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A major sponsor has terminated relationships with a National Heritage Area designation effort for this area while counties begin refusing inclusion in the National Park Service project. Also, a public information meeting is planed for March 3 in Mountain View to further explore the issue.
Joined by county commissioners from Douglas and Ozark counties, 75 members of the Ozarks Property Rights Congress heard these discussions at their meeting at Gainesville last Thursday.
Ozark Action Inc. stated in a letter dated Jan. 14 and signed by director Brian Adcock, that Ozark Action is no longer part of the effort to obtain Heritage Area designation for the area. Ozark Action had served as the conduit for funneling money that came through Missouri Department of Social Services, Family Support Division, for use by the designation effort.
Representatives of the West Plains Council on the Arts and Ozark Preservation Inc., managers of the effort, have been invited to the Mountain View meeting to present their purpose in trying to bring the regional designation. OPRC will host the meeting and present landowners perspective on the issue.
A NPS representative, which must approve the local designation and oversee the money paid to the local managing group, has declined an invitation to appear at the meeting, it was announced.
The group learned that Douglas County has notified Mark Meacham of West Plain Council on the Arts that Douglas County wants no part of the NHA. Dent County was reported to have given notice of no participation and that Texas County was committed to the same exception. Ozark and Wright counties have expressed their opposition, as well. It had been published earlier by proponents that all counties favored the NHA project.
The informational meeting for the general public will be held at the Mtn. View Community Building at 7:30 Thursday, March 3.