OZARK NATIONAL FOREST, Ark – A group is pushing to keep a national forest campground and recreation area in Arkansas open and maintained.
Mark Hodge says families have visited Haw Creek Campground for decades.
“This campground has been here for over 70 years,” Hodge said.
He says people have used the location for a variety of things, like weddings, family reunions, boy scout camps, dutch over cook-offs, and more.
However, last month the US Forest Service announced possible changes coming.
“There are big plans afoot for a realignment of the Haw Creek Recreation Area,” Hodge said.
US Forest Service says in a letter, it could become a point of interest, where there is no fee and it’s open year round. Picnic tables, fire rings, and trash cans would be removed overtime. The Forest Service says it would reduce cost and maintenance.
The group doesn’t want to see that happen They say plenty families use it.
“People come here because it’s primitive. They don’t want electricity, they don’t want their cell phones to work when they get here, and that’s the unique thing about this place,” Glen Graves said.
“We’re afraid that 4-wheelers would come in and tear up the ecosystem. It’s a pretty fragile ecosystem,” Hodge said.
They are hoping the Forest Service changes its mind and there is a bright future on the horizon.
“We realize there are always budget constraints, but we think that’s just a small portion of their budget,” Hodge said.
The US Forest Service has a comment period that ends at the end of this month.