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AAC applauds Senators’ teamwork on Private Landowner Protection Act

Sens. Pryor and Boozman co-sponsor “Private Landowner Protection Act” By Scott Perkins

Association have all engaged in this effort,” Villines said. AAC Communications Director

July, and the Senate bill closely matches the language in that measure. H.R. 4319 has all four of Arkansas’ congressman as cosponsors, as well as 27 co-sponsors from 16 different states. “All of Arkansas’ Congressional delegation and our two senators have obviously decided to stand together on this issue facing Arkansas counties and citizens,” said Chris Villines, AAC executive director. “It makes sense and is the right thing to do for landowners — public and private — to require cumulative economic analysis studies when designating critical habitat ar- eas. Landowners deserve transparency, sound economics and the ability to publicly comment on these designations. Tese two bills address protecting those rights.” AAC and Farm Bureau continue to educate and increase


awareness with their cohorts in other Southern states and will now focus on adding signatures and support for the two bills. “We have a unified Arkansas delegation with the Senate and

House bills. We’re thrilled our General Assembly, Gov. Mike Beebe, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, the Southern Legislators Council and the Western State Land Commissioners

he Association of Arkansas Counties welcomes Sen. Mark Pryor’s and Sen. John Boozman’s engagement to the modernization of the Endangered Species Act. Rep. Rick Crawford introduced H.R. 4319 in

Comments on proposed rules AAC and the Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) sub- mitted official comments Oct. 10 on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s and the National Marine Fisheries Service’s proposed rules to implement changes to the regulations for designating critical habitat and a proposed rule on the definitions of destruc- tive or adverse modification of critical habitat under the Endan- gered Species Act. Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel also submitted official comments on the proposed rules. According to the AAC and AFBF official comments: “Te AFB and AAC have always supported the notion that the use of private property to sustain and feed a growing population and public property to provide a wide range of services and employ- ment is not inconsistent with the protection and survival of the species that share the landscape. It seems to be the conclusion of the Services that agriculture and other public land uses are knowingly and seemingly even with premeditation altering the landscape to harm any given species. Te associations’ com- ments argue that assumption is blatantly false and shows little understanding of the stewardship practiced by landowners, public and private.” Te U.S. Fish and wildlife Service has not posted a deci- sion on the proposed rule changes but could do so as soon as December 8.

Faulkner County Justice Building Unveiled

The Oct. 2 dedication of the new Faulkner County Justice Building attracted elected officials from the state, county and munici- pal levels. Arkansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Jim Hannah delivered the keynote address, saying he hopes the Justice Build- ing will serve as a “model” for other coun- ties. Faulkner County Judge Allen Dodson said the building was constructed to accom- modate growth and offices that could no longer be housed in the historic courthouse because of its deteriorating condition. The approximately 73,000-square-foot Justice Building has six courtrooms and modern se- curity features such as metal detectors just inside the front door and secure elevators. The county will continue to use the first floor of its historic courthouse, built in 1936, to house the county clerk’s office.


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