This is a rant I made in reply to a posting on Yahoo about a guy who mentioned he fished the Illinois River in Oklahoma - his friend mentioned that he was fishing in chicken poop. Farmers are spreading it (chicken litter) in their fields. The run off from raincauses and increase in nitrates and lower levels of oxygen. TheIllinois River watershed is very large. Arkansas is the world's orone of the world's largest chicken producers - obviously, it's Tyson's backyard. Not to mention George's, OK Foods, Cargill, Vess Cobb, Simmons, Peterson . . .
In my opinion a lot of pollution is also coming from the surrounding cities, Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville. The area has been a contruction boom for about 5 years. Developers haven't been following ordinances and have been fined. Main creeks that feed theIllinois River are Clear Creek, Mud Creek, Scull Creek, and a few others I cannot remember. These creeks flow through residential areas and cities. Some of these actually supported life or more life thanusual. The Ozark Cave fish is now in trouble - an almost extinctspecies. Some of the pollution comes from arsenic in construction andfrom the overall population boom here in Northwest Arkansas - apopulation boom that is causing local administrators to begin legislation on protecting the environment - waters and land.
The Fayetteville Shale Play is predicted to make the state have a boon economy - the largest such holdings of natural gas in North America.I have seen the decline of local waters that I fish - just over thepast 5 years. A local gated community was built on the White River. They sit on the edge of a cliff. There are several large pipes that allow run off from the neighborhood to pour into the river.The West Fork of the White River is under probation from Feds. A recent dump site was built 2 miles in the watershed. Many miles of the rver that once held healthy populations of smallmouth, bream and crappie are now void of almost all species. Thousands of acres that were unpopulated are now surrounding creeksand rivers that flow into the Illinois and White River Watersheds. The Ozarks are beautiful and the streams are amazing.
All I see now are thousands upon thousands of people moving in by the droves. People who go out to take advantage of the beauty and outdoors but donot truly respect it. More business and communities are popping up but for the worse of streams and the environment. Growing up in British Columbia, I grew to appreciate the environment -it would almost seem that people used to respect the environment a lot more. I have seen pure water streams and hundreds of acres untouched by man. I have also seen swaths of land clear cut for lumber. Moving back to the states made me see how progress affects the environment and how the dollar motivates man - myself included. Perhaps, I lived too far away from large cities and big economies but now it would seem that the whole world is growing fast - closing in on itself.