The forest service said users will still need to practice social distancing as all recreation areas on the ACW Ranger District have re-opened

Summer usually means busy times for the Ava/Cassville/Willow Springs Ranger District,  and 2020 is no exception.  District employees continue their work in landscape restoration, providing recreation opportunities for the public and wildland firefighting and prevention.

Fire staff are supporting the western fire season, currently focused in the Southwest. When at home on the ACW Ranger District, they continue to train and patrol. They also provide assistance to any other Forest work that needs to be accomplished, such as mowing, maintenance and laying out cedar units for restoration work within the Joint Chiefs project. 

Summer recreation is in full swing with all recreation areas on the ACW Ranger District re-opened. The pavilions at Shell Knob and Noblett are taking reservations again through recreation.gov.  Users will still need to practice social distancing. The restrooms at Big Bay Day Use and Pine View Tower trailhead remain closed. The Big Bay boat ramp repair contract, in the Cassville area, has been awarded. 

The District also welcomed two new employees — Olivia Woolsey and Emily Ficker. 

Woolsey is in the Resource Assistant Program and will be a customer service representative at the Cassville office. She will be assisting with the recreation program as well. Woolsey is a recent graduate from University of Missouri in Columbia with a degree in Forest Resource Management. 

Ficker joins the team as the Support Service Specialist. Ficker previously worked for the National Park Service in Utah. Ficker said she looks forward to continuing her public service in Missouri.

The ACW office in Ava, being cognizant of health and safety guidance, continues to assist visitors by telephone when possible, but will also help in-person visitors by meeting them outdoors. Access into the buildings is limited, and a mask must be worn.

Residents who need assistance, please call the ACW District Office at 417-683-4428. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.