Stretching from near the center of Arkansas to southeast Oklahoma, the pristine Ouachita National Forest is the South's oldest national forest, created December 18, 1907 by President Theodore Roosevelt. Rich in history, the rugged Ouachita Mountains were first explored in 1541 by Hernando DeSoto's party of Spaniards. French explorers followed, flavoring the region with names like Fourche la Fave River. "Ouachita" is the French spelling of the Native American word "Washita" which means "good hunting grounds."
Comprising more than 1.8 million acres, the mountain scenery, tall pines, and many species and varieties of vegetation form a unique attraction for forest visitors.
Besides outdoor adventures, the forest provides timber and other forest products for the nation. The forest's ecosystem management policy guarantees both healthy land now and encourages careful use of the forest for the future.
Red Cockaded Woodpecker and Pine Bluestem Restoration