Forest Service Plan Raises Concerns for Northwest Arkansas
The US Forest Service, Ozark-St. Francis National Forest, Big Piney Ranger District has released its proposals for the 2018 project year, and several parts raise serious concerns. They cover some of the favorite hiking, canoing, fishing, birding places in Northwest Arkansas. Think Hawk’s Bill, Buffalo River, the Mountain Bike Trails off Hwy 16 on Cave Mountain.
One of the 3 projects is Roadside Vegetation Management; the proposal is to spray herbicides along all roads in US Forest Service lands from Searcy, though Newton, Madison and Washington counties; glyphosate/Round-Up is one of the chemicals proposed. Another project, Robert’s Gap directly next to the Upper Buffalo Wilderness, covers 56,000 plus acres of which 16,000 acres are proposed for prescribed burning; The Forest Service has a long precedence for this, nonetheless nesting birds and slow moving animals are killed and smoke inhalation for landowners nearby is a problem. Both Robert’s Gap and the third project, Jake’s Creek, will allow timber harvest of near old-growth trees, lessening the diversity of the forests and isolating them into fragmented areas disrupting animal movement.
If you would like more information or write a letter to the editor of you local paper, it would be greatly appreciated. Please email Lolly at email@example.com, landowner, or call 870 861-5521. Call Kent Bonar, Naturalist with Newton County Wildlife Association at 870 428-5328. Or for the Forest Service in Jasper, AR, Mike Mulford, NEPA Coordinator, 870 446-5122 x 5136, email firstname.lastname@example.org.