The mission of the Buffalo River Watershed Alliance is to preserve and protect the scenic beauty and pristine water, air
and recreational quality of our nation's first national river, the Buffalo National River (BNR), for future generations through public outreach, education, advocacy, and grassroot direct actions. Our current focus includes
1. Closure of the 6,500-hog factory farm permitted by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.
2. A permanent moratorium on swine Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) in the Buffalo River Watershed.
What We Do
Since its inception in 2013, BRWA has worked actively through legal channels, supporting scientific investigations, public educational events, and grass roots action to close down a large swine concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) constructed 6 miles upstream from the Buffalo
National River. The swine CAFO generates over 2.3 million gallons of untreated waste each year.
The waste is spread on many fields that are adjacent to a large tributary that feeds into the Buffalo National River. The fractured karst limestone subsurface allows rapid transport of contaminants underground with little or no filtration thus posing a serious threat the Buffalo National River. Recent studies by a number of different federal agencies and citizen scientists
have documented high E. coli and nitrate concentrations and low dissolved oxygen downstream
from the swine operation at the confluence to the Buffalo National River. Three unprecedented
algae blooms have occurred downstream of the swine operation in 2016-2018. In 2016, over 1.7 million people visited the Buffalo National River, creating 1200 jobs and spending $78
million dollars. The Buffalo National River is an economic engine for some of the poorest
counties in the nation.
BRWA has tirelessly and effectively engaged in legal and advocacy actions to deny new or transferred CAFO
permits for this operation from its foundation. Recently the Arkansas Department of
Environmental Quality (ADEQ) denied the state CAFO permit, but the applicant has filed an appeal. During the past 5 years, BRWA has successfully held over 30 fundraisers, generated over
20,000 letters from supporters in opposing the renewal of the hog operation permit, and has over 14,000 Facebook followers. At this point in the campaign to save the Buffalo National River, the greatest financial needs are funds to continue BRWA's legal and outreach advocacy to deny the hog facility
any new permits and continue to build support among the business communities in the region.