APRIL 13, 2004 - Posted at 5:05 p.m. CDT
BLYTHEVILLE, AR - An outdoorsman's group is urging Arkansans in Congress to keep the Army Engineers from removing duck blinds from some federal lands in northeast Arkansas.
Jimmy White, former president of the Big Lake Sportsman's Association, said today that the group is circulating petitions. He said the signed petitions will be presented to Senator Blanche Lincoln and Congressman Marion Berry. The petitions will urge them to back efforts to have the state Game & Fish Commission manage all existing blinds in the area, including those on federal lands, as it has in the past.
The Corps in May said anyone with duck blinds or other hunting structures on federal land in the St. Francis Sunken Lands and along the Big Black River must remove them. The federal government owns about half the 27,000 acres in the Saint Francis Sunken Lands, all of which is currently owned or managed by the state commission. The Sunken Lands area encompasses parts of Clay, Greene, Craighead, Poinsett and Randolph counties.
About fifty of the estimated 200 to 300 blinds in the area would be affected.