The ANHC recently accepted a check for $500,000 from the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism (ADPT), the state agency responsible for administering the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grant for Arkansas. The $500,000 that the ANHC received this year served as reimbursement for a prior ANHC land acquisition of approximately 678 acres at Falcon Bottoms Natural Area (NA). The LWCF grant award is yet another example of how the ANHC is able to stretch our state funds farther, in this case, using federal dollars for reimbursement.
The LWCF is administered by the National Park Service, a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Interior. It was established by Congress in 1964 to safeguard our natural areas, water resources, and cultural heritage, and to provide recreational opportunities to all Americans.
LWCF grant funds are awarded to individual states based on a national formula. The ADPT serves as the state liaison for Arkansas and administers the grant. The ANHC periodically receives an allocation of LWCF grant funds from the ADPT, and once a grant application is completed, it is forwarded to the NPS for formal approval and obligation of federal grant monies. The ANHC has received LWCF grant funds in past years, which have been used most recently to add land to Devil's Eyebrow Natural Area.
The recent addition to Falcon Bottoms NA protects an additional 1.9 miles of Bayou Dorcheat and the surrounding riparian (along rivers and streams) habitat. It also provides additional public access to the southern end of the natural area for birding, hiking, hunting, and fishing opportunities.
Falcon Bottoms NA is located in Columbia, Lafayette, and Nevada counties in the Coastal Plain of Arkansas. The natural area is an excellent example of the narrow, but highly diverse, natural communities that occur along small-to-medium sized streams of the Coastal Plain. Bayou Dorcheat, which flows through the natural area, is considered to be one of the most intact and important Arkansas streams west of the Ouachita River.