Buchanan County residents concerned about location of hog confinement

by 5m Editor
11 August 2007, at 9:56am

US - One omitted word from a state law is raising a stink for residents in Buchanan County.

Jayne Clampitt is an activist against the building of a hog lot that is under construction next to the county wildlife area. The hog lot is being built in the background.

They are concerned that a 2,400-head hog confinement facility along 240th Street southwest of Independence is being allowed to proceed even though it is located 500 feet from the Crumbacher Wildlife Area. The confinement facility is being constructed by DJS Farms of Jesup.

State laws require animal feed operations to be set back 2,500 feet from state and federal conservation areas, but no such exemption exists for county lands.

"I find it ironic that waterfowl must know the difference between county, federal and state waterways," said Greg Clampitt, who lives within a half-mile of the proposed confinement.

Clampitt said he and his wife, Jayne, realize no laws are being broken by the farm, but they're concerned about the long-term effects on the Crumbacher area. He said the omission of county lands was "reckless." The Clampitts first learned about the site when construction began. Since the facility houses less than 2,500 hogs, a public hearing on whether to approve the application is not required under state law.

Don Strauel, owner of DJS Farms, declined to comment.

Buchanan County conservation officials said they also are unnerved about the proximity to the wildlife area. Just inside the border to Crumbacher sits a pond constructed by the local chapter of Ducks Unlimited.

"We would prefer not to have something that close to our wetlands," said Sondra Cabel, a naturalist for Buchanan County.

However, the county has its hands tied right now, she said. When the laws implementing the evaluation program for animal feed operations --- known as the master matrix --- were passed, most of the focus was put on state and federal lands, she said. Since the land also doesn't have a picnic table or a campground, it doesn't fall under state public land use exemptions.


5m Editor