Missouri DNR closes Johnson's Shut-Ins for 2007

Missouri DNR closes Johnson's Shut-Ins for 2007
By: Ryan Tate

REYNOLDS COUNTY, Mo. - The Missouri Department of Natural Resources announced they would not reopen the Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park in 2007. D.N.R. deputy director Kurt Schaefer says the state hoped to have parts of the park open this summer, like it was in 2006, but says repair work has not gone far enough to allow visitors to return.

Reynolds County presiding commissioner Donald Barnes believes the closing has more to do with politics, than repair work. "I talked with someone from Ameren who says the D.N.R. is just holding back because they are mad with [Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon] Jay Nixon," Barnes said. "I fell they should leave politics out of the County, and go forward to get this over with."

An Ameren spokesperson tells Heartland News the company will not put money into rebuilding until their is a settlement between the State and Ameren.
The Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park was destroyed when one billion gallons of water broke through the Taum Sauk Reservoir in December of 2005.
Charlie Rutledge manages the "County Line" bar and "Kyle's Campground" about four miles from the Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park. She says the park not reopening means a lot of her business will not show up this year.