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Cossar Remains On The Chopping Block

The fate of George P. Cossar State Park remains uncertain following the announcement last week that the park would close on October 31. The park has been a popular destination since 1966, but state budget cuts prompted the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks to take steps to close the facility. – Photo by Jack Gurner

Deer of all ages freely roam the “no hunting” park.

Missouri visitors Sandy and Hal Lane cleaned fish Monday afternoon at Cossar. They said it would be a shame to close the park as did their friends Pam and Ralph Walker, also visiting from the “show-me” state.

By David Howell


OAKLAND – Work continues to reverse a decision to close George P. Cossar State Park in Yalobusha County.

    The park, which is operated by the Miss. Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, is slated to be closed permanently on October 31. The decision was made public by that agency on Sept. 17. MDWFP officials cited financial woes as the driving factor in selecting Cossar out of the 25 state parks operated by the agency. Cossar had the “largest sustained deficit” among Mississippi’s state parks, according to the agency, who cited a $300,000 loss last year.

    The issue has generated a ground-swell of support, with many Yalobushians expressing dismay that the 44-year old facility would be closed. The park first opened in May, 1966 as Yocona Ridge State Park. In March, 1979, the park was renamed in honor of  longtime state legislator, the late George Payne Cossar Sr. of Charleston.

    Rep. Tommy Reynolds reported that he and Rep. Warner McBride met with MDWFP Director Dr. Sam Polles last week in Batesville, as options were discussed to keep the park open.

    Reynolds told the Herald on Monday that he remains optomistic that the park could remain open.

    “Our concerns are being expressed to (MDWFP) officials,” Reynolds said. “We want them to know that it is such a good park, such a good need,” Reynolds said. “It will be a tragedy for our state if it closes.”

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