- Cape student sues, accuses school officials of slamming her to ground multiple times (04/28/16)44
- Bob Evans restaurant in Cape Girardeau among chain's 21 closings (04/26/16)9
- Missouri House votes to allow concealed weapons without permits (04/28/16)6
- Two hurt in motorcycle wreck on Interstate 55 (04/25/16)1
- Law firm requests information about Cape's traffic cameras (04/25/16)2
- Local lawmakers split over failed medical marijuana bill; voters may have a say (04/26/16)19
- Police report filed, but no charges in incident at Cape Central (04/29/16)35
- Tanker truck catches fire near Oak Ridge (04/24/16)7
- Local company makes eco-friendly kitty litter that cuts cat-box smell (04/25/16)
- Senator introduces bill for I-57 that would connect Sikeston with Little Rock (04/28/16)4
Emerson opposes more wilderness protection
U.S. representatives Jo Ann Emerson and Roy Blunt, R-Mo., have joined together in strong opposition to an environmental group's proposal to put 50,000 acres of the Mark Twain National Forest under wilderness protection.
The two announced Tuesday that they would ban together to fight any efforts to designate the acreage in seven different areas of the forest as wilderness areas -- a designation that can only be granted by an act of Congress.
A loosely organized volunteer group The Missouri Wilderness Coalition is seeking the designation of these seven areas. One of the areas is near Big Spring in Carter County near Van Buren.
If granted the protection, all motorized and mechanized vehicles would be prohibited in the areas, outlawing commercial logging and recreational ATV or bicycle riding. The U.S. Forest Service, which controls the land, would also be limited in land management, unable to clear out brush or take steps to prevent such things as insect infestation.
Natural forest fires within the boundaries would be allowed to burn unless they threatened forest outside the designated area, said Paul Strong, acting forest supervisor in the Mark Twain forest.
Blunt cited the restrictions against harvesting of timber -- which isn't currently allowed in the areas -- while Emerson cited fire and disease control as reasons for opposition.
Missouri senators Claire McCaskill and Kit Bond said they wanted to hear more information before making a decision to support or oppose the coalition's proposal.