FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – April 6, 2011
Contact: Jonelle Doughty
Email: [email protected]
LITTLE ROCK, AR – The Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission (ANHC), in cooperation with the Arkansas Field Office of The Nature Conservancy and Molpus Timberlands Management, LLC, recently purchased 527 acres in Ashley County. Longview Saline Natural Area protects 0.5 miles of the Saline River and a mosaic of rare natural communities that occur in Arkansas’s Coastal Plain, such as saline barrens, Carolina ash sloughs, delta post oak flatwoods, prairie mound woodlands, and pine flatwoods.
“This purchase is the beginning of the conservation work needed in the area,” said Karen Smith, Director of ANHC. “Longview Saline Natural Area fits into our plan to expand our partnerships in the pine flatwoods of southern Arkansas to protect these declining rare ecosystems.”
Ken Sewell, Chief Operating Officer of Molpus said, “We are pleased to have worked with The Nature Conservancy and The Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission on making this transaction happen.”
Longview Saline Natural Area continues ANHC’s work to protect habitat for the federally endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis). Two federally endangered mussels, the winged mapleleaf (Quadrula fragosa) and the pink mucket (Lampsilis abrupta), are found within the stretch of the Saline River that borders the natural area. Funding for this land acquisition was provided through a grant from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council and Arkansas’s 1/8 Cent Conservation Sales Tax. ANHC was established in 1973 to identify and protect the state’s remaining high quality natural communities. To protect the “best of the last,” the Commission manages a System of Natural Areas that encompasses more than 50,000 acres and maintains data on the status of rare species and natural communities in Arkansas.
For more information about the System of Natural Areas and the ANHC visit the agency’s website at www.naturalheritage.com. The Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission shares the goal of all seven Department of Arkansas Heritage agencies, that of preserving and enhancing the heritage of the state of Arkansas. The agencies are Arkansas Arts Council, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Delta Cultural Center in Helena, Historic Arkansas Museum, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and Old State House Museum.