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Property rights Ever heard of a “mitigation bank”?

Southwestern Energy Company of Conway wants one on Caney Creek near Enola.

Its project prospectus is on the Army Corps of Engineers website (2nd item listed), with public comment due July 17.

That’s right – July 17. When JP Randy Ingram brought this issue to Tuesday’s Quorum Court, no one there had heard a word about the project.

Does this sound familiar? Is “White River Blueway” echoing in the air? Can’t you hear “Maumelle watershed”?

A mitigation bank is one of those liberal feel-good techniques that sounds great and all — but seems to always infringe on our freedom or our rights. SWN wants to create one on Caney Creek near Enola to “offset unavoidable adverse impacts to streams and other aquatic resources.”

They propose “compensatory mitigation (to) be carried out on streams, wetlands, and riparian areas through restoration, enhancement, and preservation, focusing on the restoration of the stream channel and the enhancement of riparian areas to generate stream mitigation credits.”

Okay! Sounds all fuzzy and green – we’ll save the wetlands, etc. However, “the property site is owned by a private third party” and the designation covers Caney Creek “and other unnamed tributaries…”

Shall we go on? Private property takings are protected by our Constitution, but We must protect those rights. Private property rights and our water rights are critical to agriculture in our state.

The Caney Creek Mitigation Bank project deserves a hard — and extremely close — look, and for exactly the same reasons the White River Blueway designation got yanked.

Tell at least one other person in Faulkner County about this issue, and then contact your JP.

Do it quickly, the public comment period closes JULY 17.