Bush Administration Details $1 Billion Plan for Public Land Sales

February 11, 2006 - Posted at 12:22 p.m. CST

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Bush administration has a new plan to sell

more than 300-thousand acres of national forests and public land to

help pay for rural schools.

The plan includes the possible sale of more than 21-thousand

acres of Missouri's Mark Twain National Forest. The proposal would

be the largest sale of forest land in decades.

Missouri ranks fourth in acreage identified for sale behind

California with 85-thousand acres, Idaho with 26-thousand acres and

Colorado with 21-thousand acre.

Western lawmakers immediately objected, saying the short-term

gains would be offset by the permanent loss of public lands.

Congress has to approve the sales and has rejected similar


The public has until late March to comment on the proposed


(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)