Multi-Agency State Recovery Team Formed for Ivory-Billed Woodpecker

MAY 25, 2005 - Posted at 8:12 a.m. CDT

BRINKLEY, AR - Governor Mike Huckabee has created a new multi-agency task force to help protect the recently discovered ivory-billed woodpecker and promote ecotourism in eastern Arkansas.

The Governor's Task Force on Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Conservation was formed by executive order, and will be composed of the directors of six state agencies.

Representatives of the Arkansas Heritage Department, the state Game & Fish Commission, the Parks & Tourism Department, the Department of Environmental Quality, the state Forestry Commission and the Soil & Water Conservation Commission will be on the task force.  More information is to be revealed at a news conference this morning at the Brinkley Convention Center.

Huckabee said the task force would develop plans to promote and support conservation, tourism and regulation efforts in the Big Woods of East Arkansas, where the bird was recently discovered in the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)