(AP) The U.S. Department of the Interior has dropped the White River from a new federal program that recognizes conservation and recreation efforts along waterways.
Wednesday's decision followed a public backlash over the National Blueway designation for the 700-plus-mile river that flows through southern Missouri and parts of Arkansas.
Opponents and one-time backers wanted the designation dropped.
Opponents say the designation, given in January, could lead to new regulations or land seizures. Former backers say the dispute could make landowners resistant to voluntarily cooperating with conservation efforts.
The National Blueways System was created in 2012. It's part of President Barack Obama's America's Great Outdoors Initiative. The program is intended to promote outdoor recreation in national parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands.