We Have a Nominee for Worst Proposal of 2007…
O’Fallon, MO, is seeking to annex the Busch Wildlife Area. This would put one of the state’s parkland and wildlife jewels under the zoning control of an aggressively expanding suburb. This is a truly horrible proposal. The city officials have stated that they have no intention of changing the use of the land, and I believe them, but their promises now could easily be changed by new leadership after future elections. How could anyone even fathom giving control of this land over to a municipality instead of the State Department of Conservation?
I would feel better about the statement by O’Fallon Mayor Donna Morrow that she is opposed to this if she didn’t also say she was unaware it was being proposed in the first place. It seems the bureaucrats might have just a little too much power in O’Fallon. I have had the great pleasure of going to the Busch Wildlife Area. My friend, Willis Corbett (scroll down), took me out there to participate in a Pointer and Setter competition a few years back, which was two hours of the most wonderful horseback riding of my life.
The good news is that ideas this bad are usually stopped when common-sense Missourians realize what is being proposed. The Great Rivers Habitat Alliance, supported by the Busch family, is strongly opposed. They have done incredible work over the past decade in St. Charles County. St. Charles County Councilman Joe Brazil, who represents the area, is also opposed, and states:
"There should be a state law prohibiting municipal governments from taking county or state parks of more than 100 acres."
The only thing he is wrong about is that the law should apply to parks of any size, not just 100 acres. The State Department of Conservation is much better equipped and prepared to manage our park system than any local municipality. The land should remain unincorportated to best honor the gift of the Busch family.