Feb. 6, 2020
Keith Stephens Chief of Communications
JONESBORO – Big Lake Wildlife Management Area, St. Francis Sunken Lands Wildlife Management Area and Big Lake National Wildlife Refuge will be closed to daytime public access Feb. 10-14. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Wildlife Services, in cooperation with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Missouri Department of Conservation, will be conducting aerial operations aimed at reducing feral hog populations on the areas. The flights will be dependent on the weather.
To provide safety for the public and comply with USDA regulations, access will not be allowed during ongoing operations. Varying weather and site specific conditions will not allow for specific dates of the closures. The closure dates allow some flexibility to take advantage of resources over large contiguous tracts of habitat. In the event that access to the WMAs or NWR is restricted, AGFC and partnering agency staff will be on-site to maintain road and access closures.
The aerial operations are the result of planning and coordination of multiple partners, condensed into several days of actual operations. The AGFC, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and USDA APHIS would like to thank the public in advance for their patience and understanding while these activities are underway and apologize for any inconvenience related to the operation.
For additional information, please contact AGFC Wildlife Division Assistant Chief Luke Lewis at 501-223-6350. For information concerning the Big Lake National Wildlife Refuge, please contact Steven Rimer at 870-564-2429.