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Media Events Highlight ARRA Project Benefitting Niangua Darters and Dallas County, Missouri.
Midwest Region, July 27, 2010
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Julie Turner-Crawford of the Lebanon Daily Record collects information from agency representatives during media event at the Williams Ford Crossing in Dallas County, Missouri (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo by Brian Elkington)
Julie Turner-Crawford of the Lebanon Daily Record collects information from agency representatives during media event at the Williams Ford Crossing in Dallas County, Missouri (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo by Brian Elkington) - Photo Credit: n/a
Craig Fuller of the Missouri Department of Conservation answers questions posed by Chris Nagus of KMOV television news about a bridge replacement to benefit the threatened Niangua darter. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo by Mark Corio)
Craig Fuller of the Missouri Department of Conservation answers questions posed by Chris Nagus of KMOV television news about a bridge replacement to benefit the threatened Niangua darter. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo by Mark Corio) - Photo Credit: n/a

The replacement of an old low water crossing on Benton Branch road in Dallas County, Missouri was highlighted in two distinctly different media events in July and August. The bridge, known locally as Williams Ford, is being removed and then replaced with a free span structure to increase passage for the threatened Niangua darter and other aquatic species (see accompanying story). The new bridge design will increase passage of water and sediments which will decrease the amount of time the road will be closed due to flash flooding. It will also decrease maintenance efforts by county road crews.

On July 27th, local reporters from print and television press units visited first at the county courthouse and then at the bridge site with representatives from the Dallas County Commission, Missouri Department of Conservation, and Great River Associates, the project engineering firm. The Service was represented by Brian Elkington, Regional Fish Passage Program Coordinator. Reporters from the Lebanon Daily Record, Buffalo Reflex and KSPR TV news in Springfield, MO were present to ask questions of the participants. Story coverage was largely supportive of the project.

On August 25th, KMOV television reporter Chris Nagus met Craig Fuller of MDC on the site for an interview. Joanne Grady of Columbia FWCO was on hand to answer questions relating to the Service and ARRA funding. KMOV had contacted MDC to run a story about the "Fish Bridge" as part of a series entitled "Is this why we're broke?" Public comments related to the news piece were largely positive ones; supporting the expenditure of federal funds to replace the bridge.

The two events provided a fine example of media relations. The same supporting and reference materials were provided to both groups of reporters, yet the stories developed were very different.


Contact Info: Joanne Grady, 573-234-2132 x101, joanne_grady@fws.gov



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