Poplar Bluff and West Plains to Host Forums on Mark Twain National Forest

FEBRUARY 16, 2005 - Posted at 3:33 p.m. CST

ST. LOUIS, MO - Federal forest officials are seeking public input on how Missouri's 1.5 million acre Mark Twain National Forest should be managed over the next decade to 15 years.

Upcoming public meetings on the plan are February 22 at the West Plains Civic Center and March 15 at the Black River Coliseum in Poplar Bluff.  A third public forum is set for March 22 in Springfield.

Five alternatives under the plan being considered by the U.S. Forest Service vary.  They involve issues such as cutting down trees to recreational options and restoration of natural habitats in the forest spanning parts of 29 Missouri counties.

The public has until May 5 to comment.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)