Gov. Orval Faubus statement to U.S. Corps of Engineers
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STATEMENT BY GOVERNOR ORVAL FAUBUS TO THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS ON THE DISPOSITION OF THE BUFFALO RIVER IN ARKANSAS Lt. Gen. William F. Cassidy, USA Chief of Engineers Washington, DC 20315 December 10, 1965 RE: ENGCW-PD Dear General Cassidy: Sometime ago you provided to the Executive Director, Arkansas Soil and Water Commission, Sometime ago you provided to the Executive Director, Arkansas Soil and Water Commission, a copy of the proposed report of the Chief of Engineers, together with the reports of the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, and the District and Division Engineers, on an interim report on Buffalo River Basin, Arkansas (Gilbert Reservoir). This was done for my review and comment, in accordance with Section 1 of Public Law 534, 78th Congress, and Public Law 85-624. I am also aware of a proposal of the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, to create what would become known as a National River in the very same area as the proposed Gilbert Dam. Your agency is also aware of this proposal, because it is discussed in your report, and the proposed Gilbert Dam is recommended as a compromise proposal. I have studied closely both proposals, and my comments are as follows. 1. The building of a dam (or dams) on the Buffalo River is not essential for flood control in the White River Valley area, and the creation of hydroelectric power is not essential. 2. As an attraction for tourists, or use as a recreational area, the dam and lake would be only one more attraction, of which there are already five in the White River system, five more in the state (one more under construction), and a half dozen or more now finished or under construction on the Arkansas River. The drawing power of the dam and lake would be limited. A properly developed National River would be a national and international attraction, drawing additional tourists that would number into the tens of thousands annually. 3. Tentative plans for a National River call for the establishment of three major visitor centers. The first would be at Silver Hill on Highway 65 in Searcy County (near the site of proposed Gilbert Dam). Here would be located the National River headquarters, the maintenance area headquarters, and ranger station headquarters. Also a major camping area, a major picnic area, a district ranger station, and boat access points would be established at this point, and last but not least, a museum. The second visitor center would be at Pruitt in Newton County on Highway 7. Besides the camping and picnic areas, boat access, maintenance, and district ranger headquarters, there would be a residence area. The third center would be at Buffalo River State Park in Marion County on Highway 14, and would be much the same as the second. (A fourth center could be located at Mt. Judea in Newton County on Highway No. 123.) Three other ranger stations are proposed: the first located at the mouth of the Buffalo River, the second at Woolum, and the third at Ponca. The proposal calls for nine (9) primitive camps on the river, which would be accessible only by boat. Six (6) others would be accessible by boat and by road, making a total of fifteen (15) primitive camps. There would be six (6) other boat access, or crossings of the river, making a total of twelve (12) boat launching areas in addition to the major visitor centers. A pioneer farm is proposed for Richland Valley, with barns, log cabins, sorghum mills, and water mills. Nature trails will lead to such areas as Bat Cave, Lost Valley, Big Bluff, Hemmed-In-Hollow, Peter Point, and others. Camp Orr for Boy Scouts would be retained and assisted. 4. There would be twice as many permanent employees to maintain and operate the National River, as would be reguired for the dam and lake. In addition, large numbers of temporary employees would be required during the summer season for the National River (as is now the case in all National Parks). 5. With a dam and lake, the land is inundated. With a National River, the land remains, to grow beautiful trees of many kinds, dozens of varieties of wild flowers, and some crops. Many of the present residents would be permitted to remain on the land. The same fields and woods would continue to provide a home for thousands of wild birds, including quail and wild turkey, and continue to produce deer, fox, squirrel, rabbit, raccoon, oppossum, mink, and other game. Frogs of every size and kind join with unnumbered katydids to make the summer night musical for the tired camper seeking rest and relief from social and political problems, and the fevered market place. 6. A dam and lake would cover, forever, miles and miles of tree-lined, flower-bedecked river banks; hundreds of the most beautiful holes (pools) of water that have ever been created; numbers of rock-strewn, rippling shoals; the finest sand-bar camp sites to be found anywhere; and dozens of magnificent towering cliffs. All of these are worth retaining as a part of the National River, because of a unique, inspirational, soul-resting beauty which cannot be found in comparable expanse anywhere else. 7. Already created dams and lakes are to be found on every side of the beautiful Buffalo River area within a distance of 30 to 100 miles. The creation of another such facility would add little to the attraction of the area as a whole.
|Title||Gov. Orval E. Faubus statement to Corps of Engineers|
|Description||Statement by Gov. Orval Faubus to the Corps of Engineers on the Disposition of the Buffalo River in Arkansas, December 10, 1965.|
|Date||December 10, 1965|
Faubus, Orval Eugene, 1910-1994- Correspondence
Recreation Areas-Arkansas-Buffalo River-Planning
|Item Location||Ozark Society Records, 1957-1975 (MS OZ1 219, 219 A-I Ozark, Series 3, Box 1, File 406)|
|Rights||Please contact Special Collections for information on copyright.|
|Digital Publisher||University of Arkansas Libraries|
|Series Title||Arkansas's Natural Environment|