Independence County Judge Robert T. Griffin Testifies Before Congress; Crawford Reacts to Jewell Blueway Program Announcement

Today, Independence County Judge Robert T. Griffin gave testimony before the House Natural Resources Committee regarding the Interior Department’s decision to grant and subsequently rescind the National Blueway designation for the White River. Congressman Rick Crawford (R-AR) introduced Judge Griffin with an opening statement at the hearing. Following the hearing, Crawford issued the following statement regarding Judge Griffin’s testimony:

“Independence County is lucky to have a passionate and dedicated public servant like Judge Robert T. Griffin, who has given significantly of his time and expertise to protect his constituents’ interests over the course of this debate. I agree with the Judge that this designation was wrongheaded and poorly implemented, and I am glad the Secretary of the Interior has heard the voice of Arkansas in rescinding it.”

Earlier this morning while testifying before the House Natural Resources Committee, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell stated that in response to negative feedback from those affected by the White River Blueway designation, the program is on hold until further notice. Congressman Crawford responded:

“While I am glad the Interior Department has heard the voice of my constituents in deciding to pause and review the Blueway program for the moment, I would feel much better knowing that more concrete steps are being taken to ensure what transpired in Arkansas is not repeated elsewhere. Total lack of input from local leaders and the absence of answers for important private property implications were contributing factors to the designation’s failure, and these must be addressed. I hope the Secretary will open the lines of communication to our local leaders and listen to the concerns that were raised before any further action is taken to either continue or altogether eliminate the Blueway Program.”

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Photographs of the Judge testifying before the Committee are attached.

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