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MKARNS Master Plan Revision

What is a Master Plan?

A Master Plan is the guidance document that describes how the resources of the Lakes and River will be managed in the future and provides the vision for how the lakes and government lands managed by USACE adjacent to the river should look in the future.  A 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. 

Development of the revised Master Plans may include consideration of:

  • Regional and ecosystem needs
  • Project resource capabilities and suitability for various purposes
  • Public interests and desires

The MKARNS Master Plan Revision main goals are:

  • Update the plan format and mapping technology. The existing plan format and mapping technology is outdated and not compliant with current Master Plan format and technology requirements.
  • Align the plan with current Corps policies/regulations, budget processes, business line performance measures, and priorities.
  • Update the plan while acknowledging current trends, facility and service demands that have shifted in the past 40 years, ex. an increase in visitation and tourism.
  • Assess current demands on fixed resources that challenge the existing master plan.
  • Shoreline development resulting in environmental and management issues have continued to increase causing sustainability concerns.
  • Ensure partners and stakeholders are engaged with the Corps and seek to increase and sustain benefits provided by the system.
  • To provide an alternative recreational and natural resource experience for visitors to the MKARNS.
  • To ensure project lands and water are not adversely impacted.
  • To align past and current management practices and land classifications.
  • To provide consistent policy guidance and direction for management of resources along the entire 308 miles of the MKARNS in the Little Rock District.

 

Project Timeline

mkarns masterplans update timeline graphic

What is NEPA?

The National Environmental Policy Act is our basic national charter for protection of the environment. It is foremost a procedural law that helps ensure that federal decision makers take a hard look at the potential effects of a proposed action and allow the public and other stakeholders to comment on the federal agency’s effects analysis and consideration of reasonable alternatives. The NEPA analysis helps these decision makers understand the environmental consequences of the alternatives in comparative form before making a decision. This “hard look” is informed by the public and other stakeholders, starting with a project or study’s scoping phase.

graphic describing the national environmental policy act
* click the image to enlarge 

The environmental review process that accompanies Corps planning studies and its value to the public are not always easy to understand. Recognizing this, and to help the public and organizations effectively participate in federal agency environmental reviews, the Council on Environmental Quality wrote the informational A Citizen’s Guide to the NEPA