TNC requests support from the community to conserve the property adjacent to Rattlesnake Ridge Natural Area and the westernmost peak of the Maumelle Pinnacles
LITTLE ROCK, ARK. — The Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission (ANHC) and The Nature Conservancy in Arkansas (TNC) shared in a video today an effort is underway to conserve Blue Mountain, the westernmost peak in the Maumelle Pinnacles chain.
The ANHC has submitted grant proposals to the Department of Arkansas Heritage’s Natural and Cultural Resources Council and the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund for a significant portion of their $4 million project share.
TNC pledged to raise an additional $1 million to help acquire the property and at least another $1 million for long-term management of the property and to develop foot and bike trails and other amenities.
“The Nature Conservancy is partnering with ANHC toward this effort, but we need you to make it happen,” said Jen Barnhouse, Director of Philanthropy for The Nature Conservancy. “TNC has launched a campaign to raise at least $2 million to help buy the property and manage it similar to Rattlesnake Ridge – with a vision to add more miles of multi-use trail, welcome area, and other amenities for public enjoyment. Thanks to several generous members of our community, we are well on our way to this goal with more than 75% raised.”
In the video, Theo Witsell, Chief of Research and Inventory for the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, said Blue Mountain, which is adjacent to Rattlesnake Ridge Natural Area, is an opportunity to not only conserve rare species but also provide critically needed additional recreational opportunities to reduce the strain on other well-loved state parks and natural areas.
“One thing the pandemic has made clear is the importance of our public conservation lands and the need for more places to recreate,” Witsell said. “Pinnacle Mountain is our most visited State Park and it’s crowded. You love Rattlesnake Ridge Natural Area and the lot is often full. Blue Mountain will add another 458 acres of wild, natural outdoor space for everyone to enjoy.”
Conserving Blue Mountain will add to a significant conservation landscape and recreation destination in Arkansas. It is a huge amenity for the region and makes our community special, Barnhouse said.
Blue Mountain is a 458-acre tract and the westernmost mountain in the Maumelle Pinnacles—the first series of pinnacles in the Ouachita mountains. It is currently owned by PotlatchDeltic, a timberland real estate investment trust.
Visit www.nature.org/arkansas to make a donation and learn more.