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Lower Mississippi-Helena FPE

Emergency Watershed Protection Program - Floodplain Easement - Lower Mississippi-Helena Floodplain

  • County: Phillips

  • Acres: 1,000

  • Estimated Cost: $482,780Lower Mississippi-Helena FPE

Project Description

This 1,000 acre easement falls on Buck Island in the Mississippi River in Phillips County, Ark.  The annual flooding of this island results in the deposition of river-borne debris, scouring of some areas, soil erosion, deposition of silt, timber damage/loss and shoreline erosion.  The acreage is covered by mature bottomland hardwood timber except a 250+ acre sandbar.  This property is adjacent to five existing wetlands reserve program easements in Phillips County that total over 1,000 acres.  It is also adjacent to a 52-acre EWPP-FPE easement that was selected for funding last spring.

This application received extra points during the ranking process because the owner, American Land Conservancy (ALC), agreed to accept $500 per acre (instead of $1,000) and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) agreed to manage the long-term maintenance and monitoring of the easement.  The AGFC plans to manage the area as a primitive public day use Wildlife Management Area.

Since the entire site is forested, there is no proposed restoration on the site other than to develop a sound timber management plan that will promote wildlife habitat, increase water quality in the Mississippi River and ensure the longevity of the islands forest.  This restoration plan will include timber thinning and the creation of small open areas to improve wildlife habitat.  Managing this site for continued forest health will also improve habitat for the endangered mussels of the Mississippi River, the pallid sturgeon and provide nesting habitat for the endangered least tern. Placing an easement on this property utilizing funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will protect or improve habit for these endangered species.

Project Status

  • Option Agreement to Purchase signed April 15, 2010.
  • Easement funds were obligated April 25, 2010.
  • Estimated closing date is October 20, 2010.
  • Boundary survey completed.
  • This application for funding was selected during the 3rd round of ARRA funding during 2010.
  • Since no restoration is planned for this easement no projected obligation and payment dates for restoration funds is listed.
  • Restoration Complete