BRANSON, Mo. – The Army Corps of Engineers is hosting the Table Rock Lake Shoreline Management Plan scoping workshops March 26-28 to share information about the update process and to collect public comments concerning shoreline activity around the lake.
The scoping workshops will be held at the Branson Convention Center, 200 Sycamore Street in Branson from noon until 4 p.m. Thursday, March 26; 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. Friday, March 27; and noon until 4 p.m., Saturday, March 28. Anyone interested in the future of shoreline activity use around Table Rock Lake is invited to drop in anytime during the workshops.
“Our goal for these public workshops is to hear from people about ideas that help sustain the future of the lake for many years to come,” said Dana Coburn, Project Manager for the Table Rock Lake SMP update. “The workshops are an open house format to allow people to stop in at their convenience during the workshop hours.”
At the public workshops, representatives from the Corps of Engineers will present an overview on the shoreline management plan update process and answer questions from the public about the SMP or the process.
The workshops will also allow Corps personnel to gather information from other agencies, local residents and lake visitors.
The Corps recently notified the public about a temporary halt to new shoreline use requests because of the SMP revision process. The shoreline management plan for Table Rock Lake establishes policy and furnishes guidelines for the protection and preservation of the desirable environmental characteristics of the shoreline while maintaining a balance between public and private shoreline use.
“We’ve been hearing from the public for a long time that a shoreline management plan update is needed—people who visit our duty room at the Table Rock Project Office, people who call the project office with general questions about the lake, even folks who attended the master plan revision workshops,” said Coburn.
The last SMP update was completed in 1996. For a number of years, the district has requested funding to update the Table Rock Shoreline Management Plan.
“We recently revised Table Rock Lake’s Master Plan, and logically, it makes sense to move forward and update the SMP now in order to sync the two management documents,” added Coburn. “It was great timing that the SMP was funded in fiscal year 2015, through the President’s budget.”
Similar to the master plan process, a baseline for existing conditions on Table Rock Lake must now be set and that is one of the reasons for temporarily halting new shoreline use requests.
“The temporary halt means nothing new can be permitted during this time; but, if a property owner has existing shoreline use permits, like a dock or vegetation modification permit, those can still be renewed or transferred while the SMP update is taking place,” Coburn said.
“As an agency, we’ve been asking ourselves what makes the ideal management philosophy at each of our lakes, especially in an era of constrained federal budgets,” said Little Rock District Commander Colonel Courtney W. Paul. “Table Rock Lake is unique and has many competing missions, we need input from the people that live, visit, recreate, and benefit from the lake to help us answer questions about the best course forward at this lake.”
Shoreline management is one of the Corps programs with requirements that continue to grow.
“We cannot sustain the growth of the shoreline management program with the funding we receive and we are continually looking at ways to better manage it,” said Paul.
For more information about the shoreline management plan update process visit the following website: http://go.usa.gov/MG34.
Little Rock District news and recreation information can be found at www.about.me/usacelittlerock.