ROCK (AGFC) – The quality of the environment in Arkansas is dependent upon
decisions made by the many individuals who own and manage the land. Out
of 33 million surface acres in the Arkansas, 29 million are under
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Acres for Wildlife coordinator Steve
Fowler says the agency has initiated a new and improved AFW program
which continues to target all wildlife species in the state, with
special emphasis on wildlife species of greatest conservation concern in
"We have put specific emphasis on bobwhite quail and associated
declining grassland songbirds to encourage landowners and managers to
improve the habitat for wildlife on their land," Fowler said. "You can
play an important part in improving the habitat for wildlife in Arkansas
by taking an active role in this program."
Landowners also have a new native warm-season grass project available
to them. The competitive project requires at least five contiguous acres
the landowner is willing to plant. Seed is limited to a maximum of 20
acres per landowner. Applications for the project must be received by
Feb. 29 to compete for each year's planting materials. Native
warm-season grasses and forbs are primarily selected to provide nesting,
brood-rearing and escape cover for quail and other grassland birds.
Most landowners and managers are interested in the environment and in
wildlife, but they often forget to include such considerations in their
management activities or they don't know what to do, Fowler says.
"In some cases, they unknowingly perform activities that are
detrimental to wildlife and the environmental. The results of these
facts have been a great, often needless, reduction of habitat for all
kinds of wildlife."
The AFW program is intended to benefit all species of wildlife. It does
not retire cropland or grazing land; neither does it open posted land
to hunters. This is left entirely to the discretion of the landowner or
As an AFW cooperator (landowner), you can help Arkansas's wildlife and
the environment by managing all or a portion of your land for wildlife.
The AFW program creates additional habitat and encourages considerations
for wildlife needs, in conjunction with good farming, livestock
production and forestry practices on the entire farm.
Landowners enrolling in the AFW program have access to an AGFC private
lands biologist who can offer specific wildlife management
recommendations for the property along with advice for landowners
regarding other state, federal and private programs offering financial
and technical assistance. Many program opportunities offer cost-share
assistance and other incentives to improve or create habitat on private
lands across the state.