Buffalo River 

Advocates to Protect the Buffalo National River Watershed

Recent BRWA Newsletters   November 2015      Mid October 2015                                                           Reminder and Evidence of your impact                  

Defendants request a 90-day extension, until March 1, 2016, to comply with court order for a new EA. The extension is requested due to the "unexpectedly large volume of public comments on the draft EA". 1,858 public comments were submitted.

Draft Biological Assessment prepared to comply with the Endangered Species Act. October, 2015

BRWA Oral Comments on pond liner modification, Sept. 29, 2015

Tom Aley Oral Comments on pond liner modification, Sept 29, 2015

BRWA responds via attorneys to ADEQ's refusal to investigate our recent complaint about possible contamination at C&H. Sept. 21, 2015

PRESS RELEASEArkansas Groups Find Draft Environmental Assessment of Industrial Hog Facility in Buffalo River Watershed Significantly Flawed

Buffalo River Coalition Comments On Draft EA, with exhibits, submitted by Earthjustice, Sept. 4, 2015

(Note: This is a 382-page document. Separate links for comments and exhibits may be found on the Documents page under the FSA Documents section.)

Tom Aley, Ozark Underground Laboratory testimony on Draft EA

August 27, 2015

Pruitt/Sobczynski, University of California, Davis
Comments on Environmental Justice for Draft EA,  September 4, 2015

Read Here

Survey of Threatened and Endangered Bat Species On Big Creek August 19, 2015. 

Second Bat Survey for Left Fork of Big Creek, August, 2015

Draft Environmental Assessement Released

Read here

BRWA Files Complaint With ADEQ regarding BCRET data showing potential pond leakage.

Aug. 12, 2015 Read here

ADEQ responds here, August 21,2015 denying further investigation


    On PBS Series, This American Land
                     watch here

                      watch here


Electrical Resistivity Imaging (ERI) Preliminary ERI Surveys of Mt Judea Alluvial Sites. This report of work done in Dec. 2014 by Oklahoma State University on behalf of BCRET reveals karst features beneath 2 fields being studied. Of note: "The bedrock at each site contained potential pathways for groundwater flow. One difference between the sites that may be useful for application evaluation is the possibility of hog manure electrical signatures present on Field 12."

July 10, 2015: Big Creek Research and Extension Team 2015 2nd Quarterly Report Note particularly the House Well and Interceptor Trench E. coli and coliform data (pgs 45-46) as well as the Downstream Nitrate-N graph (pg 56).

July 2, 2015: Cargill announces the sale of it's pork unit to Brazilian firm, JBS USA for $1.45 billion, pending government approval.

June 15, 2015: Earthjustice Letter To ADEQ expressing concern over a request to permit C&H waste to be spread on the old C&C Hog Farm, part of which is in the Little Buffalo River watershed. Also requesting that C&H permit be reopened in its entirety for public comment. 

May 24, 2015: YouTube video of memorial tribute to John Paul Hammerschmidt on the banks of the Buffalo

May 7, 2015: C & H requests yet another major permit modification to install a cover, gas flare and liners on their waste storage ponds. Read the request here.

 Buffalo National River Water Quality Data This site provides information on multiple water quality parameters collected at numerous sites on the Buffalo from 1985 to present. See the Water Quality Database 2005 - 2015 for most recent data, including E. coli and Dissolved Oxygen.

Dissolved Oxygen levels at mouth of Big Creek, late Summer, 2014. This graph shows that during a 21 day period the D.O. dropped to or below 5 mg/l on 19 nights. The stream was at a critical level for 23.76% of the time during that period. 

COURT ORDER, filed 12/2/2014. U.S. District Court Judge D.P. Marshall's written opinion and order for injunctive relief. The Court finds that FSA and SBA violated provisions of the National Environmental Policies Act (NEPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and that they "arbitrarily and capriciously guaranteed the loans" to C&H Hog Farms.The court requires the agencies to re-do their "cursory and flawed" Environmental Assessment of C&H within one year. Read this document for a clear overview and explanation of the issue.
    Notice of Appeal by DOJ, filed 1/30/2015
Appeal Withdrawn by DOJ, April 24, 2015

PLEASE SEE the Documents and the Videos pages for more extensive documentation of the C&H controversy.

Mt Judea Station, downstream from C&H
Big Creek at Carver Station, near confluence with Buffalo River


The "Save the Buffalo - Again" campaign is necessary because, in 2012, a 6,500 industrial scale hog facility was built on the banks of Big Creek, just 5 miles upstream from the Buffalo National River. Government oversight of this development was deeply flawed and it now threatens to destroy the fragile ecosystem of our nation's first National River.

Buffalo National River staff was not consulted prior to Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality(ADEQ) issuing a permit for this confined animal feeding operation(CAFO), in violation of federal regulations. A subsequent National Park Service review of the documents for the permit  revealed 45 significant violations

If we have learned anything, we now know we must be vigilant and not presume everyone treasures this place as we do. 

We must act to defeat this CAFO, and seek policies that will build a wall around the Buffalo River Watershed. If we lose this, we lose a part of ourselves.

John Muir defined the meaning of natural treasures like the Buffalo National River best long ago:

"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul."  John Muir

We need your help. Join us in this campaign to "Save the Buffalo - Again", and help secure the future of our national treasure. With a shared vision and hard work, we will prevail.

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