Little Rock, Ark. – The Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock District recently completed the Table Rock Lake Master Plan scoping report compiled from comments received during the public comment period and from workshops held in late 2012.
“The scoping report captures all the public comments received during the scoping process,” Project Manager Dana Coburn said. “The report also provides an analysis of the comments and we will use this information to help draft the new master plan.”
The report is available for the public to view at http://www.swl.usace.army.mil/Missions/Planning/TableRockMasterPlanUpdate.aspx
The Corps’ will continue to work on the draft master plan through the spring and early summer.
“Our next step will be to hold focus group meetings to see if the draft master plan captures the comments and opinions of the public, partners and stakeholders in conjunction with the missions, guidelines and regulations of the Corps,” Coburn said.
Part of the master plan revision process has been educational.
“Many interested people were not clear of the difference between a master plan and a shoreline management plan,” Coburn said. “We hope that our public workshops and outreach have helped people understand that the master plan provides the vision for how the lake should look in the future.”
Development of the revised Master Plan will include consideration of:
• Regional and ecosystem needs
• Project resource capabilities and suitability for various purposes
• Public interests and desires
The Table Rock Lake Master Plan’s update main objectives are:
• Make maximum use of the resources of the lake within the current policies and guidelines of the Corps of Engineers
• Accommodate current and projected use patterns with maximum efficiency
• Identify and protect cultural and natural resources
• Attract maximum participation by the general public and local government in project development
“The current master plan envisioned that Table Rock Lake would yearly host 2 million visitors by 2020 but we are already currently hosting 4 to 5 million,” Coburn said. “Throughout the process we are trying to determine if there are enough public recreation opportunities around the lake? Are the parks in the right location? Do we have enough public access points around the lake? What will the future needs be?”
The team will also look at land designation around the lake.
“All the Corps land surrounding Table Rock Lake is in several land use categories,” Coburn added. “Is the mix of these categories right? Are there enough places for commercial activities? Are sensitive natural areas protected appropriately?”
The master plan does not address the details of how and where shoreline use permits may be issued, however, it does set the stage for implementation of the shoreline management program. For that reason, the moratorium on shoreline management requests will remain in place until the master plan revision is completed by the end of 2013.
“After the master plan is revised, the shoreline management plan would be revised when funding becomes available to be consistent with the goals identified in the master plan,” Coburn said.
The draft master plan and environmental assessment should be complete by late July.
“Once these draft documents are complete, we will hold public workshops around the lake to again let the public provide input,” Coburn said. “We had tremendous interest by the public when we began the process and we hope that will continue throughout the process.”
For more information about the Table Rock Lake Master Plan Revision project visit http://www.swl.usace.army.mil/Missions/Planning/TableRockMasterPlanUpdate.aspx.