The story of conservation in the Arkansas Delta is one of ecological setbacks, protection victories and painstaking restoration. More than 40 years ago, a group of concerned citizens lead by Dr. Rex Hancock stopped the channelization of the lower Cache River, but not before seven miles were ditched and straightened.
Thanks to a spirit of cooperation and partnership common in the Delta, this conservation effort initiated decades of wetland and forest restoration resulting in a new National Wildlife Refuge, expansion of existing state-owned and federal public hunting lands, hundreds of private landowners enrolled in wetland reserve easements along the Cache River, and growth of our waterfowl industry.
Since channelization of the Cache was stopped:
- Cache River National Wildlife Refuge was created and over 163,000 acres of public land has been conserved for people to enjoy
- Wetlands Reserve easements have conserved and restored over 200,000 acres of bottomland hardwood forests and wetlands on private lands along the Cache and White rivers
- And the work continues today, expanding to the upper portions of the Cache River watershed and Delta.