Sorry for being so late in emailing--- I have been recuperating from our excursion to LR last Wednesday! It was quite exciting and a learning experience. HB 1394 was voted down by the committee and the other 6 bills were sent to interim study, which means that they will be looked at again another day.
If you have a chance, you might email Senator Webb and Representatives Lenderman, Leding and Pierce, thanking them for their efforts. We need as many "with us" as possible, and they stuck their necks out. We met for about an hour after the committee hearing at the AR Public Policy Panel offices to discuss our next strategies. For a very good piece of reporting on the natural gas legislation, listen to Jacqueline Frolich's interview of Bill Kopsky (AR Public Policy Panel) athttp://kuaf.org/ozarksatlarge.
I will fill you in on all the juicy details of the march on LR at our next meeting, which is Thursday, March 31st, 6:30 pm, at myhouse. We will be having carrot cake (special request, Doug Strubel's birthday)!! First come, first serve!!
At 7 am on Wed. morning, hundreds and/or, thousands of people who will meet at Murray Park in Little Rock, or somewhere along the River Trail pedestrian route, and walk or bike our asses in masses to the State Capitol to be there by 10 am for the house committee hearing. It is a distance of 4.7 miles, and is walkable in 2 hours.
Please help spread the word.. fwd to everyone you know statewide, and
join us on Wed. If you can't make the march, please meet us at the State Capitol between 9 and 10 am. The House Committee on Agriculture will be holding hearings on Wed. (Room 138) and will consider proposed legislation to better protect property owners and strengthen regulations of fracked gas well operations throughout the state. If these bills do not pass through this committee, they are dead.
Arkansas activists past and present are featured in movie about Carroll Electric's herbicide spraying. The documentary, a production of Ozarkadia Films and Duck a Duck Productions, is titled "The Natural State of America." It will be shown on Saturday, March 12, 2011 at the Unitarian Church at 17 Elk Street. (at 4pm)
Others in the film include Dr. Pat Costner, a former Greenpeace scientist, and Barbara Harmony, director of the National Water Center.
As the film documents, residents of the Ozark Highlands of Arkansas, the “Natural State,” are presently engaged in a battle with their rural electric cooperative over the spraying of herbicides on powerline right-of-ways. Herbicides have been sprayed against landowners’ wishes, in many cases even after they explicitly requested or posted their land so it would not be sprayed.
The issue of herbicide applications and local resistance is not a new one, however; in 1975 the Newton County Wildlife Association (NCWA) formed to protest and legally challenge the aerial spraying of herbicides (2,4,D & 2,4,5,T) on the Ozark National Forests. NCWA succeeded in halting such aerial spraying and their legal precedent prevented the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) from using these methods in National Forests throughout the United States of America.
In the 1980s, the U.S.F.S. reintegrated herbicides into their management plans. Yet, when they conducted surveys asking residents about those plans for their National Forests, a vast majority responded that they did not want their forests sprayed with chemicals. Despite local opposition, various governmental and corporate entities continue to spray herbicides on private and public lands. This documentary employs applied anthropology, archival research, and diverse media to present the issue through the experiences and struggles of Ozarkers to protect their lands, waters, and families from biocides.
There will be a reception following the film. Admission is a suggested $1 donation.
Louise and I represented FOM at the fracalliance meeting in LR on 1-29-11, which was well attended by 21 representatives of many different groups. There was discussion about the current status, projected growth, and environmental impacts of the gas industry in Arkansas. The afternoon session worked on identifying common goals and strategies for action.
Highlights of this meeting will be shared at our next Friends of the Mulberry Watershed gathering which is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 24th, 6:30 pm, at my house.
Be prepared to brainstorm on ways we can further current legislative, public awareness, and education efforts!