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Sen. Cunningham answers an question from one of the attendees at the meeting on Friday, January 3. (ORN Photo)

Sen. Cunningham answers an question from one of the attendees at the meeting on Friday, January 3. (ORN Photo)

(Thayer) – On Friday, January 3, 33rd District Senator Mike Cunningham, along with the group Ozark Property Rights Coalition, held an informational session on the Ozark National Scenic Riverways Draft General Management Plan, which detractors say would devastate the economy of the region by restricting access points on the Eleven Point and Current Rivers, close down horse trails, and eliminating camping opportunities.

Senator Cunningham spoke with Ozark Radio News, and said he believes the meeting went well:

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He also said that it’s important that people read the plan and voice their opinion:

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Cunningham says he believes that the preferred plan is simply government interference in the lives of residents in the Ozarks:

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Voice of the Ozarks President Jerry King, whose group was invited to the meeting on Friday, spoke with Ozark Radio News and told us that the National Park Service has betrayed their original intent, which was to allow the natural resources of the region to be accessible to everyone:

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Cunningham discussing the ways people can submit their comments on the plan. (ORN Photo)

Cunningham discussing the ways people can submit their comments on the plan. (ORN Photo)

King elaborated on the financial aspect of Shannon County, and said what he believes the end game is for the park plan change:

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The meetings are scheduled for this week in Salem, Van Buren and in Kirkwood, which is near St. Louis. King says he’s disappointed with the National Park Service’s choice in holding a meeting in Kirkwood:

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King says that people across the region need to band together and voice their opinion on the proposed plan:

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Also in attendance at the meeting was Oregon County Presiding Commissioner Patrick Ledgerwood, who said that, while the plan doesn’t directly affect Oregon County, he and the commission will be keeping an eye on the outcome:

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You can read the plan and leave comment at parkplanning.nps.gov.

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