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Planning process begins for Missouri River widlife refuge

By Tom Weber, KWMU

St. Louis – Officials are starting a three-year process to come up with a long-range plan for the Big Muddy Wildlife Refuge, which hugs the Missouri River between St. Louis and Kansas City.

The refuge totals 11,000 acres. But it is not a single, continuous piece of land.

Tim Haller, with the refuge, said officials would like to make the refuge bigger, but that will only happen when landowners in the Missouri's floodplain want to sell.

"In some areas we've acquired a large enough area where we can allow the river to flood into its floodplain, and that inadvertently provides a relief to adjacent levees," Haller said. "That water spills out on us and not onto cropland."Haller also said some levees might be taken down as the refuge grows, but that will not happen if doing so would put farmland in harm's way.