State legislators have an interesting twofer today and tomorrow — a Buffalo River float trip and a visit to a mass hog feeding operation that conservationists fear holds peril for the pristine national river. Hosts will include the Arkansas Farm Bureau and agri-giant Cargill.
A news release follows from the National Parks Conservation Association, one of several groups that have criticized an inadequate permitting process for the C&H Hog Farm at Mount Judea, which will house 6,500 pigs for Cargill. It says, in part:
By forcing a permit through that has tremendous holes with a lack of adequate public input, these agencies have endangered our treasured landscape and the livelihoods of many individuals — including the owners of C & H. The organizations concerned about the impact of C & H are pro-farm, but we are also pro-Buffalo National River, and the threat to the nation’s first national river is real.
Don Nelms, the environmentalist business tycoon/photographer who watches over the Buffalo River from a bluff-top home above Jasper, is urging a demonstration of river advocates at lunch Wednesday in Jasper. Earlier, we posted his photo slideshow on the issue. He sent the artwork above with the following message:
Until Cargill acknowledges that they made a mistake and rectify their mistake, there will continue to be a large hog farm in the Buffalo National River watershed.
Cargill is hosting a luncheon for the Arkansas Senate and House Agriculture Committees at the Ozark Café on Wednesday, May 22, in Jasper. This would be a perfect time for you to send a message to Cargill. If everyone would show up on the square of Jasper by about 10:30 and protest until the legislators leave around 1 o’clock, I think it would have a profound effect on the disposition of this whole issue.
Cargill thinks they’re going to just wait this thing out and that the people voicing opposition to their locating this hog farm in Newton County are just a bunch of wacko environmentalists. Let’s prove them wrong. Let’s show them that the opposition comes from all walks of life.