Table Rock Lake Shoreline Protected (MO)
Stone County, MO, 6/20/01 -The Trust for Public Land (TPL) announced today the protection of 136.5 acres of shoreline property on Table Rock Lake in southwest Missouri. Working in partnership with the United States Forest Service, the Missouri Congressional delegation, and a private landowner, TPL acquired the land and transferred ownership to the Mark Twain National Forest to enhance the Forest’s recreational opportunities and protect vital natural resources.
This site on Table Rock Lake offers considerable lake frontage and is situated near the mouth of Big Bay across from Big Bay Recreation Area. The Big Bay recreation complex provides public facilities for camping, picnicking, boat access to the lake, and fishing. Land adjacent to the property being acquired is a winter nesting area for bald eagles and the acquisition of this tract will create a buffer for protection.
The Mark Twain National Forest has been interested in acquiring this property for several years. Forest Supervisor Randy Moore remarked, “This is a great acquisition that will allow us to provide some green space protected from the rapid development in this popular area.”
The land is located in the southwestern corner of Missouri between the towns of Shell Knob and Branson in the Ozark Mountains of the Mark Twain National Forest. Development pressures from Branson and Springfield, Missouri continue to impact this region, as it is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the United States. Growth in the surrounding country has fueled rapid development in the area and its surrounding towns threatening to impact water quality and access to public lands.
TPL has been working with the Mark Twain National Forest for over a decade to acquire threatened parcels of land within the National Forest boundaries in southwestern Missouri, protecting some of the area’s best natural, scenic, cultural and recreational resources. The Table Rock Lake property is suitable for hiking, camping, hunting, photography and other outdoor recreation pursuits. The Mark Twain National Forest purchased the property through a $575,000 appropriation from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Funding for the acquisition was secured through the efforts of Senator Christopher S. (Kit) Bond and Congressman Roy D. Blunt.
“Each year, I work with the Trust for Public Land to provide federal funds for the U.S. Forest Service to purchase land that will boost recreational opportunities while also benefiting the environment and water quality,” notes Senator Bond. “I recently fished Table Rock and I know that lake enhancements will be very well-received and I am pleased that the USFS has made this selection.”
Blunt, who is chief deputy majority whip said, “There are unique, unspoiled areas that deserve special protections for wildlife and water quality. These areas should also allow families and individuals the ability to enjoy leisure activities on these lands. The shoreline property on Table Rock Lake across from Big Bay Recreation acquired by the Trust for Public Land fits this model. In this case, the Trust for Public Land was able to acquire the available tract and hold it until Forest Service funding became available to add it to the Mark Twain National Forest, giving it permanent protection.”
“I commend the Trust for Public Land, the United States Forest Service, Senator Bond, Congressman Blunt, and others involved in the purchase of this valuable piece of land,” added Senator Jean Carnahan. “This is a fine example of how, when working together, we can succeed in preserving our natural resources and providing invaluable recreation experiences for our citizens. As a strong supporter of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, I was especially pleased to know that the Fund provided the resources necessary for the purchase of the property. I will continue to be an advocate of the Land and Water Conservation Fund in the U.S. Senate.”
Founded in 1972, the Trust for Public Land specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiations, public finance, and law to protect land for public use and enjoyment. The Trust for Public Land has protected over 1.3 million acres of land across the nation. In Missouri, TPL has protected over 3500 acres of land, is an active partner in the Confluence Greenway Partnership along the Mississippi River in St. Louis and has assisted various communities throughout the state in their conservation efforts. To learn more, visit www.tpl.org.