The National Park Service released a draft management plan on Friday for the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.
Environmental advocates have been urging the Park Service to come up with a plan to protect the national park that includes the Current River and its major tributary, the Jacks Fork.
Black bears can now be found in southern Missouri, thanks to a reintroduction program more than fifty years ago.
The University of Missouri has worked in conjunction with other researchers to trace the origins of the bears.
Researchers used genetic footprints and hair samples to identify which bears came from reintroduced groups in Arkansas, and which were indigenous.
Washington University researcher Kaitlyn Faries did research on the bears at MU during initial studies in 2007.
A statewide coalition of environmental organizations is urging the National Park Service to protect Ozark rivers.
Representatives of the groups were in Washington, D.C., today meeting with the Park Service.
They submitted more than 4,400 signed petitions asking the federal agency to adopt a strong management plan for the Current River and its major tributary, the Jacks Fork.
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.
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