LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas and private groups are putting aside $2 million for conservation and water quality grants within the Buffalo River watershed.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed an executive order Monday creating the Buffalo River Conservation Committee, which will be chaired by Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward. It will also include Secretary of Energy and Environment Becky Keogh; Parks, Heritage and Tourism Secretary Stacy Hurst; and Health Secretary Nathaniel Smith.

Hutchinson said $1 million from his discretionary fund will go toward the water grants, with an additional $1 million from the Nature Conservancy and the Buffalo River Foundation.

The operators of a large hog farm near the Buffalo River that drew concerns about its potential impact on the watershed signed an agreement in June with the state to shut down the facility.

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