The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and United States Forest Service (FS) recently announced a multi-year partnership to improve the health and resiliency of forest ecosystems across the nation.
In Arkansas, the Western Arkansas Woodland Restoration project aims to double the conservation activity on private lands in 29 counties and on the Ozark-St. Francis and Ouachita National Forests over the next three years.
The forests and woodlands in the area provide significant ecosystem service benefits for society. However, the effects of land-use conversion and fragmentation, development pressures, changes in species emphasis and stand structure, invasive species, as well as exclusion of the historical fire regime, are reducing those services significantly. The project aims to increases the conservation activity on private lands in the project area over the next three years. Woodland restoration in the Sylamore Ranger District of the Ozark and St. Francis National Forests will improve of habitat used by the Indiana bat and other wildlife species. Watershed restoration activities on the Ouachita National Forest, including improvement, obliteration, closure, or relocation of roads and off-highway vehicle trails, will reduce sedimentation and improve water quality for three federally listed species of mussels. Improvements to water quality and increases to water quantity will help protect the 464 active public water sources in the project area. FY 2014 funding: FS (NFS Land) - $1,300,000; NRCS - $2,180,000. View project summary (PDF, 694 KB)