Changes to how the Army Corps of Engineers manages Bull Shoals Lake are underway as it revises the shoreline management plan.
The first of four public meetings about the plan was held Monday night in Theodosia. Many people in attendance live along the lake and asked that the Corps continues to manage the lake in a way that does not allow for it to be overly developed.
“The wildlife outnumbers the people. There’s something really good about that,” Don Smiley said.
The shoreline management plan hasn’t been formally changed in about 18 years and Army Corps of Engineers still doens't plan to change much.
“A lot of the elements of this plan are staying the same,” Operations Project Manager Mark Case said.
"We want people to know that if they've got shoreline use permits that they are valid.They will need to renew them as they expire but we are not taking anything alway,” Project Manager Dana Coburn said.
The proposal reviewed at the meeting is one of three options. The Army Corps of Engineers considers it the preferred plan. Under the draft, changes would include rezoning an additional about 1.6 miles of shoreline to allow for docks, reducing nearly 90 miles of public recreation area lands, and raising the conservation pool.
"We legally mandaded a lake level change. we went from 654 msl as the normal pool to 659,” Case said.
While most people are happy the draft itself, they did bring up other concerns, like the fact that they can't make changes to their docks until the two and a half year planning process for this revision is complete.
The Corps says they want to hear all the comments and concerns before this plan is completed in the fall.
"We need to know what the customer is looking for. when they have desires that fit within is it legal, is it ethical, is it sustainable, then we fit those in to these plans,” Case said.
The other three meetings will take place at the following dates and times:
Tuesday, February 27th 5-7 p.m.
Arkansas State Sheid Center
1600 S College Street
Mountain Home, AR 72653
Wednesday, February 28th 5-7 p.m.
Quality Inn Convention Center
1210 US 62/65 N
Harrison, AR 72601
Thursday, March 1st 5-7PM
Forsyth Public School Cafeteria
178 Panther Rd
Forsyth, MO 65653
To read more about the shoreline management plan or to provide your public input, visit www.swl.usace.army.mil