by Dee Dokken

You may recall that Columbia Audubon Society opposed a development of 113 houses just north of the Gans Creek Wild Area in Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. Although the Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission has rejected plans for this subdivision in their current form, this process has exposed larger questions about planning issues impacting the Gans Creek Wild Area.

Thus far, many citizens have already submitted public comments to the City of Columbia about the need to protect the Gans Creek Wild Area from development — and that feedback has had a real effect. Now is the time to tell the Boone County Commissioners how YOU feel about protecting the Gans Creek Wild Area from development. Encourage them to do a quality planning process in coordination with the City. Tentatively, there is a joint meeting between the County Commission and the Columbia City Council on November 15 and we hope that planning for the Gans Creek area will be discussed then.

Your comments can be short and simple, or more extensive, as you wish.

Please submit your public comments to:

Justin Aldred, District I Commissioner
801 East Walnut, Room 333
Columbia, MO 65201-7732
573-886-4308 (direct)

Janet Thompson, District II Commissioner
801 East Walnut, Room 333
Columbia, MO 65201-7732
573-886-4305 (Commission office)

Dan Atwill, Presiding Commissioner
801 East Walnut, Room 333
Columbia, MO 65201-7732
573-886-4305 (Commission office)

Letter example follows (please add your own personal talking points and experiences):

Dear Commissioner (Thompson, Atwill, Aldred)

The area around Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, and especially the Gans Creek Wild Area, needs a plan by Boone County, in coordination with Columbia, to ensure the long-term protection of this precious and irreplaceable resource for the county, city and state.

Your Name

Talking Points:

  • Personal experiences in Gans Creek Wild Area
  • The Gans Creek Wild Area is one of only 12 designated Wild Areas in Missouri
  • Gans Creek is one of only 44 Outstanding State Resource Waters in Missouri
  • Rock Bridge Park and the Gans Creek Wild Area have thousands of visits yearly and host many educational youth events
  • The park is an important engine for economic growth, both through tourism and the quality of life that helps employers attract and keep good employees.
  • Support a moratorium or delay on development
  • Create a special task force to work on a plan to protect sensitive areas like these
  • Encourage that the city and county include robust stakeholder participation, keeping the public process open, accepting input

Thank you!

Dee Dokken
Columbia Audubon Society Conservation Chair