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ANHC Awarded Golden Paddle for Conservation

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission - Friday, November 04, 2016

The Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission (ANHC) was recently awarded the Golden Paddle Award in Conservation from the Illinois River Watershed Partnership (IRWP). The Golden Paddle is awarded annually to individuals or entities that exemplify excellent stewardship in the protection, preservation, and enhancement of the Illinois River watershed. 

The award recognizes leaders in watershed stewardship and/or natural resource conservation. Nominees include individuals, farms, nonprofit organizations, local governments, schools, professionals, businesses or others that are actively involved in education, projects, and/or programs that benefit the watershed. Six awards are given in the following stakeholder categories: Agriculture, Business, Conservation, Construction, Government, Technical/Research/Education, and Volunteers of the Year.

ANHC Chief of Acquisition and Stewardship, Bryan Rupar (left) and Deputy Director, Darrell Bowman (right), accepted the award at a banquet held by the IRWP.

The ANHC has partnered with the IRWP at Cave Springs Cave Natural Area, which is adjacent to the IRWP Sanctuary and Learning Center. The natural area, a 57-acre property located in Benton County, is an outstanding example of an Ozark Mountains cave stream. The natural area includes the cave itself (inside cave pictured at left) and a portion of the cave's recharge zone (areas where water enters the cave). The cave hosts a large population of the federally threatened Ozark cavefish and supports a summer maternity colony of the endangered gray bat. 

The IRWP is a private, non-profit organization that works to improve the integrity of the Illinois River through public education and community outreach, water-quality monitoring, and the implementation of conservation and restoration projects throughout the watershed.

 

 



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