War Eagle Creek Stream Barrier Removals
War Eagle Creek (WEC) is the largest tributary to Beaver Lake, drinking water source for 550,000 residents in Northwest Arkansas. Segments of WEC are listed on the 303(d) list for nonattainment due to turbidity and pathogens and twenty-seven Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) occur in WEC, including two federally protected species. A collaborative partnership between Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Beaver Watershed Alliance, landowners, nonprofits, state, local governments, and others are working together to remove four steam barriers, including a large dam, to reconnect 434 miles of stream on War Eagle Creek, restore approximately 7,200 linear feet of streambanks, create 4 acres of wetlands, install instream habitat structures, and reduce flood and safety hazards for residents, visitors, and counties. Efforts also include monitoring and providing community services such as conservation education, training, and sharing informative quantitative data on the benefits of dam removals in the central United States.
War Eagle Creek watershed is also under a USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) with $5 million in dedicated funding to landowners and producers in the watershed. Beaver Watershed Alliance is the lead partner and working with 15 partners to achieve goals through the RCPP, which runs from 2023-2027.
The project aims to restore habitat for target species, as well as provide beneficial outcomes for drinking water supplies, watershed function, wildlife, farming, and education.
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
Beaver Watershed Alliance
US Fish and Wildlife Service – Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program
US Fish and Wildlife Service – National Fish Passage Program
The Nature Conservancy
University of Central Arkansas
The Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment
Beaver Water District
The City of Huntsville
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services
Arkansas Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Division
Steve Womack, Arkansas District 3 U.S. Congress Representative
Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP)