POCAHONTAS (AGFC) – The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission officially hosted a dedication ceremony Tuesday at the Datto Access on the Black River near Pocahontas.
Commissioners recently accepted a donation of one-and-a-half acres bordering the access to increase parking and enable more hunters and anglers to enjoy Dave Donaldson Black River Wildlife Management Area. The donation came from Harold “Blue” Riggan of Paragould.
“The Datto Access is situated in the heart of the WMA and is used heavily during many parts of the year, especially for waterfowl hunting,” said Brad Carner, chief of wildlife management for the AGFC. “We have been looking for ways to increase its parking area, but the land directly beside the access was privately owned by a private club.
AGFC Commission Chairman Fred Brown says AGFC staff were in the process of securing exact boundary lines when a conversation with Mr. Riggan got the ball rolling to expand the access.
“When I spoke to Blue, he was aware of all the crowded conditions you can have at the ramp because of its lack of parking,” Brown said. “He generously donated an acre and a half of his property from the Squareshooter Land Company to help make it easier for people to access this wonderful place that his son loved so much.”
Riggan’s son, Kody Riggan, who had spent many years duck hunting on the Dave Donaldson Black River WMA, unexpectedly passed away Aug. 1, 2016 at the age of 46.
“Blue said if enlarging the parking lot to help get people out to the woods gave them half the great memories he and his son shared on that WMA, it was something he knew Kody would have wanted. I really feel that it’s only right that we place Kody’s name on that access so the Riggans and everyone that sets foot on that area knows how important we feel those sorts of memories are. It’s what drives our staff to create and maintain the fantastic hunting opportunities we have in Arkansas."