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Acquisition Adds Acres to Foushee Cave Natural Area

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission - Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission recently closed on a 400-acre addition to the Foushee Cave Natural Area (now 3,132 acres total at the site). The additional property was acquired with assistance from conservation partners with The Conservation Fund and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Added to the Arkansas System of Natural Areas in 2011, Foushee Cave NA protects one of the most biologically significant caves in Arkansas.

Located in Independence County, Foushee Cave’s rich biodiversity, including 10 significant cave species, makes protecting this site a priority. Three federally protected species, including the northern long-eared bat (threatened), gray bat (endangered), and the Indiana bat (endangered) are known from the site, as well as the endemic Foushee Cave snail, which occurs only in this cave system.

The 400-acre addition is bordered by the existing natural area, where public hunting is also allowed. Deep forested ravines along perennial streams provide excellent foraging habitat and a transportation corridor for the three federally listed bat species.

The new addition to the natural area is being conserved, in part, by funding and technical assistance made available to mitigate for potential impacts caused by construction and maintenance of Diamond Pipeline LLC’s Diamond Pipeline Project in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Photo above right of Foushee Cave.

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