This is an update to the email we sent out Tuesday, January 14, 2014 regarding the White River Land Acquisition in certain counties in Arkansas and Mississippi.  PLEASE keep the calls and emails going to oppose this acquisition!
It is our understanding that:
1)  USFW (United States Fish and Wildlife Service) is required to submit a proposal to extend the current boundaries of the refuge to include the proposed acquisition of the 125,000 acres, which includes Big Island.  This proposal was scheduled to have been submitted to the director of the agency, Dan Ashe, in December.  They did not meet that schedule, and they cannot meet it in January or February.  As it stands now, their best estimate is this summer.  The proposal cannot move forward until they have completed all of the background requirements for the proposed boundary extension.

2)  Once the proposed expansion is submitted to the director, the director will either end it or allow them to proceed with proposed purchases.  If it is allowed to proceed, USFW will start making individual deals with the private land owners.  Once these deals are completed, the proposed purchases will be submitted to the director.  The director can approve or decline the proposed buyouts.

3)  If the proposed buyouts are approved, USFW will proceed to close the purchases.

Our congressmen have advised that they have received a tremendous amount of emails and calls objecting to the purchase in the last 10 days.  They believe that in light of the strong opposition, that USFW keeps pushing the date back to submit a proposal.  This is exactly what we want to happen.  Our thinking is that if the opposition continues, USFW will not spend the time and money necessary to complete Step 1 if they don’t think it will get approved.

We’re asking that you do the following:

a.  Send emails to Jim Boggs, who is the field supervisor for USFW in Arkansas.  He is located in Conway and his email address is:

Jim_Boggs@fws.gov

Please copy Dan Ashe and our congressmen with these emails.  Our congressmen’s contact information is below.

Dan_Ashe@fws.gov

Representative Rick Crawford’s Office: 

Ted Verrill

202-225-4076

ted.verrill@mail.house.gov

Senator Mark Pryor’s Office:

Little Rock Office: 501-324-6336
Little Rock Fax: 501-324-5320
D.C. Office: 202-224-2353

D.C. Fax: 202-228-0908

Russell_Hall@pryor.senate.gov

Senator John Boozman’s Office:

Little Rock office:      501-372-7153

Little Rock Fax:         501-372-7163

D.C. Office:              202-224-4843

D.C. Fax:                       202-228-1371

Contact Senator Boozman:

http://www.boozman.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/e-mail-me

 

b.  The emails should not only object to the proposal, but they should ask specific questions and request answers.  Those

questions should include:

i.  Why is the purchase in the public interest?

  ii.  How does USFW intend to fund the maintenance and personnel costs to oversee 125,000 additional acres?

 iii.  Has the USFW taken into account the problems that flooding will create with regard to any improvements which will be made?

 iv.  Has the USFW considered the impact on the local economy?  (The C&L Electric Co-op, which services this area, has   sent in a letter objecting to the proposal and has estimated its revenue loss of over $1,000,000 over the next ten years if the government acquires this property.)   We think it would be a good idea if anyone has any contacts with the businesses either in Dumas, Gillette, Dewitt or otherwise that would be willing to submit a letter telling the government that its acquisition would greatly effect its business.

We believe that if we keep up the pressure, we can keep the government from ever getting past Step 1.

 

PLEASE forward this email to everyone on your list, ESPECIALLY if they live and/or own businesses in the affected areas!

(Affected counties in Arka

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