News & Updates

12 01, 2018

Hog Farm Permit Update

By | 2018-08-28T15:27:19+00:00 January 12th, 2018|Categories: News & Updates|Tags: |

From The Arkansas Times on Wed, Jan 10, 2018 at 5:45 PM: ADEQ denies C&H Hog Farm permit Posted By Lindsey Millar   The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality has denied a new permit for the C&H Hog Farms' concentrated animal feeding operation near Mount Judea (Newton County). This is a big and somewhat surprising victory for critics who have viewed C&H's large-scale pig farm and the pig waste it generates as an existential threat to the Buffalo National River. This means the controversial pig farm must shut down unless the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission grants a stay. C&H can appeal ADEQ's decision to the APC&EC within 30* days. If C&H elects to do that, that review must happen "as expeditiously as possible" and a final decision must be handed down within 60 days unless all parties agree on an extension, according to APC&EC administrative rules. If the APC&EC denies the appeal, it is believed that C&H could appeal the decision to circuit court or the Arkansas Court of Appeals. C&H has been controversial since it won an ADEQ permit for its hog farm in 2012** in a process that critics complained was flawed and did not sufficiently take into [...]

29 10, 2017

Hog Farm Permit

By | 2017-10-29T18:47:54+00:00 October 29th, 2017|Categories: News & Updates|

Months of delay Hog Factory Permit By Mike Masterson This article is re-printed with Mike Masterson's permission from the Democrat Gazette published 10/29/17.  Call me cynical, skeptical, realistic or an unapologetic voice for the welfare and preservation of the only Buffalo National River we have. Whatever else I might be, I'm not the least surprised our state's bungling Department of Environmental Quality (wheeze) has delayed for over six months (and counting) its decision on whether to permanently re-permit C&H Hog Farms, originally allowed into the river's karst-laden watershed in 2012. This factory with some 6,500 swine has operated for more than a year on an expired permit that was effective for five years until the agency began considering its application for the new one under a different regulation. The re-permitting process included 50 prescribed days of public input that drew 20,000 comments (each requiring an agency response). The agency's long delay makes no sense to me when the reason it gives is needing more time to thoroughly analyze and acknowledge those public responses and discover answers to basic questions it should have demanded before wrongheadedly permitting this factory into our state's most environmentally sensitive region. So what's the real reason behind [...]

31 03, 2017

Mike Masterson Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Column 3/28/17

By | 2017-03-31T14:38:15+00:00 March 31st, 2017|Categories: News & Updates|

This column appeared in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on 3/28/17: Used with Permission: MIKE MASTERSON: 'Clearly malfeasant' Geologist speaks By Mike Masterson A former 30-year veteran of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (wheeze) has written an explosive letter claiming malfeasance and flawed findings, saying that agency inexplicably failed to consult its own geologists before issuing the original permit to C&H Hog Farms at Mount Judea. Gerald Delevan, previously a geology supervisor at the department, sent a lengthy letter (edited portions below) to Jamal Solaimanian, engineering supervisor of the agency's Water Division, which listed numerous objections to support his assertions. The review and approval of the initial application "to allow the land application and disposal of a large volume of untreated hog waste in the Big Creek watershed under a General Permit ... was at best poorly conceived and poorly executed by Water Division staff," Develan wrote. To his knowledge, he said, the initial application was never reviewed by any geologist throughout the agency before the permit was issued. Delevan said had the geologists been allowed to review the application, it's highly unlikely any of them would have signed off on the proposed permit without requesting geologic data about the locations and [...]

16 12, 2016

Bob Ritchie Memorial Donations

By | 2017-01-24T16:13:42+00:00 December 16th, 2016|Categories: News & Updates|

If you would like to make a donation to the Ozark Society in memory of Bob Ritchie, please make out a check to "Ozark Society" and write "Bob Ritchie memorial" in the memo line. Checks should be mailed to: Kaye Ewart, Ozark Society Treasurer, 4508 Valley Brook Circle, North Little Rock AR, 72116,

24 10, 2016

Bob Ritchie-Rest in Peace (Update)

By | 2016-10-26T08:39:53+00:00 October 24th, 2016|Categories: News & Updates|

Bob Ritchie- Ozark Society Treasurer, outdoorsman, and dear friend-has died. Bob also served as President and Vice President of the Society. We will miss our friend Bob tremendously. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers. His memorial service will be held at Second Presbyterian Church in Little Rock at 2 pm, Thursday, October 27. The address of Second Presbyterian Church is 600 Pleasant Valley Drive, Little Rock, Arkansas 72227. If you would like to make a donation to the Ozark Society in memory of Bob Ritchie, please make out a check to "Ozark Society" and write "Bob Ritchie memorial" in the memo line. Checks should be mailed to: Alan Nye, 12 Platte Drive, Maumelle AR, 72213. Click here to see Bob's obituary from Roller Funeral Home:   ROBERT E. RITCHIE          

3 05, 2016

Testimony of Pollution by Mike Masterson

By | 2016-05-03T14:45:46+00:00 May 3rd, 2016|Categories: News & Updates|

The year's most significant meeting of the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission occurred last Friday in Little Rock. Most Arkansans would agree as they learn the alarming news Richard Mays presented there. Mays was representing the Buffalo River Coalition opposed to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (cough) issuing the permit that allowed C&H Hog Farms to begin spreading millions of gallons of raw waste into the Buffalo National River watershed at Mount Judea. The coalition was there to alert commissioners and the state of evidence collected over a year ago by Dr. Todd Halihan of Oklahoma State University. Working under contract with the Big Creek Research and Extension Team and the Cooperative Extension Service, Halihan used electrical resistivity imaging in March 2015 to show what Mays said is "evidence that there has been and continues to be a possible release of contamination beneath the C&H hog farm." Using slides from Halihan's study, Mays explained how hog waste could be shown through technology. The waste reflects a particular level of electrical conductive signature, which can be charted in colors. Halihan's studies were conducted on waste-spray fields and beneath the facility. The slides used at Mays' presentation, which appear to reveal [...]

20 04, 2016

“Science and Song” Event for BNR – June 7

By | 2016-06-22T21:36:37+00:00 April 20th, 2016|Categories: News & Updates|

Join us for an evening of "Science and Song"  on June 7.  This coalition event will feature Still on the Hill, a wonderful couple who write and sing their nature-themed songs, and Dr. John Van Brahana, nationally recognized hydrogeologist and Professor Emeritus, University of Arkansas Fayetteville.  He will speak about his research, dye studies and data collected in and around Mt. Judea, Big Creek, caves, springs, etc.   Refreshments will be served. The event takes place at the Unitarian Church, 1818 Reservoir Rd., Little Rock AR from 6 - 7:30pm. (Don't confuse it with Unity Church on the same street.) Bring a friend!  

13 04, 2016

The Trailblazer-Ken Smith and the Buffalo River Trail

By | 2016-05-06T18:55:29+00:00 April 13th, 2016|Categories: News & Updates|

Come to a film screening for a new Chris Engholm film, "The Trailblazer."  The purpose of the film is to tell the story of the Buffalo River Trail and celebrate the role that Ken Smith has played in its design and construction over the decades.  The film includes the backstory of how the park was created and how the trail was planned.  It also includes interviews.   The premier takes place on May 5, 2016 from 6-9 PM at Café 211 in Bentonville, AR. The Trailblazer

12 04, 2016

That Hog Factory-An Open letter to the Governor by Mike Masterson

By | 2016-04-12T15:17:48+00:00 April 12th, 2016|Categories: News & Updates|

Dear Governor Hutchinson: Having known you and our gracious state’s first lady Susan for years, you realize I wouldn’t write this unless my heartfelt convictions were firmly behind these words. I know you, having served in the same 3rd District congressional seat my uncle, the late John Paul Hammerschmidt, held for 26 years, understand better than most the trials of public responsibility and how close the Buffalo River was to his heart and conscience. That’s why he acted in the face of strong local resistance to ensure this precious resource was preserved for generations to come. His willingness to do what he and some Arkansas colleagues in Congress knew deep inside was the right thing to do resulted in the Buffalo being named our country’s first national river in 1972. How wonderful for our state. Of his many achievements in the career of public service he so honored and cherished, I believe his efforts to ensure the Buffalo River remained protected were the ones in which he took most pride. So I write to sincerely ask you, on behalf of myself and untold thousands of concerned Arkansans and others who’ve enjoyed the experience of the magnificent Buffalo National River, to do [...]