Buffalo River

The prospect of increasing tourism at Withrow Springs State Park and in Huntsville is on the radar of the Natural State Advisory Council, a group appointed by Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders in January 2023 and tasked with growing the state’s outdoor economy.

FAYETTEVILLE, WEST VIRGINIA — New River Gorge became the nation’s second national river in 1978, its’ designation following the country’s first national river established in 1972: Arkansas’ Buffalo National River.

JASPER — After a town hall meeting last Thursday, proponents of turning public land around the Buffalo National River into a national park preserve said they would step back from the idea. The following day, a website touting the benefits of re-designating the land was taken down. 

JASPER — Nearly 1,200 people — more than double the town’s population — packed the Jasper High School Auditorium on Thursday night to voice concerns and pose questions regarding a proposal to turn the public lands around the Buffalo National River into the Buffalo River National Park Preserve.

The Runway Group of Bentonville is “retracting” the idea of turning federal land around the Buffalo National River into a national park preserve, according to State Sen. Bryan King, R-Green Forest, who represents District 28, which includes Madison County.

A coalition floating the idea of making federal lands near the Buffalo National River a national park preserve says the designation would make the area the “most active-use National Park in the country for outdoor recreation.”

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