March 2, 2011
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster said today he has filed suit against the Shannon County Commission to recover possession of state-owned land in the Current River State Park that the defendants developed for vehicle access to the Current River without permission from the state.
Koster said the Missouri Department of Conservation obtained the land in 1996 and conveyed it to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in 2008 for development of Current River State Park. A portion of the park is within the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. The park shares a border with property owned by the National Park Service.
In 2005, owners of canoe rental businesses asked the Department of Conservation to develop an old trail that ran through the property into a road to be used to transport Current River floaters and their canoes to the river. The Department of Conservation and National Park Service denied the request. In 2007, a Shannon County Commissioner authorized the use of road district funds to plow through the state’s property, without the knowledge or approval of either the Department of Conservation or the Department of Natural Resources.
Koster is asking the court to declare that the Department of Natural Resources is entitled to possession of the property and may close the area damaged by the county. In addition, he is asking the court to issue an injunction prohibiting the defendants from any further actions that would interfere with the state’s development of Current River State Park.