SeMo Congresswoman Vows to Fight Wilderness Project

ST. LOUIS, MO - The congresswoman for southeast Missouri says she will fight an effort to designate 50,000 additional acres for federal wilderness protection in her district.

Republican Jo Ann Emerson calls the move unnecessary.

The Missouri Wilderness Coalition says the land that is mostly in the Mark Twain National Forest is at risk for environmental damage by logging, mining and other threats.

The group is asking Congress to pass legislation designating the wilderness area.  The move would ban all-terrain vehicle riding and other activities that could damage the landscape.

But Emerson tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch the move would hurt efforts to clear dead trees that could fuel forest fires, and could prevent treatment of trees endangered by pests.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)