"The Plum Creek lands in Union County provide habitat for one quarter of all the Red-cockaded Woodpeckers in Arkansas," said Scott Simon, director of the Conservancy in Arkansas. "This land not only supports endangered species, but ground-nesting species like turkey and quail thrive in open woodlands that are maintained with periodic thinning and controlled burns."
Joe Fox, the Conservancy's director of conservation forestry, said the acreage is particularly important because it's adjacent to the Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge and the Beryl Anthony Wildlife Management Area. The Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission and Arkansas Game and Fish commission own close to 90,000 acres in the area, most of which is open to the public for hunting, fishing, wildlife watching and other recreational opportunities.
Brady Baker, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's regional wildlife management supervisor, is excited about the protection of more of the pine flatwoods ecosystem through the acquisition. "It will compliment a similar effort between conservation partners to protect the rapidly disappearing habitat type at Moro Big Pine Natural Area- Wildlife Management Area in Calhoun County," Baker explained.