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New Trail Dedicated at Warren Prairie Natural Area

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission - Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission (ANHC) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) dedicated a new nature trail at Warren Prairie Natural Area (NA) in November. The trail is 2.2 miles long and showcases the diverse habitats and species that make the natural area special. The ANHC and Potlatch Corporation also signed an agreement for the ANHC to acquire 937 acres from Potlatch to be added to the natural area.

Beginning in the 1980s, the ANHC and TNC started working at Warren Prairie NA in Bradley and Drew Counties with a vision to conserve a functional landscape that encompassed the many diverse habitats of the area. Through a series of land purchases, the area has now grown to over 5,000 acres and is one of the largest conservation areas in the state.

“Working together, we have not only conserved thousands of acres for people to enjoy, but managed the land to show that forest managers can produce high quality wildlife habitat and conserve rare species,” said Stacy Hurst, director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage. “All of this is possible while generating economic return for local communities through continuation of forestry management and reintroduction of prescribed fire to the landscape.” The ANHC is an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

Warren Prairie is ecologically significant for a variety of reasons. It supports the largest and highest quality examples of saline barrens and prairies in the Coastal Plain. Made up of a mosaic of salt slicks, pine flatwoods and woodlands, saline barrens, and post oak flatwoods, Warren Prairie supports a unique population of plants and animals. This includes the endangered plant, Geocarpon minimum, an endangered bird, the red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW), and Arkansas’s most significant population of wintering Henslow’s Sparrows.

“This place is a great example of the power of Arkansas’s conservation style. Working with partners, the ANHC has not only conserved thousands of acres for the public to enjoy, but have timber management, hunting, and endangered species management all occurring in one place. It’s a great tribute to the cooperative style of the people of south Arkansas,” said Scott Simon, director of The Nature Conservancy in Arkansas.

Warren Prairie NA is open to the public for hiking, exploring, and bow hunting. For more information, visit the Warren Prairie NA page on our website.

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