House signs off on auction of land bought for state park

The Missouri House of Representatives Thursday gave final approval to legislation that would force the Department of Natural Resources to auction off park land it purchased using mine site reclamation funds.

The vote on House Bill 2187 was 117 – 33

Since 2009, the state and  federal governments have reached settlements with mining companies totaling a little more than $49-million to be put toward the clean-up of lands, mostly in southeast Missouri, effected by mining activities.

The Department of Natural Resources diverted about $11 million of that money to purchase land for a new state park in Oregon County, near the Arkansas border. The park land is not a former mining site. Governor Nixon was a proponent of the diversion for the state park.

Legislation sponsored by Rep. Robert Ross (R-Yukon) forces DNR to sell that land at auction with the proceeds going to mining land reclamation.

The bill now moves on to the State Senate.