Feds End Blueway Program, Which Sparked Controversy In Arkansas

Jan 3, 2014

The White River near Flippin, Arkansas.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The National Blueways System is being dissolved amid opposition from property owners and lawmakers who feared the conservation recognition program would lead to increased regulation and land seizures. U.S.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced Friday that the Connecticut River Blueway would retain its designation as a National Blueway, but that there would be no such further designations.

Jewell's statement about the decision was obtained by The Associated Press ahead of its wider release.

The voluntary program was created in 2012 by President Barack Obama to encourage conservation, though it didn't include any new regulations.

Only two waterways were designated as National Blueways. But the White River, which runs through parts of Missouri and Arkansas, was removed in July after lawmakers and property owners voiced concerns about the program.