Poultry Lawsuit

Tulsa, OK – Expert: Recreation on Illinois River has declined

TULSA, Okla. (AP) A professor estimates that about 30,000 fewer people floated in the Illinois River watershed in 2007 compared to two years earlier.

With Tuesday's testimony from Oklahoma State University professor Lowell Caneday, the state of Oklahoma hoped to suggest that decades of chicken manure pollution has made one of the state's top recreational areas less attractive to the public.

Caneday, who has studied the watershed for decades, peppered his testimony with personal experiences, testifying that he once saw a "clump" of chicken litter with straw and feathers floating down the Illinois River.

On one rainy day in 2007, Caneday claims he saw a farm field spread with so much chicken manure, it appeared to "move" across the road in the storm.

Oklahoma is suing the Arkansas poultry industry, claiming 11 companies are responsible for the mess. The companies deny the allegations.