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Smell of Willows from over the Riverbank

Canoe & Kayak Magazine story by David Hanson:


Dear Readers: We have two days only left in this long fight to find a place for river guides in the State Tax Code. Today, Friday March 28th, and tomorrow, Saturday March 29th. Will we find a home? Or will our professional services and educational adventures once again be relegated to the status as “an amusement?” You can help decide by calling or writing an email. See below.

We are so close! We are praying and hoping (and writing letters and making phone calls as we can from the wilds of the Arkansas River!) to get SB 2972 out of conference for the future of river guides and nature tourism on the Lower Mississippi. If the bill does not leave conference by the end of the day Saturday it will die and we will have lost our last chance for finding a place in Mississippi for river guides in this year’s session. This might be disastrous for us.

We are so close to getting this passed that we can smell the sweet taste of victory as clearly as the smell of willows from over the riverbank. If you live in Mississippi, or know someone who does, or have any connection to the following conferees, please please call or write them and urge them to pass SB 2972 out of conference so it can be voted on again and get to the governor’s office.

I am hoping and praying for the best. I really don't know if I can survive another year like this.

SB 2972 Track Record

House Conferees

Representative Jeff Smith

Chairman of House Ways and Means Committee


Representative Ray Rogers

Vice Chair of Ways and Means Committee


Representative Trey Lamar

Ways and Means member


Senate Conferees

Senator Joey Fillingane

Chairman of Senate Finance Committee


Senator Sally Doty

Finance Committee member


Campaign Website

Senator Robert Jackson

Author of SB2972


PS: Big Island Expedition: I am writing this from the banks of the Arkansas River -- 2014 Big Island Expedition -- which we are doing to share the wilderness with our youth. KIPP Sophomore Kavadous Starr is with us, and is learning the thrill of nature exploration. Every time we make landing and I go exploring he wants to join me for a walk. His comment as we paddled through a back channel chute into a lake full of ducks and jumping with fish: “This is better than TV!” If we don’t pass this bill Southern kids like Kavadous may not have opportunities like this to help them understand their rivers, their forests, and their natural place in them. They’ll have to go elsewhere to find these experiences... if they ever get the opportunity.

PPS: Correction: Correction from last Dispatch: I left out one of the film-makers from the film: Who Owns Water by Michael Hanson, David Hanson and Andrew Kornylak.

PPPS: April 9th Celebration: Regardless of outcome, we’re celebrating on April 9th. We have lots to celebrate in this long journey! Mighty Quapaw Fundraiser/Legislative Celebration. Please join us on Wed April 9th between 4 and 8pm for a Mighty Quapaw Fundraiser/Legislative Celebration. 4pm Welcome and Booksigning From Azaleas to Zydeco by Mark Nichols. 5-7pm Live Blues featuring Super Chikan. 7-8pm True Delta Photograph Exhibition by Michael Scanlan. 8-9pm Film: Who Owns Water? by David Hanson and Andrew Kornylak. Long Live the Mississippi River Guide!

PPPPS: Dear Reader: I am sorry for all the Lower Mississippi River Dispatch print devoted to this story. I know we have lost a few readers. I am so sorry. I am weary of the story myself. But we are at the brink of the riverbank, and we can see the free-flowing waters in front of us!