PERRYVILLE (AGFC) – Following the damage left by a devastating tornado this spring, work to reforest a portion of the Harris Brake Wildlife Management Area has begun. Shortly after the tornado, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission hired a contractor to remove the downed timber. That project has been completed.
Following the timber salvage project, an assessment of the damaged forest area was completed. It is now necessary for the AGFC to begin a reforestation program of red oak seedlings.
Due to the heavy loses of oak trees in the damaged area, the AGFC will begin planting the area with red oak seedlings in February or March depending on the weather. The seedlings will jump-start the process to replace the nearly complete loss of the large oaks in the damaged area. Without the plantings, the area will become a dense sweet gum thicket without an oak component. This will greatly diminish the forest's value to wildlife. The seedling will require time to establish before the area can be flooded. To help the seedlings establish, the AGFC will leave a portion of the WMA dry throughout the winter. The area that will remain dry is located west of Cookie Rankin Road.
Currently, construction work is taking place on the lake's gate structure. There are additional plans to establish permanent wildlife openings within the damaged area as well as complete drainage and access maintenance during the next dry season.