The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission on Wednesday unanimously authorized $554,800 from the state’s Marine Fuel Tax program to be used for repairs and upgrades to boat ramps and access points throughout Arkansas.
The money will fund eight projects ranging from road repairs and construction to parking lots, boat ramps and courtesy docks, including a courtesy dock at Lake Wilson Access in Ashley County.
Marine fuel taxes are collected on gasoline and diesel fuel used in boats throughout Arkansas. The money is held by the Arkansas Department of Transportation and is distributed through a partnership between the AGFC and ArDOT.
Paving the parking lot at the Arkansas Highway 82 Access on Bodcau Creek in Lafayette County
Chip-sealing the gravel parking lot at Lake Hogue in Poinsett County
Resurfacing the parking lot at Overcup Landing on Lake Overcup in Conway County
Improvement of Kidd’s Landing Access on Bois d’Arc Lake in Hempstead County
A new courtesy dock at Lake Wilson Access in Ashley County
Repairs to the ramp and construction of a new courtesy dock on the south ramp at Lake Ashbaugh in Greene County
Rehabilitation of one mile of abandoned road leading to Maddox Bay of Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge in Monroe County. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will use the funds to construct the road, parking lot and gravel boat ramp to this area that currently has no public access.
Construction of a new road by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to once again allow public access to Davis Lake on Dardanelle Wildlife Management Area in Franklin County. The previous road to the existing boat ramp went through private property, which has since been closed.
The Commission also approved the 2019 White-tailed Deer Strategic Management Plan, which will help guide the agency’s efforts in managing the species for the next five years. The plan was submitted for public review throughout January and was viewed by more than 34,000 people. More than 4,100 public comment surveys were completed during this time to offer input and overall attitudes toward the plan. The final approved plan will be published at agfc.com later this week.
In other business, the Commission:
• Heard a tribute to former Arkansas fishing and conservation legend Forrest L. Wood, who recently passed away.
• Recognized the late Thurman Booth of USDA APHIS, a longtime partner with the AGFC on many conservation issues.
• Heard an update from Deke Whitbeck, president of the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation, on the success of the AGFF’s new Kid’s Zone endeavor at the Arkansas Big Buck Classic in January and future prospects for more events to promote the AGFF’s message.
• Approved amendments to the AGFC’s regulations for the AGFC Point System, administrative license suspension process and statute of limitations for wildlife violations.
• Heard the first reading of updates to the AGFC Land Use Policy to clarify pier and boathouse permit expiration requirements for structures on AGFC-owned lakes.
• Approved revisions to clarify the AGFC’s policy on commission-owned vehicles regarding annual maintenance inspections.
• Approved the removal of outdated and obsolete inventory with a total original cost of $194,662.22 and a current net book value of $67.99.