Majority speaks on CAFOs vs. park preservation
August 21, 2007
What will it take to get the Department of Natural Resources to live up to the mission of the department to protect and conserve our natural resources? This agency, supposedly, was created to represent all interests of Missourians.

The people of Missouri have made it abundantly clear with the continued passage of the sales tax that benefits state parks that they expect, and have the right to the expectation, that the Department of Natural Resources will ensure that OUR state parks and historic sites are to be maintained, if not improved. It is doubtful that any of these citizens when voting in favor of the sales tax by a 70% margin were voting for CAFOs to be established next to state parks and historic sites.

We, as a group, also expect the legislators to protect our interests in our parks by passing tougher standards that regulate these CAFOs. The people of Missouri will be watching and taking note of all those who fail to live up to these expectations and will express their displeasure very effectively at re-election time.

While we acknowledge private property rights and the understanding that agriculture is important as a commodity in Missouri, the greater good of the majority of citizens must be put first. To threaten the few "protected" places we have left to recreate and enjoy history, nature, peace and solitude is nothing but a slap in the face. Most people, including this writer, will not forget that at the polls.

It is time for our elected and appointed leaders to do the job they were elected and appointed to do: make the tough decisions on the side of the majority of people and not on the side of the wealthiest interests such as the Farm Bureau and corporate agriculture.

We expect no less and will settle for nothing less.

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