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MKARNS Master Plan Revision

Why update the plan now?

The current Master Plans were developed over 40 years ago and are currently outdated.  The Master Plan revision will cover the section of the MKARNS within the Little Rock District and will classify the government owned  land and water that is managed by USACE based on environmental and socioeconomic considerations, public input, and an evaluation of past, present, and forecasted trends.

Government lands may be classified into one of these categories:

Project Operations: lands required for the dams, spillways, hydropower plants, offices, and other areas used solely for the operation of the river.

High Density Recreation: lands acquired for project operations and designated for use as parks or other areas for intensive recreational activities by the visiting public. New private floating facilities would not be allowed in these areas.

Environmentally Sensitive Areas: lands designated for areas where scientific, ecological, cultural, or aesthetic features have been identified. These areas are managed to protect their environmental resources.

Multiple Resource Management Lands: This classification allows for the designation of a predominant use with the understanding that other compatible uses may also occur on these lands, these additional uses may include:

Low Density Recreation: lands classified for use for activities such as hiking trails, primitive camping, limited river access points, and other similar low-density activities by the visiting public. Private floating facilities may be permitted in these areas in accordance with the Shoreline Management Plan.

Wildlife Management: lands allocated as habitat for fish and wildlife and are generally open for hunting and fishing.

Future/Inactive Recreation Areas: Lands intended for recreation, but which were never developed or have been closed.

Vegetative Management: Lands designated for stewardship of forest, prairie, and other native vegetative cover.

Water Surface: For those projects that administer a surface water zoning program, this will be included in the revision process for the Master Plans.

Restricted: Water areas restricted for project operations, safety, and security purposes.

Designated No-Wake: To protect environmentally sensitive shoreline areas, recreational water access areas from disturbance, and for public safety.

Fish and Wildlife Sanctuary: Annual or seasonal restrictions on areas to protect fish and wildlife species during periods of migrations, resting, feeding, nesting, and/or spawning.

Open Recreation: Those waters available for year-round or seasonal water-based recreational use.

For Lake Dardanelle these land classifications are established in the Master Plan and will guide the future update to the Shoreline Management Plan, which implements the Master Plan and provides the policies under which shoreline use permits may be issued for boat docks and/or shoreline vegetation modification.

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