© 2024 KUAF
NPR Affiliate since 1985
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

A private meeting concerning the future of the Buffalo River


A private meeting about the future of the Buffalo River

A private meeting was held in Little Rock on Friday to discuss possible changes to the Buffalo National River’s federal designation. State Senator Bryan King of Green Forest attended and has gone on record opposing any change. Runway Group LLC hosted the meeting. They’re the group co-founded by Walmart heirs Stueart and Tom Walton.

Senator King said at the private meeting, a half dozen state lawmakers heard from Runway’s director of state and federal affairs, Mary Robin Casteel.

“She did a good job walking through the timeline of why we are at the point we are right now, and basically, one thing I did learn is that the Runway Group, the Waltons and this natural state committee were having informal talks all the way back to April and May,” King said.

That committee is the Natural State Advisory Council. It was formed earlier this year by Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders and is chaired by her husband Bryan. Its aim is to make Arkansas a national recreation destination. King declined to disclose what was discussed at the meeting, but he did say Runway addressed allegations that efforts to redesignate the river have been far from transparent. 

“They did say they are concerned about the idea that this was done [secretly] or [deceptively]," King said. "My biggest issue with them is that when they started this conversation, I was not involved. The local people didn’t know about it. So, this was all kept in a circle. And that’s unfortunate. They should have talked to the local people first, starting with the ground up.”

A town hall meeting is scheduled in Jasper this Thursday at 6 p.m. A Runway Group rep was scheduled to speak but has since withdrawn.

Pint Night at Pack Rat

Pack Rat Outdoor Center is hosting a Pint Night in support of Arkansas Backcountry Hunters and Anglers this Wednesday from 5:30 to 8 p.m.The event will feature local breweries, local food and outdoor gear giveaways. Pack Rat sales representative Peyton Short said Pint Nights are a fun way for the community to give back to impactful nonprofits.

This is one of Pack Rat’s three fall fundraisers. Short said each one is unique and supports a different non-profit. The next two will support The NWA Land Trust and Pedal it Forward.

For more information, visit their website.

Halloween Costume Parade at The Botanical Garden of the Ozarks

The Botanical Garden of the Ozarks is hosting the Halloween Costume Parade tomorrow morning from 9 to 11 a.m. The program is part of  “Little Sprouts,” a weekly interactive story and activity time for preschoolers and their caregivers. Everyone is encouraged to wear costumes and explore the Garden filled with over 50 scarecrows created for the Scarecrow Showdown community art installation and competition. The event is free for Garden members. For non-members, children under 3 years old are free; 4 years and older is $5, and adults accompanying the children can get in for $10. More details are available on their website's events page.

Stay Connected
Jacqueline Froelich is an investigative reporter and news producer for <i>Ozarks at Large.</i>
Kyle Kellams is KUAF's news director and host of Ozarks at Large.
Jack Travis is a reporter for Ozarks at Large.
Related Content