BRINKLEY - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service now has permits available for the managed access area where the Ivory-billed Woodpecker was spotted in 2004. The managed access area on the Cache River NWR was established to regulate public access in light of the recent rediscovery of the bird in the Big Woods of eastern Arkansas.
Currently, the managed access area affects only 5,000 of the existing 61,000 acres on the refuge. Daily access permits are now available and will be required for each individual sub-unit within the area on a first come basis.
The permits will be made equally available to consumptive users (anglers/hunters) and non-consumptive users (birdwatchers/nature observers). The number of daily access permits available per sub-unit will be as follows:
Sub-Unit A - 10 total permits (5 each) -- Bayou DeView area from Hwy 38 south to Hwy 17
Sub-Unit B - 6 total permits (3 each) -- Bayou DeView area from Hwy 17 south to Dagmar WMA
Sub-Unit C - 20 total permits (10 each) -- Robe Bayou/Dark Corner area north of Dagmar WMA
Sub-Unit D - 20 total permits (10 each) -- Bull Lake areaSub-Unit E - 20 total permits (10 each) -- SW Brinkley area south of Hwy 70
Permits are available free of charge and may be picked up at the Cache River NWR office (26320 Hwy 33 South of Augusta) Monday thru Friday from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm. Permits for Saturday - Monday will be available on the preceding Friday. A holiday schedule is in place for all federal holidays.
The daily access permits are non-transferable and must be picked up in person. A valid hunting or fishing license will be required to obtain a permit for consumptive use permits and the appropriate equipment must be possessed in the field. Consumptive use permits for hunting will only be valid during refuge open seasons and all permit holders must adhere to all applicable state, refuge and federal laws and regulations.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service personnel are not eligible for daily permits for Sub-units A and B. No guiding or commercial fishing will be allowed in the MAA. For more information contact the refuge at 870-347-2614.
Anglers and hunters (consumptive users) and all others (non-consumptive users) on or off the MAA are strongly encouraged to report Ivory-billed Woodpecker sightings to 1-800-843-2473 or by email at email@example.com.