Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas on October 28, 1974 · Page 5
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October 28, 1974

Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas · Page 5

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Fayetteville, Arkansas
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Monday, October 28, 1974
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ECO-LOGIJE By PEGGY FRIZZELL TIMES Staff Writer Arkansas holds a unicjuo place among the nation's states. One of the last areas to be developed, the state retains most of its natural resources in pristine form. This is a responsibility as well as a drawing card. But the responsibility is often dodged because of bureaucratic red tape, apathy, ami lack of foresight . Because Arkansans still view sunsets unmarred by smog, backpack in tree-studded forests, and drink from lakes, not yet overgrown with algae, the state remains "a land of opportunity." But for how long? That depends on what Arkansas plans to do to keep its quality and to use wisely its abundant resources. So far, activity has taken place at the state and local levels in the form of interested persons, groups and committees. Land use legislation at any governmental level in Arkansas has been slight. People tend to believe that everything will remain the same as it is, and isn't everything fine the way it is? The truth is, Arkansas is growing. People are migrating here from other oncn-opp.ortune areas now unliveable in an aesthetic sense. What's going to happen to Arkansas? A friend asked me this, rather rhetorically, noting that nobody plans polluted, overpopulatecl areas. I asked him to describe his feelings about the situation, and he wrote this: Once Upon A Time "Once upon a time, Los Angeles was a beautiful place. You can still get a feeling for how it must have been before it became a city 60 miles wide. Then ; you had to drive through the country to get to the beaches, and most days you could see the mountains around the city. It was truly the 'city of the angels." "But as we all know, that's changed now. Smog has made the mountains normally invisible, and most days schools will not allow children to play outside because deep breaths of air would be harmful. The whole area has become a network of concrete freeways, streets, and parking lots. Houses have been planted elbow to elbow. Somehow, the paradise is'only a memory. "What happened? No one planned the mess that is now called Los Angeles. People simply got lost in the : idea of California as the Promised Land and were content with the growth and progress. Perhaps, the key to avoiding the Los Angeles mess would have been planning. "Without planning, growth will take place in any · direction whether or not that is the direction intended. The evils of living in Los Angeles when realized caused people to flee the city rather than to reshape it. "But the farther they fled, the larger the city became. Soon it became apparent that people needed to go even farther if they were to escape the urban sprawl. So they began migrating. Oregon saw what was happening and began a massive campaign to keep the state from becoming another Los Angeles. Will Arkansas, the land of opportunity, see the trend in time to avert the disastrous results? Fastest Growing Region "Twenty years ago the population of Arkansas was decreasing as people continued a trend toward western migration, a trend that characterized the history of this nation. Today, Northwest Arkansas is one of the fastest growing regions in the United Slates. Much of the current pattern for the future in this area can be seen easily. A massive urban center is beginning to form from Greenland on the south to Springdale on the north, and in the near future, on to the Missouri border. "Beaver Lake has provided the nucleus of semi- urban growth where the housing tracts have increased . in size from year to year. The developers are not out there blindly wasting their money. Northwest Arkansas is on' the move. "There has also been a migration from the city to the country. Over the last five years, the price of : undeveloped land in this area has more than doubled. ; Every year, many acres of land have been bulldozed bare. As people have moved to within reasonable commuting distance of the city, they have charted the dimensions of Fayettevi'lle-Springdale's eventual sprawl. "Alarmingly, sitting in a car on Business Hwy. 71 at rush hour, one would be hard pressed from his surroundings rationally to prove that this was Arkansas and not Los Angeles. The size and the vastness are different, but Ihere is already reasonable grounds for comparison. And the growth has just begun. "But why has there been'phenomenal growth in the region over the last few years? The answer seems to be in the fact that much of Northwest Arkansas is still a frontier, Despite the trends that have been noted, it is still largely unspoiled and untamed. While a large part of the United States is working on programs that might eventually clean up their water and air within 20 to 50 years, this area has some of the cleanest water in the nation. The air here is breathable. There are forests here. Although this area was logged during the depression, the trees have grown back. A Natural Beauty "There is a natural beauty of rolling mountains, flowing streams, and the changing of the trees. Although cities are becoming larger and acre tracts the country smaller, this is still largely an uncongested area. Unlike the m.ajor urban areas where people suffer a sense of alienation and a loss of identity, here it is still possible to find a sense of community. It would seem, though, that in our quest for growth jn terms of quantity instead of quality, that we are in danger of losing all the good reasons for being here. "Frontiers have traditionally been stopping places for people looking to escape the insanity of life elsewhere. And as the promise of the frontier gradually disappeared, these people moved on: leaving behind them the garbage that they had accumulated in their growth. Frontiers have usually become garbage cans as people gave up their hope and left. Los Angeles is such a garbage dump. Oregon is trying to prevent this from happening there. "Arkansas is at a turning point. It could go either way If Northwest Arkansas becomes a sprawling, polluted area within 20 years, where will we run this time? Frontiers on this planet are a vanishing phenomenon. It is time to stop running, see what we want out of the future, and chart that course. If we don't, there will soon be no place left to run." Candidates Express Opinions Northwest Arkansas TIMES, Men., Oct. 28, 1974 PAYKTTEVILLI, ARKANSAS Balanced Environment With Growth? EDITOR'S NOTE: This Is (lie second In a two-part series In which candidates for (lie t'ay- etlcvlllo City Board of Directors were asked their opinions on environmental planning. Members of Ihc 1975 Fayelte- villc Board of Directors during Hie next two years will have to deal 'with several knotty questions that affect the area's environment, Ono major consideration that needs to be resolved before specific programs are endorsed or turned down by the board is how environmental concerns such as land use planning and recycling can be balanced with the c o n t i n u e d growth of Northwest Arkansas. Here is what t h e candidates said: JACK MONCRIEF, Position Four candidate: He has opposed the destruction of the area's natural beauty and points to College Avenue as an example of a formerly scenic canopies they wanted around it." MILLER C. FORD, JR., Position Five candidate: "I think that zoning regulations would help in a coordination of land use. I favor recycling, and we recycle paper and glass at our house." He said the city needs to be selective about which Industries locate here. "If any industry comes in that requires an increase it) water and sewer expansion and more streets, that industry should generate revenues for these improvements." "We have to Keep growing, but 1 admit I h a v e rnived emotions. As a homeowner, I am opposed to a north-south interstate. As a traveler, I am for it, and at this time I have not decided how I would stanc area. Moncrief would not favor polluting industries and does endorse recycling while noting he would like to see it pay its own way. He foil the downtown square is in danger of becoming a futuristic design. "The architecture is not typical of the way it was, and I would like to see it stay. I am dead set against the awful towers they wanted to put on the corners of the square, and the ugly, ugly MARION E. JOHNSON: Posi tion Five candidate "I think! like everybody else, that we need to be concerned about the environment. I would continue ihc programs that have been in itiated, and I would like to give them a shot in the arm." He is interested in retaining clean air and is concerned about the types of industrie that might come in. But hi thinks that the federal govern ment has some standards Iroady in effect "that insure s against ecological prob- 2ms." MARION ORTON, Position "lye candidate: "I definitely hink we should think about ong-range planning to direct a ·nore environmentally-desirable irea. We have to accept the acl that people are coming. "We must protect our area ind think of the environmental mpact of any future development." She said recycling is 'Ihe way to go." "We are throwing away more than we can afford to throw away." She said the mechanical composter as a means of solid waste disposal is a good possibility because paper and other items can be saved. She also strongly favors a statewide returnable bottle program. PAT CARLSON, Position Six candidate: She noted that al continued growth m u s t be preceded by a priority call on city services. The quality of the city as a place to live is de pendent on this, she said. "Most of our city is undeve loped, and we should woro about that first. I want to con centrate on quality." RAYMOND.MITCHELL-, Posi tion Six Candidate: "Land usi 1 a n n I n g for a city t h i s l/.e is a must. The situa- ion covers such a v a s t rea that there is no wav of alking about it. It is like the norgy crisis. No one can pro- id the outcome, and it is diffi- ult to elaborate on something vhen you can't see the end of he road. He favored setting aside wilderness areas, and allowing the :ity planning commission and oard to regulate the kinds of ndustries locating here. "I am definitely for growth, and I want to see us move ahead. I am not for industries vhich would pollute the air with mog and pollute the water." 0. \V. (GUS) OSTMEYER, 'osition Six candidate: "I think that any long-range planning ·nusl certainly be looked al very closely, or we will not be in good shape." He said this area is about the nicest he's found in all his travels. He advocates continued alertness to the damage lha can be done to the environment Ostmeyer said the possibilit of this area being "planned to death" should be avoided. "In a number of places, the plan gets going. And after they ge through with the plan, they trj to gel nature back, but can't." RUSSELL PUUDY, Position iix candidate: He believes in nvironmenlal planning, but "in moderation." "By being an environmentalist by nature and by vish, but also by having my ars pinned back enough times o be cautious, I sense in my e 11 o w environmentalists a veakncss, a tendency to want to change 200 years of growth n the nation overnight, and out of that can come chaos. "I wish, if I could, to slow t down just a little. I think we can accomplish more." MORRIS COLLIER, JR., Position Seven candidate: "The word ecology is overworked. 1 would balance environmenla' concerns with growth. I am not sure ccologists really know what they want." He noted thai DDT was banned in the pasl nit now is being used again. "You have to w e i g h , anc things must be viewed in per spcctive. If we need energy and the only way to get it is to burn coal, then we have to burn coal. But if there is a way ol skirting it, then I think lha is the way to go." LORIS STANTON, Position Seven candidate: "We in Norfh west Arkansas are an enlir' community, and we ar working, at present, to prcserv ur environment. We have rderly growth." He favOrs reasonable land uso jlanning by county and city fovernments but not by stato and federal governments. "We 'Should recycle certain articles such ES paper and aluminum and, at present, it hould probably be done by ·' 'ohmteers." PHILLIP TAYLOR, Position Seven Candidate: Noting that growth is essential, he said, "That may be an unpopular idea but growth is essential to continue to be able to support .he things that the people o[ an area want to have." He feels land use planning allows people to guide their growth. Taylor said without planning, the city would spend more money providing services to inefficiently-located areas. -· He favors recycling but believes it has to be subsidized-.. He sees recycling on its way to becoming economical and highly desirable, and a possibls source of city revenue. Taylor said a population of 50,000 is not large enough to make recycling pay for itself. For this; size city, taxpayers would have' to subsidize it, be said. He also' suggested the possibility of a. regional recycling program. Clean Water Workshop Set For Saturday A Northwest Arkansas Clean Water Workshop is scheduled for Saturday in the Arkansas Union on the University of Arkansas campus. Purpose of the all-day seminar sponsored by several groups is to help citizens learn how they can influence decision- making under the 1972 federal Water Pollution Control Act amendments. The public is encouraged to attend and participate in the activities. These amendments set a 1983 deadline by which time all cities must use the best practicable treatment for municipal wastewater and by which time industries must use the besl available, technology to treat wastewater before discharging t into water sources. The amended act calls for no discharge of any pollutants into any water source by 1985. But this point is set down as a ational goal and not a legal requirement. At Saturday's session, registration will begin at 9:15 a.m. At 9:30 a.m., Peg Anderson, president of the Arkansas [.cague of Women Voters will introduce the program and explain its objectives. The program's aim is to provide an appropriate mix of the procedural and technical information that citizens need to affect decision-making in the Northwest Arkansas area. One of the main points in the 1972 amendments is that the public participate in the water quality permit program, the planning program and the municipal Wastewater treatment program. The schedule for Saturday follows: 9:45 a.m. -- Ted Goodloe, director of the Arkansas Ecology Center. "Overview of Water Pollution Laws." 10:15 a.m. -- Gregory Reed, department of civil engineering at the University, "What is Sewage Treatment?" 10:45 a.m. -- Gary T. Nelms, UA law school, "1972 Water Pollution Control Amendments' Programs." Noon -- Luncheon. 1 p.m. -- Neil Woomer, director of the water division in the slate Department of Pollution Control and Ecology, "Arkansas State Problems." 2 p.m. -- Donald Grimes, Faycttcville city manager; Cleo Dark, Beaver Reservoir manger for the U.S. Army Engineers; Dr. Dee Mitchell, UA civil engineer and consultant to Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission; Bruno Kirsch, state Department of Health; and James Casey, vice- president of the Illinois River Property Owners Association, "Panel Discussion on Regional Problems." 3:15 p.m. -- Ted Goodloe, "Where Do We Go From Here?" Program sponsors include the U.S. Environmenlal Protection Agency, the Northwest Arkansas Environmental Council, the Associated Student Government at the University (Department of Environmental Affairs), the Washington County League of Women Voters, and the UA's Environmental Law Students Association. , Housing Shortage The scale of housing problems is difficult to comprehend in just one under-developed country, let alone the world. For instance if it were possible to build 10,000 homes per day in Latin America for the next decade, about 100 million people there would still be ill-housed at Ihe end of the 10-year period. AWG tells you -- how the energy shortage affects YOU. Last year we spent a record $3,430,000 on exploration for new gas supplies. This year, we're spending over $4,250,000...and well continue in our efforts to see that you have plenty of Natural At Arkansas Western, we're spending about $500 an hour--every hour, every day, throughout the year--to locate new supplies of natural gas and to drill new wells. And for the most part, our exploration efforts have been successful, So far this year we have drilled 23 new wells in Arkansas, of which 14 are producers. And in Oklahoma, we drilled 7 wells, 4 of which are producers. There's gas to be found, which will insure an adequate supply for our customers for many years to coma The problem is cost --all the "easy" gas has already been tapped, and now we're having to search further, and drill deeper, and that adds up to more money. Increased costs of natural gas exploration and increased costs of purchased gas may result in increased rates to customers. We have pledged that additional revenues would be^ spent for exploration and drilling -- and we've more than.backed up this pledge. So, that's what it's all about. Producing enough natural gas to meet the needs of our customers is cosling Arkansas Western more and more every day. In turn, we're having to charge you more for the gas you use. But remember--Natural Gas is.still the Biggest Bargain in your family budget-- use it, and you'll be helping to conserve our nation's energy, and saving money, loo. At Arkansas Western, we recognize the existence of a growing national energy shortage. Solving it is within the grasp of American technology, but it will fake both time and money. For the present, you can help -- b y conserving natural energy. AND THE BEST WAY TO CONSERVE ENERGY IN YOUR HOME IS TO USE NATURAL GAS FOR ALL THE JOBS IT DOES BEST. Arkansas Western Gas Co. CE4-2W16

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