Missouri State University
Springfield - 91.1
Branson - 90.5
West Plains - 90.3
Mountain Grove - 88.7
Joplin - 98.9
Neosho - 103.7
Share |

Missouri Reactions to Forest Legislation

When Congress recently passed the Forest Restoration Act, two advocacygroups in Missouri had very different reactions. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

CORY RIDENHOUR IS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE MISSOURI FOREST PRODUCTS ASSOCIATION.

HE SAYS THE LEGISLATION IS GOOD BECAUSE IT WILL HELP COMBAT WILD FIRE.

BUT MEMBERS OF OZARK CHAPTER OF THE SIERRA CLUB SAY THE BILL CLEARS THE WAY FOR MORE EXTENSIVE LOGGING UNDER THE GUISE OF WILDFIRE PREVENTION.

CAROLYN PUFALT (POO-fahlt) IS A MEMBER OF THE SIERRA CLUB AND SHE SAYS THE BILL ALLOWS TOO MUCH THINNING.

PUFALT SAYS SHE'S ALSO CONCERNED THE BILL IS TOO RESTRICTIVE AND DOESN'T ALLOW THE PUBLIC TO HAVE A STRONG VOICE IN THE FOREST PLANNING AND PROTECTION PROCESS.

BUT ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ISSUE, CORY RIDENHOUR SAYS THE BILL DOESN'T BLOCK THE PUBLIC FROM HAVING ITS SAY.

HE SAYS THE BILL MERELY MAKES IT EASIER TO PREVENT FOREST FIRES.

AND RIDENHOUR SAYS THAT LOGGING IS TOOL THE FOREST SERVICE USES TO MANAGE FORESTS AND KEEP THEM HEALTHY.

AND WITH MISSOURI'S MARK TWAIN FOREST, RIDENHOUR SAYS IT'S IMPORTANT TO MAKE SURE ALL OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE WHEN IT COMES TO PREVENTING FOREST FIRES.

BUT THAT ARGUMENT DOESN'T CONVINCE PUFALT. SHE SAYS THE FOREST SERVICE NEEDS THE GUIDANCE AND ADVICE OF THE PUBLIC BEFORE DECIDING WHAT ACTIONS TO TAKE.

A SPOKESWOMAN WITH THE MARK TWAIN NATIONAL FOREST SAYS IT'S UNCLEAR HOW THE NEW LAW WILL IMPACT THE MISSOURI PARK.

SHE SAYS IT COULD BE MONTHS BEFORE ADMINISTRATORS IN WASHINGTON INTERPRET THE NEW LAW AND EXPLAIN ITS IMPACT TO PARK OFFICIALS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

I'M MISSY SHELTON FOR KSMU NEWS.