Buffalo National River

Courtesy / Buffalo National River Park Service

The Buffalo National River Park Service is investigating a break in at Fitton Cave on park property in Newton County. The locked and gated cave system, one of the largest in the state, serves as a valuable research site for geologists and wildlife conservationists, but has sustained significant damage. The park service is asking the public to help identify those responsible by calling: 1-888-653-0009, logging online to www.nps.gov/ISB or emailing a tip to nps_isb@nps.gov.  

Courtey / National Park Service

After several years of comprehensive planning, the Buffalo National River is in the final stages of drawing up visitor service improvements for the Boxley Valley area. According to Buffalo National River Public Information Officer Cassie Branstetter, the plan has completed enviromental review. Historic Boxley Valley is popular for both floating and elk viewing. 

Z. Sitek / KUAF

Thursday morning, the National Park Service announced it would be closing the Buffalo National River to all recreational activities until further notice. Governor Asa Hutchinson recommended the closure after hearing about crowds of out-of-state visitors from concerned local leaders, residents and outfitters that provide services in the area.

Courtesy / Cassie Branstetter

The Buffalo National River, a traditional spring break destination, has closed certain facilities until further notice, according to Cassie Branstetter, branch chief of interpretation, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Headquarters are closed to the public, as are group campsites and pavillions. Individual camping, trails and floating is permitted. 

J. Froelich / KUAF

The National Park Service is inviting the public to comment on a final draft managment and environmental assessment plan to protect and improve the Buffalo National River Boxley Valley recreational area — the culmination of a four year effort. 

J. Froelich / KUAF

The nonprofit Buffalo National River Partners, in collaboration with the Buffalo National River Park Service, is hosting a logo contest in advance of the 50th anniversary celebration of the river in 2022. The deadline for design submissions is April 30. Contest rules and entry forms are available online and the public is invited to follow the 50th anniversary celebration on Buffalo National River’s Facebook page

Courtesy / National Park Service

Last month, the Buffalo National River Park Service announced the first artist in its revamped artist-in-residence program. Samuel Binns, a poet in the Masters of Fine Arts program at the University of Arkansas, will contribute artwork and creative projects in exchange for three weeks of housing at the park in Jasper.

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality has extended a public comment period to Jan. 22 on whether to declare a permanent moratorium on industrial swine farming on the Buffalo National River watershed.

Courtesy / Buffalo River Watershed Alliance

The Buffalo River Conservation Committee, which was authorized by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, has been charged with developing a non-regulatory, watershed-based management plan. More than $2 million dollars in state and private funding will be distributed to watershed stakeholders as conservation grants. Attorney Ross Noland, executive director of the Buffalo River Foundation describes it as cooperative conservation.

Courtesy / Buffalo National River Park

The National Park Service is seeking public comment on an environmental assessment evaluating the impact of proposed traditional plant gathering on the Buffalo National River by the Cherokee Nation.