(Kansas City) (AP) – Pressure is mounting to end a federal program that recognizes conservation and recreation efforts along waterways.
Pushback to the National Blueway program began after the White River was made part of the program in January. The 700-plus-mile river flows through Missouri and Arkansas.
The Blueway program is part of President Barack Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative. The designation is intended to promote outdoor recreation and doesn’t require new regulations. But some critics fear it could lead to land seizure and tougher enforcement of existing laws.
Earlier this month, the Interior Department dropped the White River from the program and announced it wouldn’t name any new Blueways until it completes a review.
Hundreds of people attended a Congressional subcommittee field hearing Monday in southern Missouri, with most wanting the program ended.