Forest Sale Draws Fire Again

1 decade 2 years 9 months ago Friday, February 23 2007 Feb 23, 2007 Friday, February 23, 2007 3:42:51 PM CST February 23, 2007 in News

Bush recommended a similar plan in Congress last year. That plan stalled because of opposition from both Democrats and Republicans. Ashland residents want the president to know they are not willing to give up that land.

Ashland residents wake up to the trickle of water and the whistle of wind through the leaves in the morning.

President Bush's renewed interest in Mark Twain National Forest could take it all away.

"I don't think that it's a proper plan," Sen. Chuck Graham, D-Columbia, said. "I think we need to preserve this acreage, and (Bush) needs to find other ways to find money for public schools other than selling off our national treasures."

Graham is sponsoring a bill to oppose the plan to sell Missouri national forest land.

Bush's plan wants to sell more than 21,000 acres of national forest land in Missouri. This includes more than 240 acres of land in Boone and Callaway County.

Homeowners along Burnett School Road, which is near the forest, said this is a battle they've already fought and won, and they're fighting it again.

"The response last year - I mean every Republican in the state was against it," Ashland resident Carl Freiling said. "Not just to mention the Democrats. It was unanimous opposition. There's no expectation it will make it through a Congress that's Democratic now."

No matter the expectation, Ashland residents said this isn't a fight they are willing to lose.

Last year, Missouri lawmakers criticized the sale because most of the proceeds would support schools on the West Coast.

This year, the president proposes keeping half of the proceeds of the land sold in Missouri.

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