ANHC Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission

The mission of the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, ANHC, is to preserve natural diversity, to promote choice among beneficial uses of the environment, and to promote a balance between development and environmental protection in the State of Arkansas for this and succeeding generations.

ANHC focuses on science-based conservation to protect the state’s biological diversity. As the central repository for data on rare plants and animals and natural communities in Arkansas, ANHC works to provide up-to-date information for sound and timely conservation decisions. The System of Natural Areas provides long-term protection to some of the state’s most ecologically significant lands. Through outreach and education programs, the commission strives to deepen the ecological literacy of Arkansans. These efforts, combined with an array of conservation partnerships, are all aimed at ensuring that Arkansas’s biological diversity and natural heritage are not lost. 

The Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission focuses on science-based conservation to protect the state’s biological diversity. As the central repository for data on rare plants and animals and natural communities in Arkansas, ANHC works to provide up-to-date information for sound and timely conservation decisions. The System of Natural Areas provides long-term protection to some of the state’s most ecologically significant lands. Through outreach and education programs, the commission strives to deepen the ecological literacy of Arkansans. These efforts, combined with an array of conservation partnerships, are all aimed at ensuring that Arkansas’s biological diversity and natural heritage are not lost.

Natural areas represent remnants of the original landscape that have remained relatively undisturbed for hundreds of years. Often they contain unique ecosystems, including plants and animals that the ANHC restores, maintains and protects for future generations of Arkansans. Most of these natural areas are available for low-impact, public use such as hiking and bird-watching, and more than half offer hunting opportunities in accordance with state regulations.

The commission’s professional staff conducts field explorations to discover and rediscover locations of rare plants and animal species and to document locations of unique ecosystems and natural communities. Often published in scientific journals and presented at national, regional and state forums, these research findings and results are organized, analyzed, managed and housed in a biodiversity database. The data, cataloging a wealth of information on almost 900 rare species, is offered to organizations and individuals involved with conservation efforts, economic development and scientific research and education.

Public outreach efforts aim to make biodiversity information interesting, easy to find and easy to understand through the ANHC website, e-newsletter, and social media as well as printed materials and face-to-face presentations conducted by professionals. Educational programming is offered to teachers and students to address state and national science standards using Arkansas-specific information. All of these outreach tools serve as a bridge between the public and the agency’s comprehensive data on rare animals, plants, and natural communities.

Little Rock River Trail
Pelton Rose
Saline Barrens
Russellville Teaching of Bats
Turtle

Herbarium Specimens - Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission


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