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Arkansas Parks & Tourism - Army Corps to Open Campgrounds March 1

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Feb. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism , joined the Vicksburg District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today in announcing a plan to open all campgrounds at Lakes Ouachita, Greeson, and DeGray on March 1 with modified services including less frequent trash pick up, janitorial services and grass mowing

Campers, Visitors, Volunteers Can Directly Impact Campground Future

The plan provides opportunities for campers and visitors to have a direct impact on the future of the campgrounds by volunteering to supplement the modified services. Those interested in volunteering can go to http://www.mvk.usace.army.mil and click on Hot Topics: Arkansas Lakes Campgrounds or email LakeOuachita@usace.army.mil. Campers interested in visiting these campgrounds may make their reservation now through the National Recreation Reservation System (NRRS) website.

Public Safety Priority #1

As always, public safety will be the top priority. The Corps will monitor campgrounds to determine the success of the modified services and volunteerism. The monitoring will assess the quality of service vs. the quantity of open campgrounds (http://www.arkansas.com/outdoors/camping).

The Vicksburg District had cut back on campground schedules due to flat budgets and increasing costs for operation and maintenance of facilities. The 5 missions of the Vicksburg District at Lakes Ouachita, Greeson , and DeGray are to provide flood control, hydropower generation, recreation, environmental stewardship and water supply. The Corps has also made cut backs in an attempt to stretch funding to fulfill current missions to the maximum amount possible. Leasing is being considered to sustain future campground availability.

Congressional Concern Expressed

These latest efforts came as a result of concerns by local businesses, congressional, state and local officials for the economies of the surrounding areas. Participants expressing concern included Senator Blanche Lincoln, Senator Mark Pryor, Congressman Mike Ross, Governor Mike Beebe, the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and concessions on the lakes, Lake Ouachita Citizens Focus Committee and the Arkansas Hospitality Association.

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