ER resident writes in response to letter

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Dear Editor:

Mr. Kruse makes it seem like everyone is against the little farmer and this is far from the truth. Most of our ancestors were farmers, and we respect their occupation and devotion to the land.

There's a time and place for everything; this is neither the time nor the place to build a CAFO (Confined Animal Feeding Operation). The place being on F Highway between Roaring River State Park and Eagle Rock. All of Barry County has a vested interest in this CAFO. We depend heavily on our tourism for income and to defray the taxes in this area that would go up if tourism would stop.

This CAFO would be one and a half mile from our Roaring River State Park and half a mile to the nearest point of the Roaring River on its way to Table Rock Lake. Our Mark Twain National Forest surrounds us. All four of these places attract tourists.

They (DNR - Department of Natural Resources) cannot guarantee that the run-off of water will not seep into the underground. Water that moves from the surface into the groundwater system is called groundwater recharge. Ground-water recharge replenishes wells, cave streams and springs, not to mention sinkholes that have proven to be here in Barry County.

Missouri is the "Cave State." One hundred and twenty-five new caves are found in Missouri each year, mostly in the Ozarks. A geologist has shown that from the known watershed the flow of water underground (from the CAFO site) would be to the southeast into Roaring River on its way to Table Rock Lake.

DNR said that they would inspect this site once every two to three years. By the time anyone would find out that there was a problem with the water, it would be too late. The trout in Roaring River would already be contaminated. Cleaning up groundwater is routinely slow, difficult, expensive and seldom totally successful.

The air pollution is a real threat to the people that come to enjoy our wonderful area and also to the people that live in the area. Not only because chicken houses are notoriously known for the smell but also it is a real health problem to people that have bronchitis, emphysema and asthma. Odors and pollution is the biggest trigger to an attack (it's not just "dust").

I am personally offended when Mr. Kruse characterized my health as a "smokescreen for agricultural zoning, allow county commissioners or county health commissioners to impose new regulations and fees on agricultural operations under the guise of protecting human health." My and others health is real; my oxygen is real. Surely he's not implying that one family making more money is more important then our health.

This area around Roaring Rive State Park, Mark Twin National Forest and Table Rock Lake is not where to put chicken houses for all of the people in Barry County's sake.


Beverly Sweeney

Eagle Rock, Missouri