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DNR official quits in protest over Katy Trail

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The Katy Trail State Park runs from St. Charles to Clinton, Mo. The path sits mostly where railroad tracks once were. (photo from MO DNR)

By AP/KWMU

St. Louis, MO – A top official in Missouri's Department of Natural Resources has quit over a decision he says could threaten the Katy Trail State Park.

Deputy Director for Policy Ron Kucera says Governor Matt Blunt shouldn't have relinquished rights to an old railroad bridge over the Missouri River. The state is allowing Union Pacific railroad to remove the bridge near Boonville.

The bridge is not part of the Katy Trail, but Kucera says the move could threaten the legal foundation that allowed the creation of the trail.

It's one of the country's largest former railroad corridors made into hiking and biking trails, stretching from St. Charles to Clinton, Mo.

But the head of DNR, Doyle Childers, says the state can't afford to take liability for the bridge.

Kucera handed in his resignation Friday, after almost three decades at the department.

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