Buffalo National River Invites All to Attend Public Meetings
Harrison AR: Buffalo National River Superintendent Kevin Cheri invites the public to attend an open house meeting for the park’s Boxley Valley Comprehensive Area Plan. The National Park Service will be hosting two open houses for the public. The purpose of these open houses is to collect information to aid in the development of the Boxley Valley Comprehensive Area Plan. Each meeting will begin with a short Question and Answer session for those who are interested; otherwise, attendees will have the opportunity to meet with park staff and partners individually to share ideas and ask questions.
The Boxley Valley comprehensive area plan (plan) will provide an overall vision for the future of the Boxley Valley area that aims to decrease crowding and user conflicts, respond to changing visitation preferences, protects cultural and natural resources, and address visitor safety concerns. It will also guide management decisions, define appropriate types and kinds of visitor use at various locations, and proposing infrastructure to support those uses, and improve the visitor experience through expanded interpretation and educational programs and facilities.
The public open house meetings build on prior public listening sessions held in Boxley Valley in August 2016. Information collectged during those meetings helped the park refine the scope of the planning effort by identifying key issues, including such concerns as:
- Congestion and crowing at river access points;
- Elk viewing “traffic jams” in along Highway 43;
- Limited visitor services and opportunities for education in the valley;
- Flooding; and
- Balancing historic agricultural practices while maintaining natural river processes.
The goal of the public open house meetings is to provide interested individuals with additional opportunities to learn about the planning process, provide suggestions, and contribute information that can help inform development of additional management strategies that may be more fully developed in the plan.
The public meeting schedule is as follows:
Session 1 – Tuesday, May 9 (5:30 – 7:30 PM)
Ponca Elk Education Center, AR43
Session 2 – Wednesday, May 10 (3:30 – 5:30 PM)
Ponca Elk Education Center, AR43
The public comment period will be open from May 8 through June 5, 2017. Additional information regarding the planning process, as well as your comments on some of the initial management strategies being considered can be found online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/buff_boxleycap or via written letter mailed to: Buffalo National River, Boxley Plan, 402 N. Walnut, Harrison AR 72601. Comments should relate to: Which potential management strategies or actions do you feel jwould be most helpful in meeting the plan purpose and need, and why? Are there other management strategies or ctions that would meet the plan purpose that should be considered as alternatives for the plan are developed?
We look forward to hearing from the public and encourage all to visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/buff or our Facebook page for further updates. If you have any questions please feel free to contact the park at firstname.lastname@example.org or 870.365.2732.
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