Arkansas contains an array of wilderness areas ideal for outdoor hiking activities. Whether you desire to go for a nature walk, or spend multiple days in the backcountry, there is something for everyone in Arkansas parks. These wilderness areas provide great opportunities to catch glimpses of the states abundant wildlife. Browse the sites of Arkansas Wildlife refuges, National parks, State parks, and Forests, to get feel for the many hiking opportunities that await you in Arkansas.
Birds are a very diverse group of creatures with over 10,000 species known to exist in the world. Many birds are known to have strange and captivating mating behaviors and are found in all sizes, shapes, and colors, imaginable. The largest bird alive today is the ostrich which can reach up to 8 feet tall. The bird with the largest wingspan is Great Albatross with wingspan of 12 feet. However the largest flying birds that ever lived are known as teratorns. They were large birds of prey related to storks and Condors with some having wing spans of over 26 feet!
There are many opportunities to go bird watching in the State of Arkansas. For good birding sites in Pulaski County go here.
The wildlife refuges in Arkansas provide a good chance to see some of the states birds as well. This link will tell you the abundance of each bird seen by season at each wildlife refuge in the state of Arkansas. To learn about rare species recently spotted in the state, phone the Audubon Society of Central Arkansas hotline at (501) 753-5853.
|Colorized digital image of ivory-billed woodpecker at nest.
© George M. Sutton/Cornell Lab of Ornithology
The Ivory-billed Woodpecker was rediscovered in Arkansas in Cache River National Wildlife Refuge in 2005 after it had been ruled extinct for over 60 years! Now the woodpecker is back on the endangered species list and will receive all the protections that go along with being an endangered species. The U.S Fish and Wildlife service wrote a short piece on the rediscovery of the bird in April of 2005. The Cornell lab of ornithology maintains an Ivory-bill resource site with a lot of media including video, pictures, and recordings of the Ivory-bill Woodpecker, past and present. There has been over 600 credible sightings of the Ivory-bill Woodpeck as recently acknowledged by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and the United States Justice Department.
The Ivory-billed Woodpecker is the largest woodpecker in the U.S. and the second largest in the world. Currently the Ivory-bill Woodpecker is in danger once again because of a massive irrigation project called the Grand Prairie Areas demonstration Project, which is aimed at removing large amounts of water from the White river. The White river flows into the Cache River refuge, and feeds the Ivory-billed Woodpeckers nesting trees along with the rest of its delicate habitat.
Recent developments have temporarily halted the Grand Prairie project due to efforts in the courts on the part of NWF and AWF. A judge ruled in July of 2006 that the Army corps had not conducted adequate habitat impact assessments to the Ivory-bill Woodpeckers habitat, and ordered them to determine whether water withdrawals will affect the Ivory-bills habitat. Additionally, there has been other sighting noted of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker in east Louisiana and east Texas. The wetlands of eastern Arkansas, eastern Louisiana and Texas were originally the primary habitat for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker and efforts are underway by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service in coordination with several major universities to rediscover the Ivory billed woodpecker and protect its habitat.
Go to Arkansas Game and Fish Commission web site for information on hunting and fishing activities.
The state of Arkansas has vast natural resources and innumerable things to do outside. Here are few of the many opportunities:
Waterfowl are a very popular game species in Arkansas. Duck hunting has become one of Arkansas most treasured hobbies with over 100,000 duck hunters living in the state alone. Also, the State of Arkansas boasts the largest concentration of wintering mallards in North America.
One of the recent AWF accomplishments includes the acclaimed report titled “Improving the Quality of Duck Hunting in Arkansas”. This report is a response and an analysis to the poor duck hunting season in 2002-2003, and resulted out of a desire to better manage duck hunting in the state. A summary of the recommendations in this report can be found here.
Hunters and anglers can obtain their Arkansas state hunting and fishing permits and licenses here; also a wealth of other hunting and fishing related information from the state exists there as well. In addition there are many parks and wildlife areas to go hunting and fishing at in the state.
To view hunting and fishing opportunities at U.S Fish and Wildlife refuges in Arkansas go here. The Arkansas game and fish commission maintains many Wildlife Management Areas, (WMA) with many hunting and fishing opportunities . The Ozark St. Francis National Forests have other outdoor opportunities as well. Other hunting and fishing opportunities exist in the Buffalo National River, Lake Ouachita , and DeGrey Lake Resort State Park . Finally this link can help you locate other hunting and fishing areas in the state or Arkansas.
Additional Note for Hunters and Fishers
Global warming is an issue that all sportsmen should be concerned with because of the potential catastrophic consequences it poses to wildlife habitat and their beloved game species. To learn more about what global warming means for hunters and fisherman go to the global warming section of this site.
The Annual Governor’s Conservation Achievement awards are designed to honor individuals, organizations and businesses that have gone beyond the call of duty to promote the conservation of our natural resources. Each year, the Arkansas Wildlife Federation invites the Governor of Arkansas to speak at the Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards Banquet and present the conservation awards.
Banquet Flyer 2013
The following conservation awards may be given annually:
* – denotes nominations & awards determined by AGFC and not the AWF judging committee
The Arkansas Wildlife Federation offers conservation education programs to civic clubs, churches, hunting and fishing clubs, Boy Scouts clubs, youth organizations, college clubs, local businesses and city agencies. Typically, these presentations are made by AWF board members and officers and staff. The Speakers Bureau is established to provide timely presentations and information on key environmental issues such as:
Call or email the AWF office at 501-224-9200.
The Arkansas Governor’s Commission on Global Warmig approved final revisions to its report containing 54 recommendations for reducing the state’s contributions to climate change.
The commission’s report recommends that Arkansas adopt goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions below 2000 levels by 20 percent by 2020, 35 percent by 2025 and 50 percent by 2035.
By John Lyon
AWF is the largest and oldest wildlife conservation organization in Arkansas with over 4000+ members located throughout every county in Arkansas, as well as members from out-of-state that want to help conserve and protect our natural resources. AWF has had a long history of more than 75 years of service in promoting the interests, needs, and programs that benefit hunters, anglers and nature lovers throughout the state. AWF invites hunter and angler clubs and camps throughout Arkansas to become a member of the “Sportsmen Camo Coalition” within the Arkansas Wildlife Federation. Each Sportsmen Camo Coalition club will pay a $50 membership dues and have at least 10 members to join. Also, if you are in an area without a hunting or fishing club and wish to join the sportsmen camo coalition, you can join as an at-large member which is still only $5 annual membership dues.
Through the Sportsmen Camo Coalition, each member will receive the bi-monthly newspaper Arkansas Out-of-Doors which keeps members informed of key issues and programs impacting Arkansas wildlife and wildlife habitats. Additionally, each Camo Coalition Club and its members will receive special mailings and email alerts from AWF on legislative issues at the state and national levels that impact hunting and fishing practices.
AWF encourages local Sportsmen Camo Coalition Clubs to send in articles for the Arkansas Out-Of-Doors and to keep AWF informed of issues and needs of hunters and anglers throughout the state. These Sportsmen Camo Coalition Clubs become the eyes and ears of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation in promoting, protecting, and enhancing wildlife and wildlife habitats, and the natural resources of Arkansas for present and future generations.
There will be an annual meeting of the Sportsmen Camo Coalition Clubs usually held each August during the AWF annual meeting that offers workshops, seminars, and sporting exhibits of interest to hunters, anglers and other outdoor sportsmen. AWF invites hunting and fishing clubs or camps to join the Sportsmen Camo Coalition Club of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation in helping keep Arkansas as “The Natural State.”
A Conservation Competition Program Involving middle and high schools in Arkansas
Purpose: This important conservation competition program is designed to encourage and involve school children in elementary, middle and high schools to participate in developing conservation projects to improve and enhance the environment. The Arkansas Wildlife Federation with the assistance of the National Wildlife Federation, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas Department of Natural Resources, local colleges, universities, and local school officials throughout Arkansas will provide materials and guidelines to assist schools to select, prepare and submit their conservation projects. The Arkansas Wildlife Federation will seek corporate partners to assist the schools in providing seed funds to develop their projects and the cost for conducting this competition. Corporate partners will be invited to participate on the judging panels and be a part of the awards recognition program at the county, regional and state level as sponsors of this event. Awards and cash prizes will be given to 1st place, 2nd place, and 3rd place winners in all three school levels – middle and high schools. Also, schools who are not winners in these three awards categories will receive Honorable Mention recognition for their efforts to develop meaningful conservation projects for their community or county. The Arkansas Wildlife Federation and its partners strongly believe this conservation competition program will encourage students to consider academic studies and careers in environmental sciences. These conservation projects encourage students to become seriously involved in conservation and environmental projects that enhance our environment and “Give Mother Nature a Helping Hand.”
The Arkansas Wildlife Federation is committed to establishing youth conservation clubs in all elementary, middle and high schools throughout the state. Jimmy Reynolds, a member of the AWF Board of Directors and chair of the Conservation Education and Information Committee, is a high school science teacher in Greenwood, Arkansas. Jimmy and Melissa Reynolds are working with the AWF state offices to encourage science teachers in elementary, middle and high schools statewide to begin establishing youth conservation clubs. Below are the requirements and expectations of each youth club.
Each youth conservation club must:
Here is what the Arkansas Wildlife Federation will do for each youth conservation club:
After they have secured 10 members or more and filed this list with the AWF office with the $5 per membership, AWF will immediately prepare and mail the following materials:
The Conservation Education and Information Committee and AWF staff are committed to establishing at least 200 youth conservation clubs throughout the state during 2008-2009. AWF is excited and committed to involve at least 1000 to 2000 students in Arkansas promoting and implementing positive conservation programs at the county, city and community levels. Sign up if you are interested in establishing a Youth Conservation Program at your middle, junior high, high school, college or university- at email@example.com to seek information and assistance.
You may download the PDF Application here.
First and foremost, the Arkansas Wildlife Federation believes conservation education is the key to good stewardship of our natural resources.
AWF strongly supports and participates in efforts that are designed to help both the youngster and the adult better understand the environment and issues that affect our natural resources. AWF single biggest conservation education tool is our publication, Arkansas Out-of-Doors. This newsprint tabloid is published 8-10 times per year and is distributed to our members and others interested in hunting, fishing, and conservation. It is estimated that 6,500 people read each issue.
The Arkansas Wildlife Federation also sponsors seminars on a wide variety of topics, featuring experts in various fields. Some programs deal with issues such as forest management, wetlands or water quality while others may focus on hunting, fishing, or nature appreciation. These efforts are often undertaken in cooperation with other organizations or agencies, such as our seminars to help farmers better understand how to take advantage of the conservation provisions of the Farm Bill.
The Arkansas Wildlife Federation, in cooperation with the National Wildlife Federation, annually conducts a Conservation Achievement Awards Program to honor citizens and organizations that have excelled in various natural resource related endeavors. Awards are given to outstanding efforts in conservation education, wildlife conservation and water conservation, to name just a few of the categories. This program heightens the environmental awareness of the public while honoring deserving Arkansans.
In cooperation with the National Wildlife Federation, the Arkansas Wildlife Federation sponsors the National Wildlife Week each year in May and distributes prior to this week conservation education materials to all public schools in Arkansas.
The Arkansas Wildlife Federation actively participates in public hearings before state and federal agencies regarding the protection and preservation of Arkansas important natural resources of clean air, water and the land to keep Arkansas the Natural State.
In conjunction with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, the Federation also presents special awards to Arkansans who excel in the Acres for Wildlife Program. This program is conducted by the Game and Fish Commission to better improve wildlife habitat on private property. The Awards Program sponsored by AWF is a tool to encourage more participation in Acres for Wildlife.
AWF often conducts a wildlife art contest that features Arkansas artists. The winning painting of an Arkansas critter is often printed and may be used as a membership recruitment tool. It also gives artists in the Natural State an opportunity to receive greater exposure and brings public awareness to the species painted.
AWF conducts education programs and presentations, at no charge, schools, civic clubs and other gatherings. These programs cover a wide range of conservation topics and outdoor recreational pursuits.
The Arkansas Wildlife Federation often sponsors political candidate forums. The Federation is a nonpartisan organization that is prohibited from endorsing any candidates, but our organization sponsors these forums to give citizens a chance to ask those who are seeking office how they feel about various conservation and environmental issues.
AWF’s 105-acre Snyder Wetlands, located on the eastern border of North Little Rock, is available to schools that wish to study wetlands, water, forestry, wildlife or related topics. It is an undeveloped natural resource paradise that is easily accessible to any Central Arkansas School. AWF intends to build a new 14,850 square foot Wetland Nature Center and Administrative Offices on this site.
The Arkansas Wildlife Federation is committed to actively involving youth in conservation education. AWF has recently begun promoting Youth Affiliate Conservation Clubs in elementary, middle and high schools throughout Arkansas.