4/27/18: Big Bluff on the upper Buffalo River

Another heading with a question mark? So true to the times we live in.

My promise in closing last month was “back to the real world.” I’m not sure what that means anymore beyond family, friends, health, and the sparkle of beautiful Ozarkian streams, which even a pandemic can’t dim.

I can report that the lawsuit against the state, the governor, and the legality of SB 391 — passed last year by the state legislature to eliminate local health ordinance protections against Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) — is still alive and kicking, possibly with an assist from the governor himself.

When he signed SB 391 into law last August, he spoke of the need for uniform state regulation of CAFOs, as determined by state agencies, not local ordinance. With the arrival of coronavirus, he has shifted the burden back to local health departments to provide guidance and regulation. It is our hope that his duplicity will aid our case. Stay tuned.

And thankfully, the state legislature did not pass new bills limiting local control of CAFOs, though they did plenty of damage beyond.

Finally, on the national and state level: EPA and Department of Natural Resources waivers — of some regulations pertaining to CAFOs because of the pandemic — puts additional risks in play for our water quality, hopefully only in the short-term. Though the cynic in me always worries about getting the horse or pigs or cows or chickens back in the barn if and when things finally settle down.

That said, it is obviously a trying time for all. So how about a little Ozarkian escapism? Let’s go to the river! This assortment of photographs, featuring some favorite local water spots, make me smile beyond the challenges of the moment.  They are reality, and their beauty and resilience carry hope beyond COVID-19.


5/12/18: Beaver Creek morning

10/21/18: Upper Kings River lookout

11/8/18:  Sweden Falls, upper Buffalo watershed

5/1/20:  Swan Creek

Niangua River: Gotta protect our water quality!

5/30/20: Bull Creek

Well, that’s my rant for the month, punctuated by the assurance that Bull Creek was rockin’ last weekend!

Coming next: July 1, 2020 – WHAT NEXT?