Sherri Schwenke, Mark Twain’s National Forest Inspectorate, signs the Crane Lake decision at the Iron County Commissioners’ meeting on May 11th. On the left are Southern District Vice Commissioner Ben Young, Iron County Chairman Jim Scaggs, and Western District Vice Commissioner Ronnie Chandler.


Earlier this month, the Mark Twain National Forest announced plans to rebuild the dam on Crane Lake.

Jim Scaggs, Iron County chairman, said it had been six years.

“I wish it would happen sooner, but I understand it takes a long time,” he said. “It only takes a while for these funds to be earmarked or budgeted for a project of this type.”

The plans will remove hazards and restore the lake to its original size so that boaters and anglers have access to leisure time, according to the forest service.

“When the lake is at full capacity again, I can see more people using the facility frequently,” said Scaggs. “It was a great lake for kayaking (and) just exploring the outdoors as it is also surrounded by the national woodland. So it’s just a great lake to take your kids to primitive camping events, or to go fishing or hiking.

“It was a great little place and it’s getting better now that they are committed to rebuilding it.”

When it was originally built in the 1970s, the lake was 100 acres in size. But right now it’s 40 acres.

“Around 2015 the dam was classified as a high risk dam because it had some structural problems,” he added. “Then they lowered it to its 40 acre capacity as it is now.”