Forest Service photos
Graffiti on newly laid asphalt was discovered at the North Fork Recreation Area last week following the Memorial Day weekend. Vandals inflicted damage at the site.
AVA, Mo. –– North Fork Recreation Area is located on the North Fork of the White River near Dora, Mo.
Unfortunately, after the holiday weekend, vandalism and property destruction were discovered at the site. New asphalt was spray-painted with graffiti, within 24 hours of paving, gates were smashed, and other harassing information posted around the recreation area.
Upon discovering the vandalism, Ava/Cassville/Willow Springs (ACW) Ranger District employees, worked quickly to begin repairs. In addition, Forest Service and Ozark County law enforcement have increased patrols in the area. If anyone has information regarding this or other illegal activities at the North Fork Recreation Area, please contact the ACW Ranger District at 417-683-4428.
In May 2015, the Forest Service signed a decision initiating the project at North Fork. The purpose of the project is to increase public safety and reduce conflicts among recreationists by separating water play and water craft activities. The document is available for review at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=45310.
Unfortunately, the North Fork project has experienced several unforeseen setbacks to its original timeline. The 2017 flood put the project behind schedule, and also resulted in contract design changes and reprioritizing work to be completed first in the day-use area of the site. Weather this past winter and spring also delayed construction efforts.
The goal remains to open up the original day use area during the 2019 season, which is expected to happen soon. Additional instances of vandalism could affect the current efforts to open the site, resulting in more delays.
Contractors completed paving the day-use area last week. Work remaining to be completed before opening the day-use area includes letting the asphalt cure, striping lanes and parking areas, and installation of traffic control devices. A timeline for the work to be completed on the boat launch and campground is yet to be finalized as it is highly dependent on weather, but efforts will continue to get as much done as quickly as possible.
District Ranger Cody Lunsford has been keeping outfitter and guides, county officials, and other elected officials apprised on progress of the project. The District will continue to provide updates on Facebook and the Mark Twain National Forest website. For more information or questions, please contact Lunsford at 417-683-4428 or email, [email protected]
The entry gate to North Fork Recreation Area is shown above lying on the ground, where it was found broken off its hinges. Below, employees from the ACW Ranger District work to weld and reinstall the access gate for future use.