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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Fish hatchery in question

  • The fate of the Greers Ferry National Fish Hatchery is a topic of discussion once again.
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  • The fate of the Greers Ferry National Fish Hatchery is a topic of discussion once again.  The Sun-Times reported in November of last year that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it did not intend to close any of the national fish hatcheries during that 2014 fiscal year, but that growing operations costs and fiscal uncertainty meant they a 2015 fiscal year closing wasn’t off the table. 
     
    “We are putting a Band-Aid on the hatchery system.  Unless we can find a way to cover costs in a more sustainable fashion, the system will eventually need surgery,” said Service Director Dan Ashe at the time.  “The challenges we are facing are not new; however, we have reached the point where – in the absence of long-term solutions – we will have no option but to make tough choices to bring expense in line with actual revenues.”
     This past weekend, petitions were available at the Angler’s Expo to for locals to express their concerns about the possible closing of the Hatchery. Arkansas State Senator for District 19, Missy Irvin, collected around 500 signatures of support and the petitions will be sent to Arkansas’ Congressional delegation. The Arkansas Senate passed Senate Resolution 16 this fiscal session encouraging the U.S. Congress and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to find a long-term source for continued funding of the Hatchery.
     
    “When they put the dam in place, the fish hatchery was put in to help mitigate any environmental impact it may have on the ecosystem,” said Senator Irvin.  “That says to me that it should be a priority for the federal government.  It is always our job as state legislators to voice the concerns of our people.  This is important not only to our district, but also to the whole state.  We shouldn’t have to go through this every year.”
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