Concerns ranging from chicken litter to old railroad ties in the
West Fork of the White River were raised Thursday at the first meeting
to create a plan for improving water quality in the stream.
stream has been designated an impaired waterway by the Arkansas
Department of Environmental Quality because of turbidity in the
water. Sediment from bank erosion and road construction is mainly
to blame, according to the agency.
Terry, conservation organizer for Audubon Arkansas, was host of
the meeting to hear concerns adjacent landowners have about the
stream and begin a plan for improving conditions along the West
meeting at the West Fork Community Center drew 16 participants.
Fork resident Sue Ogle said recreation is one of several reasons
she wants to see improvements on the stream.
Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs kids come here to fish once a year
and they really enjoy it," Ogle said, adding there is much that
can be done to improve the West Fork.
Drummond, who owns a farm near Winslow, said he doesn't think spreading
chicken litter on streamside land is contributing to the stream's
nutrients on the land grow grass that acts as a filter," Drummond
said. His main concern is pollution from sewage treatment plants
at West Fork and Fayetteville.
participants agreed addressing the turbidity problem was a good
start for a watershed plan for the West Fork of the White River.
noted some landowners along the stream are losing up to 4 acres
of land per year because of stream bank erosion. Preventing erosion
costs less than restoring land, she said.
gave the example of a landowner on the Middle Fork of the White
River who completed a $45,000 stream bank restoration project. The
property owner was able to secure a $30,000 government grant but
still had to pay $15,000 out of his own pocket.
Watershed Coordinator Ellen McNulty gave a presentation about a
similar watershed project taking place on Bayou Bartholomew in southeast
Arkansas. Members of that watershed team have planted more than
1 million seedling trees to prevent bank erosion and removed tons
said other water quality issues on the West Fork include aging sewer
pipes in Fayetteville that allow raw sewage to leach into the West
Fork and construction projects in Fayetteville that contribute to
turbidity. South Fayetteville is part of the West Fork watershed
that covers 103 square miles from Winslow north to Fayetteville.
next West Fork watershed meeting will be at 7 p.m. Jan. 20 at the
town's community center. Terry said an ADEQ representative will
be on hand to discuss the agency's findings during a four-year soil
assessment and biological assessment on the West Fork of the White