ST. LOUIS (AP) Wilderness advocates will gather next week in Salem to plan the next steps of an effort to win federal protection for 50,000 acres of public lands in Missouri's Mark Twain National Forest.
Advocates say they want to build public awareness and support. Next, they'll seek sponsors in Missouri's congressional delegation. The wilderness designation would make an area free of roads, all-terrain vehicles, mining and logging, but open to hiking, camping, fishing, horseback riding, hunting, canoeing and picnicking.
The Forest Service opposes the wilderness designation, and says limited burning and logging are needed to promote the health of the forest.