Group opposes Blueway National watershed

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A group of Barry County citizens have banded together to oppose the White River Watershed National Blueway, which encompasses 17.8 million acres of land across 60 counties in southwest Mis-souri and northwest Arkan-sas.

The Southwest Mis-souri Tea Party hosted an informational meeting at the VFW Post 2203 in Shell Knob, advising over 100 attendees of the im-pending impact to their farmlands, businesses and homes if the Blueway pro-posal is passed.

According to presenter Bill Gracy, treasurer of the Barry County chapter of the Ozark Property Rights Coa-lition, Ken Salazar, who was secretary of the United States Department of Inte-rior until this year, over-reached his authority when collaborating with un-elected officials and envi-ronmental stakeholders in the creation of the White River Watershed National Blueway.

Gracy offered back-ground on the project. He stated that in 2012 the De-partment of the Interior established the National Blueway System to address environmental issues in the White River Watershed area and to establish a sus-tainable economic region.

"It looks like a future federal land grab under United Nations Agenda 21, and the area will be used as a biosphere model for other areas in the United States," Gracy said.

"What that means for farmers and homeowners is [they can be fined for] any-thing that runs off your property, from rainfall to oil or pesticides, that runs into the White River Wa-tershed," continued Gracy. "Farmers and cattlemen would be limited to the amount of tilling they could do in their fields and pas-tures, and that would limit their ability to be profitable in business."

State Representatives Mike Moon and Scott Fitz-patrick, along with State Senator David Sater, were in attendance at the meeting and voiced their concerns about the Blueway, which affects Barry, Lawrence, Stone, Christian, Douglas, Greene, Howell, Ozark, Taney, Texas, Webster and Wright counties in Mis-souri.

The local property rights group plans to meet with the Barry County Commission about the Blueway on Thursday morning.

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