Table Rock Lake

Table Rock Lake, MissouriPhoto credit: Courtesy of Oklahoma Road

The Ozark Mountains of southwest Missouri are one of the nation's most popular vacation destinations. But development pressure from the area's communities—including the nearby country-music resort town of Branson—is threatening both water quality and access to lakes and lands. For years, the U.S. Forest Service has sought to protect a parcel near the Mark Twain National Forest's Big Bay Recreation Area on Table Rock Lake, which offers public camping, picnicking, boat access, and fishing. In 2001 TPL worked with the Missouri Congressional delegation and the landowner to add the 136-acre parcel to the National Forest. Funds for the project came from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.

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Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than 3.3 million acres and completed more than 5,400 park and conservation projects.