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Opponents surface to forest plan in NW Arkansas

Opponents to a plan to clear a portion of the Ozark National Forest in northwest Arkansas say the effort is only to help the elk population.

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (AP) — Opponents to a plan to clear a portion of the Ozark National Forest in northwest Arkansas say the effort is only to help the elk population.

The U.S. Forest Service and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission want to remove "overgrowth" trees because of an "unhealthy overall condition" in a 62-square-mile section of Newton, Pope and Searcy counties.

Game and Fish Commission program coordinator Wesley Wright told The Springdale Morning News that the program would also benefit deer, bear and turkey.

But Newton County Wildlife Association co-chairman Barry Weaver says the program is to allow elk to expand their herds. Weaver says elk has gone from a novelty when re-introduced into the area 30 years ago to a nuisance that tears down fences and competes with cattle for grazing land.


 

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