Purpose: Newly restored wetlands create new opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts in Arkansas! The Ed Gordon Point Remove Wildlife Management Area, located near Morrilton, Arkansas, was recently expanded through a significant wetland restoration and enhancement effort. Over 14 miles of levees were constructed and 45 water control structures were installed to create 15 wetland impoundments, including Remmel Marsh, totaling 1,027 acres of wetlands in the Arkansas River Valley. Also, an existing 130-acre cypress-buttonbush brake was enhanced and designated as a waterfowl sanctuary.
With the water control devices, management of individual impoundments is now achieved. This is especially beneficial because complex wetland vegetative communities and dynamic water level management can result. Wetland flooding and drawdowns are timed with fall and spring migrations of shorebirds and waterfowl. Also, enhancement of buttonbush swamp is beneficial for wood duck and hooded merganser broods and other wildlife species in spring and summer. Management of individual wetland impoundments is crucial for meeting biological habitat needs of migrating birds and ensuring water availability during dry winters.
In addition to herbaceous and scrub-shrub wetland restoration and enhancement, trees were planted on approximately 1,500 acres of project lands. A diversity of bottomland hardwood species was planted on gradients that mimicked individual species’ historical occurrence in this region. Eventually, the mosaic of bottomland hardwood forest, scrub-shrub/cypress swamp, and herbaceous wetland will be integral for meeting needs of birds traveling this ancient river corridor.
Location: Approximately 5 miles northwest of Morrilton, AR (Conway County)
Acres Impacted: 1,027 acres
Habitat Type: Moist-soil Wetlands
Partners: Arkansas Game & Fish Commission
Ducks Unlimited, Inc.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Wetlands America Trust
Arkansas Forestry Commission
The Nature Conservancy
National Tree Trusts
American Forests, Inc.
Point Remove Wetlands Reclamation & Irrigation District
Timeline: Construction was completed in summer 2001
DU Contact: Craig Hilburn
Director of Conservation Programs – Arkansas
4511 East 43 rd Street
North Little Rock, AR 72117