Land donation increases future opportunities on White River

AGFC commission meeting in Little Rock, Ark.

LITTLE ROCK — Thanks to the generosity of Dr. C.R. Magness and his wife Kay Magness, boaters and anglers will be able to access a portion of the White River in Washington County. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission authorized Director Pat Fitts to enter into a donation agreement from the Magness family for more than 4 acres of riverfront property at the AGFC’s August 19 meeting.

Commissioner Bobby Martin of Rogers praised the Magness family for their contribution to help with the recruitment and retention of boaters and anglers in Northwest Arkansas through the increased access the donation will provide.

“Any time we get a donation and get landowners providing access it is a big deal,” Martin said. “This provides some tremendous access to the White River near Fayetteville and will be an access to a unique part of the river that will be a great addition for our public.”

Once the land donation is complete, AGFC staff will look at ways to improve the access area, which is downstream of Lake Sequoyah. No timeline for the access construction has been established but staff is dedicated to the new opportunity for residents of the area.

“This area has the potential to serve many people in one of the fastest growing parts of Arkansas,” said AGFC Chief of Fisheries Ben Batten. “We look forward to exploring options to make the land another gateway to the outdoors.”

The Commission also recognized AGFC Prescribed Fire Manager Randy Brents for being honored with the 2019 National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative’s Firebird Award. The award is given to individuals who make a significant contribution to conservation and restoration of northern bobwhites. Brents’ promotion of prescribed fire to increase native vegetation for nesting and brood-rearing habitat has been instrumental in the AGFC’s renewed efforts in quail conservation in Arkansas.

In other business, the Commission:

Recognized AGFC Graphic Artist Greta James for her artwork supplied in the Conservation License Plate Program and unveiled the featured scene for the 2020 Conservation License Plate: A Brittany, a popular breed of upland hunting dog, searching for a northern bobwhite in the foreground.

Authorized AGFC Director Pat Fitts to enter into agreements to exchange quitclaim deeds at Lakeside Landing on Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir to clarify access rights to a portion of the shoreline and boat ramp.

Ratified the emergency action taken by Director Fitts on July 29, 2019, to remove all sportfish daily limits and length limits on Lake Monticello during its drawdown for repairs.

Awarded retiring AGFC Wildlife Officer Senior Cpl. Kevin Eubanks his service sidearm after 28 years of service.

Approved the removal of outdated and obsolete inventory with a total original cost of $391,274.75 and a present net book value of $8,014.87.

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