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MDC Seeking Public Comment on Environmental Assessment for Public Lake and Stream Access Sites

Government and Politics

November 29, 2022


Public can submit comments through Dec. 31.

Jefferson City, Mo. – In partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is seeking public comment on a draft Generic Environmental Assessment (EA) regarding the public lake and stream access program in Missouri.

MDC strives to construct new, renovate, or relocate existing boating access areas on Missouri’s public lakes and streams in order to provide adequate access for recreational boating and fishing. MDC has used federal aid in Sport Fish Restoration (SFR) funds, which are administered through the USFWS, to construct and improve fishing and boating accesses on Missouri’s rivers, streams, and lakes since 1991. The SFR requires states to allocate 15-percent of their allotment for the acquisition, development, renovation, improvement, or operations and maintenance of boat accesses.

The purpose of this project is to aid the USFWS decision on whether to implement the EA to expedite and reduce the cost for a National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) review of some boating access project activities.

“Over time, new and improved boat accesses are necessary to help meet increasing demand generated by increased boat ownership and leisure time,” said MDC Fisheries Programs Supervisor Laura Ruman. “Accesses are frequently damaged during flood events and may require closure until the damage is repaired or the access is relocated.”

Ruman explained expediting the NEPA review process under this EA would allow for more timely repairs. New and relocated public access sites also need to be properly sited and protection of the environment needs due consideration when sites are developed and maintained.

The Draft Generic EA for Public Access Sites in Missouri can be viewed online at https://mdc.mo.gov/media/118586.

Comments should be submitted by Dec. 31 to Laura Ruman via email at Laura.Ruman@mdc.mo.gov or by mail to: Laura Ruman, Missouri Department of Conservation, 2901 W. Truman Boulevard, Jefferson City, MO 65102.