Arkansas Environment

A stretch of the White River.
Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service is making $20 million available to Arkansas landowners to restore wetlands. The program to limit future development is voluntary and funded by the 2014 Farm Bill.

Randy Childress, the Assistant State Conservationist for Easements and Watersheds at NRCS, says the process of restoring marginal farmland to wetlands could take 50 to 100 years. He’s confident restoration efforts will work.

www.adeq.state.ar.us/

A consultant hired by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality presented findings at the agency’s headquarters Thursday of subsurface tests made at a controversial swine farm near the Buffalo National River. ADEQ and environmental advocates are still mulling over the study’s details.

File photo. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R).
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange are leading a legal challenge of new U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regulations.

A new nature preserve is planned near the Buffalo National River after the Nature Conservancy of Arkansas purchased 1,425 acres of land in the area. 

The conservation group says the land is on a mountain near Mt. Judea along Big Creek, which flows into the Buffalo River. The group says the new preserve, which will be called Council Rock Forest, is also home to three rare bat species. 

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

A contingent of about 20 Arkansas activists gathered at the State Capitol Tuesday to voice solidarity with North Dakota Access Pipeline protesters as they challenged the newly approved Diamond Pipeline. The 440-mile pipeline is to go under construction across Oklahoma and Arkansas.

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.

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