Richardson Bottoms Wildlife Viewing Area

         

Richardson Bottoms is a 100-acre swamp that was flooded when beavers dammed a small creek.

Located in the Ouachita National Forest in both Garland and Montgomery counties in Arkansas, the bottoms have a unique combination of plants and standing water that provides opportunities for seeing wildlife not found in the more characteristic pine/hardwood forests nearby.
The marsh provides nurseries for waterfowl, wading birds and songbirds, a place for water dependent species such as turtles, frogs and salamanders, and an abundance of insects.
Commonly seen wildlife includes deer, beaver, wood ducks, mallards and turtles, plus (seasonally) songbirds such as scarlet tanagers, orioles, finches and indigo buntings.

Richardson Bottoms is approximately 25 miles west of the junction of Arkansas Highways 298 and 7, or approximately 5 miles east of the town of Story Arkansas on highway 298.

Directions from Story:
Travel east on Arkansas Highway 298 for 5.5 miles to Forest Service Road 37300 and the sign for Richardson Bottoms.
Turn right and follow signs 2.5 miles to the site.
Close to the north shore of Lake Ouachita on the Garland/Montgomery county line.

Richardson Bottoms location:
34.667151, -93.402646

Richardsons Bottoms close to Lake Ouachita

The area originally was a moist hardwood forest dominated by sweet gum and pin oak trees.
Weyerhaeuser Company logged the area in the early 1980s and replaced the trees with a loblolly pine plantation.

Beavers made use of the pine saplings and built a series of dams along a seasonal stream leading into Irons Fork Creek, creating 100 acre wetland.
The flooded land is now wet year-round and supports a suite of aquatic and wetland plant and animal species.

With the development of the marshland, the Ouachita National Forest saw an opportunity to protect a habitat known nowhere else in the Ouachita's. Richardson Bottoms was designated as a Wildlife Viewing Area and provides habitat for migrating wetland bird species.

Ref:
Vascular Plant Species Inventory ofRichardson Bottoms Wildlife Viewing Area
https://libinfo.uark.edu/aas/issues/2004v58/v58a20.pdf

 

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