Buffalo National River now closed to visitors in an effort to slow spread of COVID-19

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According to a statement on its website, Buffalo National River will be closed, effective immediately, to recreational use until further notice. This closure includes the Buffalo River, trails, open spaces, and campgrounds.

This emergency closure is for the maintenance of public health and safety and is in direct response to guidance from state and federal health officials, the statement read. The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, communities, and partners is our number one priority. The National Park Service (NPS) is working service-wide with federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and will lift the closure as soon as possible.

“It breaks my heart to have to close this incredible public park. It is, however, the right thing to do to protect the people that work here, live here, visit here, and love this place,” said Mark Foust, superintendent for the Buffalo National River. “We all have to do what we can to slow and prevent the spread of the virus in and around the park. We believe this will help. I am thankful to the people of Newton, Searcy, Marion, and Baxter counties who share the river with us and support visitors from all over the country and the world. I look forward to the time we can all welcome visitors back to the Buffalo, sharing the river and the experiences we all know to be good for our minds and bodies.”

State highways and county roads that run through Buffalo National River will remain accessible to through or residential traffic. Roads that enter and terminate within the park, are closed to all but residential traffic. We will notify the public when we can open the park and will provide updates on our website at www.nps.gov/buff and through social media channels.

The National Park Service encourages people to visit our website and take advantage of the many digital tools available to explore Buffalo National River. Updates about NPS operations will be posted on nps.gov/coronavirus.

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The new White River Now mobile app has started featuring regular COVID-19 updates and podcasts. In addition to the updates featured on the White River Now family of radio stations, the COVID-19 podcast section also features new interviews with Sen. James Sturch, Batesville Mayor Rick Elumbaugh, Stone County Judge Stacey Avey, and state Rep. Stu Smith. Download the free White River Now app today from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store, and keep up-to-date on all local and state coronavirus information and to listen to the streams of White River Now radio stations.

We also carry live feeds of Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s COVID-19’s briefings on-air, on White River Now’s Facebook page, and through the White River Now app on Arkansas 103.3 KWOZ.

File image of Buffalo National Park

Layout 1Get up-to-date local and regional news along with the latest sports and weather every weekday morning by listening to Gary B. on Ozark Newsline, broadcast from the First Community Bank Newsroom on Arkansas 103.3 KWOZWhite River Now updates are also aired weekday mornings on 93 KZLEOutlaw 106.5, and 99.5 Hits Now. Have a news tip or event to promote? Email White River Now at news@whiterivernow.comBe sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Add don’t forget to download the  White River Now mobile app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

 

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