Barry County, CAFO's and Ozbun Farms, Part 2
The Joplin Globe's front page story, River Runs Near It, Sunday, February 4, 2007, describes developments in the Barry County-Ozbun Farms CAFO application, along with other initiatives in the state to manage development of CAFO's near state parks and historic sites, called Citizens to Protect State Parks and Historic Sites.
The Ozbun Farm, owned by Michelle and Rodney Ozbun is seeking a permit from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) to buildfour pulklet houses. The CAFO, the first of its kind in the Roaring River Watershed, would be 1.5 miles from the park. The CAFO would be operated under a contract with George's Farms, Inc. which operates a processing plant north of Cassville, MO.
Other proposed CAFO's now in the State include: (1) a 4800 head hog operation near Arrow Rock, MO, a state historic site on the Missouri River near Booneville, MO. and (2) a hog farm not far from the Athens State Park, on the Des Moines River, near the Missouri-Iowa State line. Citizen representatives from Arrow Rock and Athen's State Park have contacted the Roaring River group. They are wanting to raise awarenss of the potential environmental issues as well as develop and propose legislation that would create buffers around historic sites and parks to protect them.
The strategy of using County Health Ordinances is being talked about as a defensive/managemnt tool in regulating CAFO's where MDNR won't or can't. This description of the situation says it all, “Let’s face it: The MDNR is much more interested in protecting polluters than preventing pollution,” he said. “But this issue with the state parks and historic sites has really put the MDNR in a bind. It has to balance its protection of state parks against the economic aspect of tourists who come into this state and dump money. “Those tourists don’t visit the Arrow Rock historic site to smell hog manure.” With regard to the geology of the Eagle Rock site, Midkiff said: “I don’t think you should put a CAFO there. ... There are caves, springs and sinkholes all over that area. It is the definition of karst topography. Surface water in that area quickly becomes groundwater,” Ken Midkiff, spokesman for the Missouri Chapter of the Sierra Club.