***BREAKING NEWS*** – Press Release – 6/27/13
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++++For Immediate Release++++++
June 27th, 2013
“Stakeholders Withdraw Support and Ask DOI to Rescind Blueway Designation”
sub: “Private Property Rights Advocates Remain Concerned about the Blueway”
Several groups listed as “stakeholders” in the “White River National Blueway”, which was designated by Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar on January 9th, 2013, have withdrawn their support for the designation and publicly requested current Secretary of Interior, Sally Jewell, to rescind the designation.
“It simply became too uncomfortable for the supporters of the Blueways system to continue to move forward with their intentions once the people found out what was planned for them” says Bob Parker, co-chair of Ozarks Property Rights Coalition (PRC).
When property rights advocates in Missouri and Arkansas received documents from the “stakeholders” indicating plans for excessive land control measures to be achieved within the 60 county area (approximately 21,000 square miles) designated as a “National Blueway”, they were appalled. Some of the objectives outlined by the nominating groups include flooding of agricultural land, halting of encroachment on flood plains (no stipulation as to 5, 10, 100 or 500 year food plains), and vegetative buffers of 180 feet from all surface water.
Several groups throughout both states began to activate their supporters in record time and spread information on the Blueway. Citizens went to their County Commissioners and Quorum Courts and received Resolutions against the Blueway in droves. Federal and State elected officials also sent letters of concern and severe criticism to the Secretary of Interior. “The resolutions are just pouring in against this, and our elected officials are rightly offended by the end run around their authority,” said Jeannie Burlsworth of Secure Arkansas and Secure the Republic.
While the withdrawal of support for the designation from the groups that nominated the region is encouraging for the property rights advocates, the Department of Interior hasn’t indicated that they will overturn the designation.
Doreen Hannes of the PRC states, “Until the process the Department of Interior is applying through fiat is deemed flatly illegal, we must remain on guard.” Referencing the nomination paper for the White River Blueway designation and the statements from the proponents of the Blueway that concerns are due to misinterpretation of the stated objectives, Hannes says, “The groups that sought the designation still insist that the citizens of the area can’t read. They must think our elected officials can’t read either. Frankly, we are tired of being insulted.”
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