(Washington) – The National Blueways System is being dissolved amid opposition from property owners and lawmakers in Missouri and Arkansas who feared the conservation recognition program would lead to increased regulation and land seizures.
The voluntary program was created in 2012 by President Barack Obama to encourage conservation, though it didn’t include any new regulations.
The announcement comes after months of continuous pressure from Missouri’s Eighth District Congressman Jason Smith and property rights advocates to end the controversial designation. Smith opposed the National Blueways designation for the White River Watershed in Missouri and Arkansas because the designation did not have local support.
U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced Friday, January 3 that the Connecticut River Blueway would retain its designation as a National Blueway, but that there would be no such further designations.