New state parks: Planned by Nixon, on hold by Greitens

About 9,330 acres of state-owned property that former Gov. Jay Nixon’s administration purchased with the intent of opening state parks is closed indefinitely by current Gov. Eric Greitens’ administration.

Under Greitens, Missouri’s Department of Natural Resources has greeted further expansion of the state’s park system with skepticism, instead shifting focus to a $200 million maintenance backlog in current state parks.

The idle parks: 1,011-acre Ozark Mountain State Park in Taney County; 2,917-acre Bryant Creek State Park in Douglas County; and 4,167-acre Eleven Point State Park in Oregon County.

Nixon portrayed the projects as a rural economic development tool. That argument was on display for Echo Bluff State Park in Shannon County, where the state spent $52 million to build a lodge, cabins and other creature comforts near the Jacks Fork and Current rivers.

Nixon was criticized by lawmakers who said his team snapped up parcels under a shroud of secrecy while neglecting the maintenance backlog and local concerns over lost property tax revenue.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch


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