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Arkansas Stream Heritage Partnership Kicks Off With Two-Day Workshop

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission - Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Removing obsolete dams and other non-functional instream barriers is one of the fastest, most effective ways of restoring a river (restoring the free-flowing heritage), also referred to as river “connectivity.” Restoring ecological and biological functions such as sediment transport, fish passage, etc., is a focus for dam removal, but equally important are improved recreation, tourism, and human safety as well as the opportunity to re-evaluate outdated infrastructure.

The ANHC partnered with Southern Aquatic Resource Partnership (SARP) and American Rivers to conduct a two-day workshop on dam and barrier removals. The workshop signaled the initial formation of the Arkansas Stream Heritage Partnership (ASHP), an effort that focuses on restoring stream connectivity in Arkansas. Relevant state and federal agencies, as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Arkansas were invited.

Over 50 participants attended the workshop from various Arkansas based agencies and organizations. The workshop presented the basics of managing a dam removal project including project feasibility analysis and permitting. Additionally, participants were introduced and instructed on the use of SARP’s Southeast Comprehensive Aquatic Barrier Inventory to identify and track barrier locations. Following classroom instruction time, attendees traveled to various past and future Maumelle River Watershed project sites led by Central Arkansas Water where classroom discussions were expanded to site specific dynamics.

The workshop was hosted in cooperation with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC), The Nature Conservancy, Central Arkansas Water, and the Arkansas Chapter of the American Fisheries Society. Planning support was provided by the  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission.

The ASHP’s vision is to create a statewide partnership that fosters the development of a network and process for supporting, aiding, and implementing the removal of barriers to stream connectivity, thereby restoring hydrologic, biologic, and ecologic function in an opportunistic, non-regulatory and efficient manner.

The ASHP will be led by the ANHC. For more information, contact Darrell Bowman at [email protected] .

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