NWAonline - Democrat Gazette
We and many others continue the message that the Buffalo National River has earned a special place in the hearts and minds of Arkansans, so much so that it deserves protection from harmful activities that would destroy its ecology and beauty. Early this week, some lawmakers declined to recommend approval of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's request to spend $1 million on conservation efforts within the river's watershed. They didn't suggest rejecting it, either, so at least there's that. Responding to what they say are farmers' concerns that protecting the Buffalo River watershed is just a first step of environmental activism that could do harm to the state's agricultural heritage, the lawmakers passed the funding on with no recommendation at all to the larger Legislative Council, which meets Friday. We certainly hope lawmakers on Friday stand up for this grand river and back the governor's effort to work with, not against, agricultural interests to protect their livelihoods at the same time the state protects the national river. Agriculture is vital to Arkansas' past and future. One doesn't have to lose to preserve and protect the other. The governor has taken a worthwhile and needed approach to keeping the Buffalo River clean for generations.