The second "Battle for the Buffalo River" will have many chapters. We begin here and now. If we lose the battle to protect water quality, we lose it all. Our wild river will be dead.
Nothing is more fundamental to the environment than water quality -- it is the first issue. We now know that threats to the watershed can come from anywhere, even agencies empowered to protect the environment can fall short of what is needed. Bureaucracies.grind down all but the most determined. We must change them.
Wisdom will be required to build consensus when we disagree about other issues. Those disagreements could prevent us from working together to protect the watershed. Some will try to pit us against one another, we need to stay united.
Our work together will also require our dedication and vigilance over many years to monitor threats, and change policy at the local, state and federal level. We are in for the long haul.
If the river is poisoned and killed because we can't work together, we will have nothing left to disagree about. We must unite to protect the BNR watershed and present a united front. The future of our wild river depends upon us getting this right.