Friends of the North Fork and White Rivers, Inc. (Friends) is an Arkansas non-profit 501(c)(3)founded in 2002. Friends is dedicated to clean, healthy water in these rivers, and to the protection of this watershed (Middle Section of the White River) for future generations.
Friends Officers and Board Members:
Steve Blumreich, President; Jerry Weber, Vice President; Ed Alexander, Secretary; Sam Cooke, Immediate Past President;
Tim Burnley, Bruce Burr, Jane Darr, Gabe Levin, Ben Levin, Shelley Trost.
**Welcome Gabe Levin, New Board Member. - read about Gabe.
Our Rivers Have a Tremendous Impact on Our Quality of Life
The North Fork and White rivers are estimated to contribute $100,000,000 a year to the area’s economy. The rivers and their watershed are the recreational and economic lifeblood of our communities.
They are the source of drinking water to numerous communities within the watershed helping to sustain hundreds of thousands of human lives. Hundreds of millions of aquatic plants, animals, fish and waterfowl depend on clean healthy water in our watershed to live. The cold, clean water of these rivers support approximately 100 miles of the best trout fishing in the United States. Clean, healthy water is critical to our agricultural and recreational communities which contribute to our economy and quality of life.
Without clean, healthy water in these rivers area businesses would suffer, property and home values would decline and we would lose the quality of life we all enjoy. Friends believes that the health, safety, quality of life and economic prosperity of the region is intimately related to the water quality that healthy rivers and their watersheds assure. Friends Slogan – “Healthy Rivers mean Healthy Communities"
Engage with others concerned about protecting and promoting clean, healthy water
Educate our members, the public, developers, businesses, educators and legislators about the importance and frailty of our rivers and watersheds
Advocate for our rivers and watersheds regarding setting and enforcing clean, healthy water quality standards
Act by making better choices in our personal lives that contribute to clean and healthy water.
Threats to Our Rivers and Watersheds
“According to the 2014 Arkansas State Water Plan, Arkansas watersheds including the middle section of the North Fork and White Rivers face these threats and others: (link to AWP here)
Sediment pollution caused by improper timbering or other land clearing
Loss of the riparian zones along waterways due to landowner clearing the river banks
Steam bank erosion from livestock in the river
Nutrient pollution from lawn and farm fertilizer carried by storm water
Trash - cans, glass & plastic bottles, Styrofoam food containers, paper, cigarette butts
Prescription drugs which pass through our municipal waste systems
Minerals and silt from sand and gravel mining
Illegal waste dumps
Contamination from septic systems not being adequately maintained
What Should We Do? (What Can We Do?)
Co effective choices as individuals, businesses and other partners that contribute to the solution
With ntinue to identify the problems impacting our rivers
Identify solutions, stakeholders, and resources that can help address and solve the problems
Make knowledge, respect and cooperation take action to promote clean, healthy water and protect and enhance the watersheds of these rivers for future generations.
Join Friends of the North Fork and White Rivers and Help Protect Your Water and Quality of Life
• Having a voice along with others to promote clean, healthy rivers and watersheds
• Access to information about current issues facing our rivers and watersheds
• Educational information about threats to our rivers and how we can address them
• Access to regulators, politicians and other organizations that can address issues
• Hands on stream team and river clean up activities
Contact Us and let us know your concerns and how we can help or write
FRIENDS OF THE RIVERS
P. O. Box 61
Mountain Home, AR
More about Friends role in watershed protection...
Friends earns Conservation Awards
Friends of the North Fork and White Rivers named 2009 Conservationist of the Year Award by Arkansas Wildlife Federation
Extensive education efforts including multiple public storm water workshops utilizing expert speakers, electronic newsletters and new website to distribute materials on various best practice conservation methods.
Friends helped advance public policy regarding water issues on several fronts, both by direct action and also by empowering citizenry. Friends Utilized electronic means to alert citizens and providing tools for those individuals to provide input to state and federal agencies on proposed policy issues (including multiple ADEQ and Corps of Engineer issues). Friends worked actively with County officials toward the enactment of erosion control ordinances and stimulated citizens to show up and speak out at hearings. Friends called to accountability those officials whose charge is to conserve and safeguard the quality and quantity of our waters. Friends helped form alliances with other groups interested in conservation, including virtually all stakeholders in the watershed to create a more effective infrastructure to advance public policy at the local, state and national levels. Friends mentored other groups who have had a critical interest in local conservation efforts.
Named "Conservation Group of the Year" by the Southern Conclave, Federation of Fly Fishers in 2008.
Representatives from the 23 fly-fishing clubs from Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas attending congratulated Friends of the Rivers stating, "Friends has been very diligent in their work, trying to keep out waterways pristine. They provide education for the public and with work state, city and county governments on better ways to use our natural resources in a wise manner." Jerry Weber, President accepted the award.
Pictured in the photo attach from left to right: Jerry Weber, President of Friends of the River, Jane Darr,Board
Member and Wayne Shewmake, AWF President