and this debate is yet another chapter.

If you plan to attend:

  • Who: The public is invited to attend this debate between Lt. Governor Peter Kinder and state Representative Chris Kelly
  • What: The politicians will discuss the future management of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.
  • When: Saturday, May 3 at 11 a.m.
  • Where: Eminence, Mo., Shannon County courthouse steps (alternative rain sites TBA — you can probably just ask around town once you get there)
  • Why: Stay informed of the rhetoric surrounding this important issue. And be entertained! This is what our great-great grandparents did for fun, so pack your popcorn and join in a great American tradition.

Update: Brigit Bowden reported on this event for KBIA.

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