By Wally Kennedy
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, in a report released Aug. 6, identified several parks and historic sites in California, Indiana, Missouri and Idaho that are threatened by factory farms.
In Missouri, the trust identified the historic village of Arrow Rock; the Battle of Athens State Park, commemorating a Civil War battle; Roaring River State Park, near Cassville; and the Sappington Cemetery State Historic Site, near Arrow Rock, as threatened.
The trust, which said regulatory and planning restrictions can help mitigate some of the direct impact to historic sites, noted that factory farms have an indirect impact on their neighbors.
The trust said: “The concentration of operations into large facilities is one of the factors behind the decline in the numbers of farms nationally, particularly middle-sized family farms. For example, while there were 388,000 hog farms in 1985, today there are just 73,000. Nearly half of the hog production in the United States occurs on just 110 factory farms. Similar trends are transforming poultry and dairy operations across the country.
“As small- and medium-sized producers are forced out of agriculture, historic farms are sold and consolidated, and many historic farm structures are abandoned. Historic rural communities and Main Street businesses suffer because factory farms employ fewer people than small farms, and typically purchase feed and supplies from sources outside the community.”
The trust is a private, nonprofit organization with 750,000 members that is dedicated to protecting the “irreplaceable.”
By Wally Kennedy
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