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Congressman Jason Smith

Representing the 8th District of Missouri

Congressman Smith urges DNR to rethink Oregon County land acquisition

Oct 21, 2015
In The News
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, Congressman Jason Smith sent a letter to the Director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) expressing concerns over the Southeast Missouri Ozarks Regional Restoration Plan’s attempt to acquire lands in Oregon County and lack of transparency.

The proposal calls for the DNR to acquire 2,463 acres of land in Oregon County, funded with money from a lawsuit filed by the Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District against lead smelter ASARCO. The damaged lands in the lawsuit did not include Oregon County and the community was not properly consulted on the proposed takeover.

Congressman Smith wrote, “Disappointingly, very little community input was sought on the public takeover of this land. Local, state, county, and city officials were not notified of plans or public meetings. No public meetings were held in Oregon County. Since I was made aware of this plan, I have been adamant that more meetings should be held” so residents can voice their opinions and concerns.

Further, changing 2,463 acres to state-managed land in Oregon County would reduce school and county tax revenue in an area that needs it the most.

Congressman Smith urged the DNR to “rethink this proposal and genuinely seek input from the community that would be so gravely affecte