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Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area Will Serve as Hot Spot

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission - Wednesday, August 29, 2018

As only one of 20 sites out of 200 nominees across the U.S., the Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area has been selected as a Leave No Trace (LNT) Center for Outdoor Ethics Hot Spot site for the week of September 24 to October 1, 2018. As a LNT Hot spot site, the area will host a week of onsite education and events meant to engage the local community in training, service, and outreach about the LNT Seven Principles of Outdoor Ethics.

The LNT Center for Outdoor Ethics strives to educate all those who enjoy the outdoors about the nature of their recreational impacts, as well as techniques to prevent and minimize such impacts. LNT is best understood as an educational and ethical program, not as a set of rules and regulations. The LNT Seven Principles are: Plan Ahead and Prepare; Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces; Dispose of Waste Properly; Leave What You Find; Minimize Campfire Impacts; Respect Wildlife; and Be Considerate of Other Visitors.

By engaging local communities in training, service, and outreach, the LNT Hot Spot Program raises awareness about preserving and protecting our favorite public lands. Hot Spots are all public lands – city parks, forests, open space lands, and national parks – that have sustained damage from overuse. The LNT Hot Spot program has helped dozens of public lands regain their health and long-term sustainability.

Each Hot Spot location receives a unique blend of educational programs, service projects, follow-up programs, and more. The result is lands that are on the road to a healthy recovery with site-specific LNT tools.

An outstanding example of an upland river in the Ouachita Mountains, the National and Wild Scenic Cossatot River cuts through a series of east-west oriented ridges as it flows southward, producing magnificent rapids and waterfalls. The natural area supports at least two fish species endemic to the Little River system and numerous special plant species, including Browne’s waterleaf.

The Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area is managed cooperatively with Arkansas State Parks. Portions of the site have been developed to enhance public visitation and environmental education opportunities. These developments include a visitor information center, a canoe launching area, solar restrooms, picnic areas, primitive camp sites, hiking/nature trails, and a barrier-free pedestrian river walkway.

Above photo: Cossatot Falls, Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area, photo by Dustin Lynch.

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