Congressman Jason Smith: Park Service Rescinds Permit Requirements For River Baptisms

On Thursday, Aug. 22, one day after it was made public that the Ozark National Scenic Riverways would restrict baptisms in some Missouri streams, Congressman Jason Smith announced the Park Service had reversed course and would no longer require permits for Baptisms on riverways in the Ozark National Forest. Since 2006, the Park Service has required permits for riverway baptisms, but the restriction had apparently not been actively enforced.
“Today’s decision by the Park Service is a victory for common sense. The notion that permits would be required for baptisms on our riverways is ridiculous,” said Smith. “I appreciate Superintendent Bill Black’s quick response to my request to rescind the permit requirement and I want to continue working with him and the folks who live along the rivers to preserve our traditions and rural way of life.”
Smith was notified of the reversal in a letter from Ozark National Scenic Riverways Park Superintendent Bill Black.
“As of today the park’s policy has been clarified to state that no permit will be required for baptisms within the Riverways,” said Black’s letter to Congressman Jason Smith.