b'rights-of-ways create various safety and management issues. There are areas where vegetation, such as a non-native species of Lespedeza, is growing through the highway and shoulder surfaces and encroaching into and along the edges of the pavement reducing its lifespan. Another invasive species includes Japanese stilt grass which seems to appear everywhere, Ewing noted.ARDOT proposed the use of herbicides to maintain infrastructure on National Forest lands. ARDOT has been maintaining road surfaces and infrastructure in this manner across the state.Several county judges have expressed interest in using herbicides to manage roadside vegetation as part of cooperative agreements for county roads on National Forest lands.The Forest Service believes by working together as a unified group the goal of con-trolling and eliminating these weeds along roadways will be efficiently met.Ewing noted ARDOT restricts spraying herbicides to 2 feet from each side of the highway. ARDOT uses aquatic, broad leaf and grass specified herbicides as well as others including one used to kill woody plants, she said.The chemicals include a surfactant that makes the substance adhere to the plant and a drift control agent to prevent it from spread-ing on to other plants.The project area has several streams listed as Extraordinary Resource Waters. They include Richland Creek, Hurricane Creek, Mulberry River, Big Piney Creek, Illinois Bayou, Lee Creek and Buffalo River. The US Army Corps of Engineers defines an ERW as a combination of the chemical, physical and biological characteristics of a waterbody and its watershed which is characterized bye scenic beauty, aesthetics, scientific values, broad scope recreation potential and intangi-ble social values.Ewing emphasize the Buffalo River watershed is excluded from the project, even though impacts from this project are not expected to contribute to degradation of the current water quality.The project also omits areas known for 598233zhaving karst geological properties. Most nota-bly, the Koen Experimental Forest near Jasper OPEN TUES - SAT, 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM; CLOSED SUN & MONwill not be included. 201 East CrandallHarrison (Corner of Bypass & E. Crandall)870-743-5513www.OzarksMag.com Spring 2021 | Ozarks Magazine | 41'