Jeannie Burlsworth, founder of Secure Arkansas, has received a great deal of heat from time to time.  We can thank her for this victory, and it is fantastic to see all our US delegation agree with Jeannie on this issue! The article in Democrat Gazette as much as acknowledged this was Jeannie's battle.   Some of our Republicans need to take note of this.   Jeannie Burlsworth does keep track on conservative issues and always comes down on the side of the people, the grassroots - if the grassroots are informed. I, personally have not had time to deal with this issue, but I am so grateful for ALL  of you  who did work on this.   That is what it will take for conservatives to win on issues.  See the press release by Womack on this issue below,  and below Womack's press release is the press release from the Secretary of Interior withdrawing the Blueway designation. If you want more details with the problems of National Blueway, go to this link: 

Arkansas Delegation Applauds Withdrawal of National Blueway Designation



Washington, D.C., Jul 3 -

U.S. Senator John Boozman, along with Congressmen Rick Crawford (AR-1), Tim Griffin, (AR-2), Steve Womack (AR-3), and Tom Cotton (AR-4), reacted to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell’s announcement that the Interior Department will rescind its designation of the White River as a National Blueway: 

“We all agree that we should work to protect our waterways, but a new federal Blueway program is not necessary to improve the cooperation of federal and state agencies on the management of the White River.  This designation occurred without a formal process – no public comment, lack of transparency from the federal government and without the broad support of Arkansans. We are happy to see that Secretary Jewell reviewed the program and heard the concerns of our citizens,” Boozman said.


“I am pleased Secretary Jewell has heard the voice of the people of Arkansas’ First District in her decision to rescind the National Blueway designation for the White River. This designation, conducted without input from local leaders nor sufficient detail as to the private property implications of its implementation, was roundly rejected by citizens back home. I am proud to have been able to represent their voice on this matter,” said Crawford.


“I applaud Secretary Jewell for listening to Arkansans’ concerns about the National Blueways System,” said Griffin. “The questions we’ve raised about the program remain, however, and I look forward to receiving answers so that we can fully understand its impact on communities around the country.”


"State and local stakeholders could not have been more clear: they did not want to be a part of the National Blueway System," said Womack.  "This partnership would have fallen flat without support from all involved parties, especially Arkansans who have the White River in their backyards, and I'm glad their voices were heard and that the Blueway designation has been rescinded."


"I am encouraged that Secretary Jewell has withdrawn the National Blueways designation. However, today's decision fails to address the underlying concerns we raised in the first place," said Cotton.  "I await Secretary Jewell's response to our previous request for additional details on the Blueways funding and operations so we can prevent further designations from occurring in Arkansas in the future."


Senator Boozman and Representatives Crawford, Griffin, Womack, and Cotton sent a letter with Members of the Missouri delegation last week to Secretary Jewell underscoring concerns with the designation and seeking answers regarding opt-out eligibility for states.  Following overwhelming public opposition, Secretary Jewell issued a statement rescinding the designation earlier today that can be found here.



Withdrawal of the Designation of the White River National Blueway


 Whereas:   Secretarial Order 3321 established the National Blueways System as a program to recognize river systems conserved through diverse stakeholder partnerships that use a comprehensive watershed approach to resource stewardship.

Whereas:  National Blueways are nationally and regionally significant rivers and their watersheds are highly valued recreational, social, economic, cultural, and ecological assets for the communities that depend on them .

Whereas:  The National Blueways System is intended to help promote best practices, share information and resources, and encourage active and collaborative stewardship of rivers across the country.

Whereas:  Secretarial Order 3321 states that nothing in the Order is intended to authorize or affect the use of private property, or to be the basis for the exercise of any new regulatory authority.

Whereas: On August 24, 2012, a wide array of state and local stakeholders involved with the White River Watershed in Arkansas and Missouri nominated their river system for recognition as a National Blueway and demonstrated their interests in the river, its watershed, and the accompanying recreational, natural, and economic resources .

Whereas: On October 23, 2012, the National Blueways Committee established by Secretarial Order 3321 met to review this nomination and recommend the designation of the White River Watershed in Arkansas and Missouri as the Nation's second National Blueway.

Whereas:   On January 8, 2013, Secretary Ken Salazar designated the White River and its watershed as a National Blueway, finding that the White River meets the criteria required for designation and noting the efforts of many partner organizations that have benefitted the White River watershed residents and visitors through conservation and restoration of the river and its watershed; expanded environmental education and interpretive efforts; increased economic opportunities; and enhanced recreational access to the river, its tributaries, and public land in the watershed.

Whereas: In letters dated June 28, 2013, and July 2, 2013, State and local stakeholders involved with the nomination of the White River Watershed as a National Blueway requested that the National Blueway designation be withdrawn from the White River watershed.

Whereas:   On July 2, 2013, the National  Blueways Committee reviewed the State letter and, in recognition of the wishes of State and local partners, recommended that the designation be withdrawn.

Therefore: Based on the foregoing, I hereby withdraw the designation of the White River and its Watershed as a National Blueway and order the National Blueways Committee to advise the nominating stakeholder partnership of the withdrawal of the National Blueway designation.


(Note: this was signed by Sallly Jewell, Secretary of the Interior on July 3, 2013.   You can see the PDF file of this press release at this link:






Date: JUL  0 3 2013



Posted July 12, 2013 by Women Action Group