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Columbia Missourian

Meeting to discuss proposed Big Muddy Refuge management plan

By Jack Suntrup
November 11, 2013 | 1:55 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA – An open house to discuss potential management changes to the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge will take place from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the U.S. Geological Survey Columbia Environmental Center.

The meeting will focus on a proposed draft management plan for the 17,000-acre refuge that stretches along the Missouri River from St. Louis to Kansas City.

Proposed changes to the plan include adding a visitor's center on the Columbia grounds, closer than the current one located in southeast Columbia. More trails and river outlooks could also be built around the land near Columbia.

The Fish and Wildlife Service would also take a more active role in managing invasive species and reconnecting the floodplain to the Missouri River and its major tributaries.

The plan and its proposed alternatives are outlined on the agency's website and will be available in paper and digital form at the open house.