One group is coming out against the idea of the Rock Island Trail.

Following Tuesday’s announcement of the Missouri DNR accepting the corridor and planning to complete the Rock Island Trail project, the Missouri Farm Bureau put out a statement saying they don’t believe taxpayer funds should be used for trail conversion, or that those funding needs can even be achieved at all.

Missouri Farm Bureau Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs, Leslie Holloway, says they will work to ensure landowners’ rights are protected during the trail’s conversion process…“State law requires that fencing be provided by the state, if a trail was to cross land owner’s property and they have fencing needs. There are also statutory penalties for trespassing, and if that becomes an issue we will certainly work with park officials and law enforcement to try and make sure those types of incidents are minimized.”

The Farm Bureau has been against the idea of a trail since the start; however it’s argued that there was no one organization really fighting for the return of the railroad service, something which many business and farm owners across the line have been begging for since the 1990s.

 

***Release:

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Missouri Farm Bureau President Garrett Hawkins made the following statement regarding Rock Island Trail:

“We oppose the decision to move forward with the proposed Rock Island Trail as a state park. It remains to be seen whether terms of the agreement between the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and Ameren calling for $9.8 million in public, private and corporate funding to cover initial development costs will be met. We remain opposed to the use of taxpayer funds for trail conversion. We will work to ensure landowners’ fencing needs and property rights are addressed in accordance with state law.”