Congressman Vows to Fight the Closure of Popular Campsites

Lake Degray is an area of Arkansas known for it's untouched, natural beauty. "You got a little bit of everything in this state park," says a park interpretor. It's beauty will remain, but likely won't be as accessible to the public. It's managed by the Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg Mississippi, it has decided to permanently close some campsites while limiting others on Lakes Degray, Greeson, and Ouachita, citing lack of funding. "Every dime the Corps has asked for, for these three lakes, we've gone to congress and fought for those dollars, and we've secured every dime they've asked for," says U.S. Representative Mike Ross, a democrat who represents Arkansas 4th District. The decision to close or limit access has taken Congressman Ross by surprise, and it's a decision he calls arbitrary. "I also take exception to the fact that the public didn't have the opportunity to share it's input or concerns," says Ross. So he's asking the public to share their thoughts anyway, with a grassroots effort to keep the three lakes wide open. "I hope that anyone who has had wonderful family and childhood memories of Lakes Ouachita, Greeson, and Degray, I hope they will write the Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg or pick up the phone and call them," says Ross. The congressman's office has received 130 complaints, a number that's expected to grow once news of the plan spreads to areas full of what could now be referred to as ...unhappy campers.