Mark Twain National Forest | St. Louis Public Radio

Mark Twain National Forest

Nearly 100 Missouri school districts contain parts of the Mark Twain National Forest but can't collect property taxes on it. A program splitting timber revenue profits between the U.S. Forest Service and those schools was renewed.
John W. Iwanski | Flickr

The federal spending plan approved by Congress this week renews a program splitting lumber profits between the U.S. Forest Service and rural school districts within federal forestland, after the equal sharing agreement lapsed in 2014.

Nearly 100 schools in southern Missouri contain parts of the Mark Twain National Forest. Some pruned budgets and put off buying buses after drops in timber payments of more than $100,000 each of the past two fiscal years.

McCormack Lake in the Mark Twain National Forest. Nearly 100 Missouri school districts contain parts of the federal land but can't collect property taxes on it.
doc jayhawk | Flickr

Superintendent Tim Hager’s district in central Missouri is surrounded by federal forestland in every direction.

School buses shuttle some of the 366 students in the Iron County C-4 School District between their homes dotted throughout the national forestland and the school campus in the small town of Viburnum.

The drive on tough gravel roads beats the buses up, Hager said, but he hasn’t been receiving the big checks from the U.S. Forest Service he once got, so he’s putting off buying a new bus.

Mark Twain National Forest lifts fire restrictions

Sep 5, 2012
(via Flickr/flattop341)

After some welcome rainfall, Mark Twain National Forest in south-central Missouri is no longer restricting open fires.

Forest officials say remnants of Hurricane Isaac dropped enough rain on the forest in the last week to at least temporarily ease fire dangers.

Acting Forest Supervisor Teresa Chase said Wednesday that the open fire restrictions implemented June 27 are no longer in effect.

Another fire burns in Mark Twain National Forest

Jul 30, 2012
(via Flickr/My Blue Van)

Firefighters say it make take a week to fully contain another wildfire burning in the Mark Twain National Forest.

One Mark Twain National Forest wildfire mostly contained

Jul 6, 2012
(via Flickr/flattop341)

Officials in southwestern Missouri say a fire in the Mark Twain National Forest has been mostly contained after charring more than 1,200 acres.

About 25 homes were evacuated after the fire began Thursday. Christian County Sheriff Joey Kyle says it started when a farmer's brush-clearing equipment hit a rock and created a spark. Kyle says one structure was damaged.

New fires break out in Mark Twain National Forest

Jul 3, 2012
(via Flickr/flattop341)

Federal officials say two fires in southern Missouri's Mark Twain National Forest have been contained, but new ones have broken out.

The Forest Service said Tuesday that mop-up operations are under way at the 622-acre East End Fire near the Iron County town of Bixby. Arson is suspect in that blaze, which broke out last Thursday.

Arson suspected of causing large Mark Twain fire

Jul 2, 2012

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Arson is the suspected cause of a fire that burned about 620 acres of the Mark Twain National Forest.

The U.S. Forest Service said Monday that law enforcement is investigating. The blaze started Thursday morning in southeast Missouri's Iron County. 

The U.S. Forest Service has released a final environmental impact statement for its new management plan for the nation's public forests.

The new Forest Planning Rule will guide the management of America's 193-million acres of national forest lands, and provide the framework for local forest managers to develop their own forest-specific management plans.