Friends of the Rivers acknowledges the impact of the Buffalo River to the health of the White River, including the tributaries that feed the Buffalo. The collaborative agency and non governmental/environmental partners and their members join with members of Friends of the North Fork and White River in protecting and conserving this national treasure and the watershed involved.
Current involvement led by Friends Board on behalf of members and subscribers involves of Friends of the Rivers ongoing support and collaborative efforts with the Buffalo River Watershed Alliance, http://buffaloriveralliance.org/ - and in particular work with the newly established BBRAC - Beautiful Buffalo River Action Committee and the stakeholder process to develop a Buffalo River Watershed Management Plan.
What is BBRAC?
On September 30, 2016, Governor Hutchinson announced the creation of BBRAC, which is comprised of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, ANRC, Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas Agriculture Department, and Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. Additionally, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Arkansas Geographic Information Office have joined as partners. Governor Hutchinson directed BBRAC, among other priorities in its first year, to develop a non-regulatory, watershed-based management plan.
With funding from an EPA Multipurpose Grant, the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC) has contracted with FTN Associates, Ltd., to establish a Buffalo River Watershed Management Plan. The Committee is tasked to hold, at a minimum, quarterly meetings and a report is due to the Governor on the committee’s progress by January 31, 2018.
What is a Watershed Management Plan and how do you participate?
The first public meeting involving stakeholders was held on December 8, 2016 in Marshall, Ar. One review of that meeting can be read here http://friendsoftherivers.org/news/view/60/buffalo-watershed-meetings-update with the next meeting likely to be held in Jasper, AR in late March 2017.
More about BBRAC its priorities and directives from the Governor
Key priorities for the first year are stated to include:
•A forum for interested stakeholders
•Initiation of the development of a Buffalo River Watershed Management Plan
•Identification of early action and effective projects able to be implemented immediately that are expected to “jump-start” improvements for maintaining the sustained vitality of the Buffalo River Watershed
•Consider the state of current scientific investigation in the watershed and prioritize future research needs
Governor Hutchinson directs the Committee to:
•Establish measurable objectives
•Set achievable action items
•Establish durable partnerships
•Share agency resources
•Inform policymakers and the general public of relevant progress