Arkansas Environment

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Arkansas deer hunters will be venturing out into the state’s woods for the start of Modern Gun Deer season on Saturday. As many as 300 to 350 thousand hunters go after cervids each season, according to Randy Zellers of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. He says the weather this weekend is right.

“It finally feels like deer season,” he says. “It’s finally getting cool in the morning. It looks like it’s going to be a pretty good opening day as far as the weather is concerned to give you that feeling that you’re in fact deer hunting.”

-Two vice-presidential candidates exchange verbal punches in their first and only debate. Meanwhile, Arkansas’s Junior US Senator Tom Cotton visits Iow. 2020 on the mind?

-A man dies in a Texarkana jail. A newly released video shows a struggle with guards and pleas of “I can’t breathe.”

-Oil and Gas Industry representatives mingle with Arkansas politicians in Little Rock. From whence doth the energy flow?

-An invasive beetle further endangers Ash trees in Arkansas.

- And a celebrated east Arkansas Blues Festival kicks off.

The Emerald Ash Borer as an adult and larva inside a tree.
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service

Arkansas Agriculture officials are expanding a quarantine area to protect against the spread of an invasive beetle but say mass devastation of the state’s ash trees may only be a matter of time. Eight more Arkansas counties, including Pulaski, were added to the state’s quarantine list this week. The number of counties under quarantine is now at 21. Another 12 counties have confirmed sightings of the Emerald Ash Borer.

Buffalo National River
Wikipedia.org / Wikipedia

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Monday announced that state five agencies will create a committee, intended to study environmental conditions and come up with a management plan for the Buffalo River watershed.

The departments of environmental quality, tourism, health, agriculture, and the natural resources will form the “Beautiful Buffalo River Action Committee.” Hutchinson emphasized that the committee is “not a regulatory body,” but it is meant to educate.

Inside C & H Hog Farms near Mount Judea
Jacqueline Froelich / KUAF

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality says that drilling has been completed at the site of a hog farm located near the Buffalo National River. It was part of a study meant to conclude whether waste from the farm is spreading pollutants in the ground.

The Nature Conservancy and BHP Billiton say a donation from the company will help improve water quality in Arkansas and aid conservation efforts near Houston.

A $14 million donation targets riverfront property and forestland in the two states. The selected sites are Greers Ferry Lake watershed in Arkansas and the Columbia Bottomlands in Texas. In Texas, the Nature Conservancy has purchased nearly 1,900 acres of forested land on the Brazos and San Bernard rivers. The bottomlands are a major stopover for migratory birds.

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission officials say they are making progress in controlling feral hogs, which do an estimated $19 million  damage annually to row crops in the state. Officials told a legislative subcommittee Thursday that the state game officers' practice of increasing trapping since 2014 has led to a 250 percent increase in the number of recorded feral pigs being captured and killed.

Game and Fish Director Jeff Crow said controlling the population of feral pigs has important ramifications.

Bruce Westerman
c-span.org

Republican U.S. Representative Bruce Westerman’s bill to revamp the management of federal forests is moving its way through Congress. The Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015 passed the House last year 262-167, largely along partisan lines, and this week was approved by the U.S. Senate Agriculture committee.

Mayflower Oil Spill
KLRT/ Fox 16 Facebook Page

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is siding with Exxon Mobil in the company's appeal of a fine and safety measures ordered by a federal regulatory agency after a company pipeline burst in 2013 and spilled tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil into a central Arkansas neighborhood.

Mayflower Oil Spill
Facebook

A subsidiary of Exxon Mobil has filed court documents challenging the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's authority to order safety measures following the March 2013 rupture of the company's Pegasus pipeline in central Arkansas.

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