Locals on Buffalo River Feel Pinch of Federal Budget Cuts

It appears the Buffalo National River might have more to worry about than potential waste generated by a hog farm operating within its watershed.

Multiple restrooms operated by the National Park Service along the Buffalo have been closed and the closures are presumably related to federal budget cuts.

This is making for a rather messy situation during the four-month canoe season. About 60,000 visitors will be in the area in the spring and summer months.

Not all restrooms along the river are closed, so there are options for visitors. But the closures include the Ponca, Pruitt and Rush launch sites, which are among the most popular spots along the Buffalo National River.

We are told that locals volunteered to service the restrooms in hopes of cutting down on the number of visitors who have to get even more in tune with nature than they planned. Despite the offer, the restrooms remain closed and we’re told some visitors at Ponca, Pruitt and Rush are less than discreet.

“There’s toilet paper, Kleenex and paper towels everywhere,” one local tells us. “It’s not good.”

It seems like a cause for concern, even if it isn’t generating as much attention as the C&H Factory hog farm. Members of the Buffalo River Watershed Alliance are asking that the farm’s permit be revoked because it is located near Big Creek, which feeds into the Buffalo.