JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - With the recent expansion of the Waterfowl Rice Incentive Conservation Enhancement program by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, hunters have a new place to hunt and watch wildlife in Lawrence County.
A property near the Black River in Saffell was enrolled in the Wetlands Reserve Easement program by the landowner and added to the WRICE program through a multi-year grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service through the Farm Bill.
AGFC waterfowl program coordinator Luke Naylor says the land was originally planned to have a one-time annual access hunting and wildlife-watching.
“There are signs up that say ‘Access by Permit Only,’ and signify it as a WRICE program field, but we are letting the public have access to it without a permit,” Naylor said. “We’re really most interested in the permit to enable monitoring of public use and ask participants about their experiences using these lands and hope to have something in place by next year.”
The area is surrounded by private land.
Bo Reid, AGFC’s private lands program biologist for Northeast Arkansas, says the property boundaries are marked, however, you should pay attention to your location.
“There are three parking areas and hunters can park along the county road on the south side of the property as long as they pull off the road enough to not impede traffic,” Reid said. “With the access options, there should be enough room for people to spread out and hunt without crowding each other.”