WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. French Hill (AR-02) introduced H.R. 3971, the Flatside Wilderness Additions Act, which will add an additional 2,215 U.S. Forest Service acres to the Flatside Wilderness area. In 2019, Flatside was initially expanded by over 600 acres under Hill’s original bill, H.R. 5636, the Flatside Wilderness Enhancement Act.
“Arkansans and visitors should enjoy the amazing landscape our great state has to offer. In 2019, my bill, the Flatside Wilderness Enhancement Act, added over 600 acres to Flatside Wilderness, known as Bethune Woods. In 2019, I also commissioned a study of all possible qualifying additions to Flatside.
“I am proud to introduce H.R. 3971, the Flatside Wilderness Additions Act, which will complete my work on the final expansion of Flatside Wilderness and add an additional 2,215 acres of existing forest service land to the area – bringing more opportunities for Arkansans and visitors to explore more of Arkansas’s natural qualities and further boost our state’s outdoor recreation economy.” 
Further Background:
H.R. 3971 - Flatside Wilderness Additions Act – This bill will designate an additional 2,215 acres to Flatside Wilderness. This area is a part of the Ouachita National Forest and is in Perry County, Arkansas, which is in the Second Congressional District. At the direction of Congress, this addition was thoroughly studied and evaluated by the U.S. Forest Service. They issued their report in May of 2021. This legislation is designed based on their analysis and findings.
This legislation has support from local and state agencies, as well as numerous outside organizations, including:
  • Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders
  • Perry County Judge Larry Blackmon
  • Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
  • Arkansas Parks and Tourism
  • Friends of the Ouachita Trail
  • The PEW Charitable Trusts
  • Southern Environmental Law Center
  • The Wilderness Society

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