Writer offers readers update of CAFO case

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Dear Editor:

Knowing that there are those who are interested in the opposition of the CAFO currently in operation near Roaring River State Park, we thought it would be a good idea to submit a letter updating everyone on the progress of the Roaring River Parks Alliance.

We have been in contact with Trout Fishermen Associations who are very interested in protecting Roaring River State Park. The Springfield Trout Fishermen's Association invited some of our members to speak at one of their meetings. As a result of this informational meeting, they gave a donation to assist in providing an attorney, as did another Trout Association from Nebraska who had been involved in a similar situation.
One of the most heartening aspects of this is that we find that there are many supporters from various parts of the state of Missouri as well as from other states who have organizations involved in controlling the proliferation of CAFOs.
The operating stay we asked for was denied but that did not surprise us. The January date of the hearing has been moved to March 10 through the 14. Our lawyer, John Price, has asked for a continuance so he can get two scientific experts to study our case and testify on our behalf. One is a professional engineer with expertise in CAFO design and permitting and the other an environmental scientist with expertise in biology, waste management and regulatory permitting and compliance.
One big bit of news came on Nov. 26, 2007, when former Missouri Tourism Director John Robinson urged the state to keep parks and CAFOs separate. In the press release, Robinson states, "While I was always aware of the CAFO controversy in America, my recent study of the CAFO issue has convinced me that many of Missouri's tourism treasures are in peril." He further states that once a factory farm moves next to a state park, the threat is not temporary. The potential is very real for damage to air, land and water.
This is a person who has a very realistic outlook on the big picture. His view also supports our contention that once the damage is done, it is nearly impossible to undo. The cost will impact the pocketbooks of every taxpaying resident of Barry County due to the loss of tourism dollars.
Of course an attorney and expert witnesses are expensive. We continue to solicit donations to cover these expenses, but many of the expenses we incur are paid out of pocket by the members. Anyone wishing to make a donation may make it to either the Treasurer of Roaring River Parks Alliance, Ruth Buchner, HCR 81 P.O. Box 8913, Eagle Rock, MO, 65641 or anonymously to Roaring River Parks Alliance, c/o Security Bank of SW Missouri, P.O. Box 606, Cassville, MO, 65625.


Kathy Casey

Exeter, Missouri