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Rep. Robert Ross, center, speaking to the crowd on Thursday. Seated to the left is Russ Runge and on the right, Sen. Mike Cunningham. (ORN Photo)

Rep. Robert Ross, center, speaking to the crowd on Thursday. Seated to the left is Russ Runge and on the right, Sen. Mike Cunningham. (ORN Photo)

(Houston) – Missouri legislators and the deputy superintendent of Ozark National Scenic Riverways held a question-and-answer session with over 80 constituents in Houston Thursday night concerning the draft General Management Plan for Ozark National Scenic Riverways.

ONSR Deputy Superintendent Russ Runge spoke with Ozark Radio News and talked about the National Park Service’s preferred plan for the park:

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Runge says that the park plan was last changed in 1984, and a number of changes have come to the park since then:

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142nd District Representative Robert Ross (R-Yukon) helped officiate the meeting with 33rd District Senator Mike Cunningham (R-Rogersville). Ross says that he believes that the meeting went well and talked about the purpose of the meeting:

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(ORN Photo)

(ORN Photo)

Rep. Ross continued, saying that he is against the proposed plan and it’s restrictions, and is supporting one of the other options that would leave the management plan as-is:

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Ross also spelled out some of his issues with the proposed management plan:

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Despite the good turn out for the meeting, Rep. Ross says that the people in attendance represent a small fraction of those who will be affected by the plan change:

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Senator Cunningham also spoke with Ozark Radio News and said he believes the meeting was successful:

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Cunningham is also in favor of the “no action” plan:

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(ORN Photo)

(ORN Photo)

Cunningham adds that the park should be responsibly used, and that the recommended plan could jeopardize that:

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Runge says that the plan has been in the works for the past eight years or so, and the end of the public commenting period is in February:

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Senator Cunningham added that he hopes that all of the Ozark Radio Network listeners will get involved in the process, and urges people to make comprehensive, well thought-out comments:

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To submit comments online, visit parkplanning.nps.gov/ozar.

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