‘Beautiful Buffalo’ committee will help assure watershed resources

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Map shows the Buffalo River watershed in sage green.

Map shows the watershed of the Buffalo National River in sage green.


Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has tasked five state agencies to review water quality issues within the watershed of the Buffalo National River to make sure Arkansas has the means to preserve and protect it.

While the U.S. Department of Interior governs the free-flowing waterway, the “Beautiful Buffalo River Action Committee” will examine activity beyond the National Park Service boundaries. As a major tourist attraction, the Buffalo attracts thousands of visitors annually.

The committee includes agency heads covering tourism, environmental quality, natural resources, health and agriculture.

Hutchinson wants the panel to use a science-based approach to improve or maintain water quality, and include data from a recent study looking at the impact of a hog-feeding operation near Mount Judea, an unincorporated community in Newton County southeast of Jasper.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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