The Arkansas Chapter continues to work on multiple fronts to keep the University of Arkansas Pine Tree Research Station open and accessible by the public. We need your help now to continue this work.
Working directly Senator Ron Caldwell, Arkansas BHA supports SB 358 which is currently under consideration in the Arkansas Senate. SB 358 is a “sunshine law” that would create a formal process for notifying the public and local stakeholders before any state agency or public university tries to sell land with a value over $500,000.
With SB 358 as the law of the land, the proposed sale of Pine Tree Research Station would have been public knowledge far in advance of a local hunter just stumbling onto the fact when he didn’t draw a permit to hunt there. This is commonsense legislation that provides transparency to all citizens of the state of Arkansas.
Please contact your state senator and representative and ask them to support SB 358. Follow this link to email your elected officials.
As work continues in the current legislative session, Arkansas BHA is also engaged with several key stakeholders to identify funding sources to purchase the property and keep it public forever. It’s not enough for us to say “no, you can’t sell it.” True to our word that Arkansas BHA is committed to finding a collaborative solution to the University of Arkansas’ need for funding for the Rice Research Center, we reached out to them to offer our assistance. Unfortunately, the University did not seem interested in working with us, choosing instead to place out of state buyers ahead of the citizens of Arkansas.
Arkansas BHA is committed to holding the buyers and the University accountable to their word that if another solution comes forward to keep the property public, the buyers will step aside. Arkansas BHA is committed to the hundreds of local residents who rely upon the Pine Tree property for hunting and fishing access, and we are committed to all the citizens of the state of Arkansas to preserve public access to a rare gem in the Delta region.
We need concerned citizens to demand that the University engage in good faith to put the citizens of the state of Arkansas ahead of out of state buyers. Arkansas BHA can and will formulate a solution which helps fund the Rice Research Center AND keeps Pine Tree Public.
Sign our petition here to tell the University that we want ALL of Pine Tree Research Station to remain open and accessible to the public.