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The National Park Service has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) after completing an Environmental Assessment (EA) of proposed county and state led efforts to reconstruct and repave the 1.8-mile section of Cave Mountain Road (Newton County Road 9560) that crosses Buffalo National River’s park boundaries. The National Park Service approves the implementation of the proposed action.
This proposed project is designed to reduce environmental impacts of the current road and improve access. It includes widening the identified 1.8-mile section of road, installing new culverts and resurfacing. The project is to be funded by the State of Arkansas with road work to be completed by the Newton County Roads Department. The creation and review of this project was a collaborative effort between Buffalo National River, Newton County, the Arkansas Department of Transportation and the Buffalo River Conservation Committee.
“Improvements to Cave Mountain Road are a great example of the partnerships and positive impact on water quality that Governor Hutchinson intended when the Buffalo River Conservation Committee was established,” said Wes Ward, Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture.
About the EA process and FONSI
The EA fully analyzed a “no action” alternative and a “proposed action” alternative. The proposed action was approved after careful analysis of resources and visitor impacts, consultation with eight affiliated tribes, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Arkansas Ecological Services Field Office, Arkansas State Historic Preservation Office and review of all public comments. The FONSI includes a report summarizing public comments and the NPS subject matter expert responses.
The EA and FONSI, including a complete outline of the planned improvements, can be reviewed at Parkplanning – Cave Mountain Road Improvements (nps.gov)