WHO WE ARE
· In May of 2015, 45 stakeholders from Arkansas’s forestry and drinking water sectors convened on Petit Jean Mountain at the first-ever Arkansas Forests and Drinking Water Forum. This forum was held to explore the common interests of the two sectors, develop a deeper learning about the issues faced by each, to build networks of professionals, and to initiate communication and cooperation.
· The outcome of the forum was the discovery that the two sectors could benefit from collaboration and a commitment to continue the dialogue. In 2016, the Arkansas Forests and Drinking Water Steering Committee was formed to steer the improvement of communication and cooperation between the sectors and to initiate collaborative projects.
· The Collaborative is a component of the Southeastern Partnership for Forests and Water, a cooperative effort of the Southeast Region of the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service (U.S. Forest Service) and the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment).
· Current funding for the Arkansas Collaborative is through a Landscape Scale Restoration Grant from the U.S. Forest Service. This grant is part of a five-state effort including Arkansas, Texas, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina.
WHAT WE DO
· Facilitate conservation and better management of forested watersheds within Arkansas to protect sources of public water supply through improved understanding and communication between the forest and water sectors.
· Support and strengthen communication between the forest and water sectors,
· Increase collaboration between the forest and water sectors
· Facilitate development of local projects/programs