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AGFC to hold public meetings on Dave Donaldson Black River renovations

BY Randy Zellers

ON 01-17-2024


LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will host two public meetings Feb. 10 in northeast Arkansas to address plans for future renovations to Dave Donaldson Black River Wildlife Management Area and other waterfowl-focused areas. The first meeting will be 9-11 a.m. at the Pocahontas Junior High gymnasium at 2405 N. Park St. It will be followed by a meeting from 2-4 p.m. at the Nettleton High School Cafeteria at 4201 Chieftain Lane in Jonesboro.

The meetings will allow the AGFC and local stakeholders to discuss plans for infrastructure improvements and wetland management modifications to conserve the bottomland hardwood forest within Dave Donaldson Black River and Shirey Bay Rainey Brake. These improvements will provide valuable habitat for ducks now and in the future and will help ensure long-term benefits for waterfowl hunting in Arkansas. The planning process was highlighted during the Commission’s November meeting in Jonesboro as well as an online update posted at the AGFC’s YouTube page in December. The upcoming meetings offer one more avenue for stakeholders to ask questions and provide input into the planning process.

“Public input, understanding and support of our management goals and actions are critical to the success of saving our greentree reservoirs,” AGFC Director Austin Booth said. “These in-person meetings will let us talk one-on-one with those who attend to help break down any concerns and answer questions.”

The meeting format will follow similar public meetings held by the AGFC in the recent past with a brief introduction and overview of the renovations followed by a question-and-answer session concerning the larger project goals and procedures. Once the question-and-answer session has concluded, participants will be able to visit in small groups or one-on-one with local AGFC experts to address questions that are more specific to individual portions of the WMA or other greentree reservoirs.

“Conserving Arkansas’s famous green timber duck hunting is something that the AGFC is passionate about, and it requires much more than the status quo,” Booth said. “If we hope to pass down this treasure to our children and their children, we have to act now to do what we know is necessary for the health of the forests that provide these fantastic opportunities. I hope everyone has an opportunity to attend and help be a part of ensuring duck hunting’s future.”

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