Operation of Albert Pike Area Under Review

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September 12, 2012 by   - () 2 Comments

National Forest managers are proposing to make changes in the long-term management and use of the Albert Pike Recreation Area in Montgomery County, Ark. Public involvement in the proposed changes is essential, according to a U.S. Forest Service release.

The area has been under close scrutiny since 20 campers died in a flash flood there in June 2010.

“We have initiated scoping under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which means we want to hear from the public regarding what we are proposing, any concerns or comments about the proposal and any alternatives to what we are proposing,” stated Gloria Chrismer, district ranger for the Caddo-Womble Ranger District. “We look forward to having a productive dialogue with members of the public as we move forward with planning for the future of Albert Pike Recreation Area.”

The Forest Service proposal is as follows at Albert Pike:

  • Overnight use below the 100-year flood elevation would not be permitted anywhere in the Albert Pike Recreation Area.
  • Loop A: Reroute the access road to improve pedestrian safety (maintain as day use only).
  • Loop B: Day use only.
  • Loop C: Day Use Only. New interpretive signs to reflect day use only would be installed; the bathhouse will be “closed until long-term needs are determined.
  • Loop D: Decommission (remove all remaining structures and facilities except gate and road to the river; day use only).

The Proposed Action for the long-term future of Albert Pike is based on new information and changed circumstances, including these three major factors:

  • The Forest Service now has better data on the flood susceptibility of the traditional campground loops.
  • After a thorough review, the Forest Service has concluded that flood warning systems are not a viable approach to alleviate the risk of flash flooding.
  • It is reasonable to conclude that day-time recreation poses a much lower risk from flash flooding than overnight camping.

“I invite the public to participate in this project. Until a final decision is made, the Proposed Action is just that — a proposal,” stated Chrismer. “Comments submitted will help forest managers identify additional issues, and these will be used to formulate alternatives to this proposal.”

Interested citizens are encouraged to respond to the proposal and to suggest reasonable alternatives. Please submit comments to: Ouachita National Forest, Albert Pike Project, P.O. Box 1270, Hot Springs, Arkansas 71902 or email Please specify that your comments concern “Albert Pike” or “APRA.

To obtain a copy of the proposal or to be added to the Albert Pike Recreation Area Project mail list, contact Caroline Mitchell at (501) 321-5318 or via email at For additional information, log on to or call (501) 321-5202.

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2 Responses to “Operation of Albert Pike Area Under Review”

  1. Leacho Tittle on September 12th, 2012 8:20 am

    What about the private proptery lease lots. Are you going to make them move.

  2. Mike Locke on June 10th, 2016 11:55 am

    it was a terrible thing that happened to those people. I hate that. But on the other hand, I have been camping in that area since I was a little boy.
    Common sense.. you are camping in the wilderness. check the weather before you go to a location like this.. I think its a shame to shut down this area and not allow camping. if proper warning signs are in sight about the possible flood zone then people need to read it and understand the chances they will take to camp there. what a waste it is to keep this area from the public which in reality own it. Common sense.

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