- Natural Background Visibility
- Water Quality
- Floral Diversity
- AQRV Type VISIBILITY
- AQRV Type WATER
- Pollutant Exposure Concern Thresholds
- General Information
Caney Creek Wilderness is a 14,433 acre area of secluded forest environment located in southwest Arkansas. The area is characterized by clear streams which flow year-round, picturesque rock outcroppings and sharp ridges that afford outstanding panoramic views. Elevations vary from 1065 to 2330 feet.
Air Quality Related Values
Caney Creek is unique in that it is the first mountain range north of the coastal plains in southwest Arkansas.
The visual resource is characterized by cool, clear running streams over rock outcrops creating a continuous series of small pools and waterfalls. Like most of the Ouachita landscape character, Caney has continuous vegetative cover.
During leaf-off periods, panoramic views are exposed to the viewer into middleground and background zones overlooking adjacent ridges and creek bottoms from Porter Mountain.
Past human activities between Porter Mountain and between Sugar Creek and the first ridge south of it show some evidence of logging trails, timber harvest and some mining activity. These areas generally do not have the near pristine quality as the area between the first ridge south of Sugar Creek and Porter Mountain.
The wilderness user who is hiking the Caney Creek Trail has primarily a close-up view of the area. The dense vegetative cover and highly diversified species provide a detailed and canopied view in foreground and middleground zones. The major unnamed tributary to Caney Creek has an outstanding waterfall about one quarter mile above its headwaters. There are also many opportunities for passers-by to view the wilderness from the outside, especially from FDR 3802 and Tall Peak Tower.
|Natural Background Visibility|
|Site Specific Rayleigh scattering coefficient:||Clearest 20% Natural||Clearest 20% 2000-2004 Baseline||Haziest 20% Natural||Haziest 20% 2000-2004 Baseline||Average Annual Natural||Annual Average 2000-2004 Baseline|
|Standard Visual Range (km)||274||131||127||28||192||59|
|Haze Index (dv)||4.23||11.24||11.58||26.36||7.62||19.13|
The quality of the water in Caney Creek is one of the outstanding aesthetic features of the Caney Creek Wilderness. This area receives the highest rainfall amounts in Arkansas. This provides an abundance of stream and spring flow not found in other parts of the Ouachita Mountains. Stream flow is common even in the uppermost reaches of the drainages. Numerous springs are found as high as 1800-2000 feet of elevation.
The pure, clear mountain streams cascading down the steep rocky drainages, and a 20-foot waterfall, are distinctive attributes of the area. These streams, after they join in the lower reaches of Caney and Short Creeks, support the sport fishery. Caney and Short Creeks are major tributaries of the Upper Cossatot River, famous for smallmouth bass fishing. The public's desire for the water to remain uncontaminated and unchanged by modern society was a compelling force for wilderness designation.
The extensively folded geology of east-west trending ridges in the area, abundant rainfall and the presence of the novaculite uplift, make Caney Creek Wilderness unique. The dry wind-blown south slopes are characterized by short leaf pine and xeric plant types with occasional cactus species representing southwest species. The moist and cooler north slopes are stocked with oak-hickory forest. Disjuncts from the Appalachian mixed mesophytic forests (basswood, sugar maple, beech) are found in the north facing coves. Southern bottomlands species (cucumber magnolia, sweetgum), have infiltrated into the lower stream valleys which are tributary to south flowing Cossatot River. The wilderness is noted for the variety of mosses, lichens and ferns found there. An intensive botanical survey is not available for this area. Twenty-nine Potential Endangered, Threatened or Sensitive species (PETS) have been identified in close proximity on similar sites. Visitors encounter constant floral variety as they traverse from ridgetop to bottom, changing slop position and aspect. Species richness is an attribute of this area which contributed to wilderness designation.
Resource Concern Thresholds
|AQRV Type: VISIBILITY|
|Sensitive Receptor||Sensitive Receptor Indicator||Thresholds|
|Natural Visibility||Light Extinction||In specific Class I areas to maintain consistency with Regional Haze implementation plans or BART, the visibility threshold for concern is not exceeded if the 98th percentile change in light extinction is <5% for each year modeled, when compared to the 20% best natural background values.|
|Natural Visibility||Light Extinction||For sources generally further than 50 km from a Class I area, the visibility threshold for concern is not exceeded if the 98th percentile change in light extinction is <5% for each year modeled, when compared to the annual average natural condition value for that Class I area.|
|Plume Blight||Absolute Contrast||Screening Analysis: For near field sources (within 50 km of a Class I area), no additional analysis will be requested if screening analysis of a new or modified source can demonstrate that its emissions will not cause a plume with hourly estimates of DeltaE (color difference index) greater than or equal to 2.0 or the absolute value of the contrast greater than or equal to 0.05 when modeled against natural conditions.|
|Plume Blight||Absolute Contrast||Refined Analysis: No further analysis will likely be requested if a new or modified source can show that impacts from a new or modified source will stay with the threshold of DeltaE <1.0 and |C| <0.02 modeled against natural conditions.|
|Plume Blight||Color Difference Index||Screening Analysis: For near field sources (within 50 km of a Class I area), no additional analysis will be requested If screening analysis of a new or modified source can demonstrate that its emissions will not cause a plume with hourly estimates of DeltaE (color difference index) greater than or equal to 2.0 or the absolute value of the contrast greater than or equal to 0.05 when modeled against natural conditions.|
|Plume Blight||Color Difference Index||Refined Analysis: No further analysis will likely be requested if a new or modified source can show that impacts from a new or modified source will stay with the threshold of DeltaE <1.0 and |C| <0.02 when modeled against natural conditions.|
|AQRV Type: WATER|
|Sensitive Receptor||Sensitive Receptor Indicator||Thresholds|
|Perennial Streams||Acid Neutralizing Capacity||In perennial streams, no more than 0.1 microequivalent/liter measurable decrease in acid neutralizaing capacity is acceptable|
|Perennial Streams||Chronic Acid Neutralizing Capacity||To maintain healthy biological functioning in perennial streams, the chronic acid neutralizing capacity must be >= 25 ueq/l.|
|Perennial Streams||Chronic pH||To maintain healthy biological functioning, the chronic pH of perennial streams must be >= 6.0.|
|Perennial Streams||Episodic Acid Neutralizing Capacity||To maintain healthy biological functioning in perennial streams, the episodic acid neutralizing capacity must be >= 0 ueq/l.|
|Perennial Streams||Episodic pH||To maintain healthy biological functioning, the episodic pH of perennial streams must be >= 5.5.|
|Perennial Streams||pH||In perennial streams, no more than 0.1 measurable decrease in pH is acceptable|
|Pollutant Exposure Concern Thresholds|
|Pollutant Exposures||Level Name||Thresholds|
|Nitrogen||DEPOSITION||Nitrogen deposition may be expected to cause cation leaching in soils when N levels are greater than 12 kg/ha/yr. Below 5 kg/ha/yr, negative effects to soil and vegetation are not expected|
|Nitrogen||EXCEEDANCE||The Deposition Analysis Threshold for nitrogen deposition below which estimated impacts from a source are considered negligible is 0.010. kilograms/hectare/year.|
|Ozone||W126||Biomass reduction of ozone sensitive species may occur when the W126 ozone metric (for April-September) is ≥ 14.5 ppm-hours. This should be evaluated in conjunction with the N100 value.|
|Ozone||N100||Biomass reduction of ozone sensitive species may occur when the number of hours from APRIL-SEPTEMBER with an ozone concentration greater than or equal to 0.100ppm equals or exceeds 4. This should be evaluated in conjunction with the W126 value.|
|Sulfur||DEPOSITION||Sulfur deposition may be expected to cause cation leaching and increased aluminum toxicity in soils when levels are greater than 20 kg/ha/yr. At 5 kg/ha/yr or below, sulfur negative effects to soil and vegetation are not expected.|
|Sulfur||EXCEEDANCE||The Deposition Analysis Threshold for sulfur deposition below which estimated impacts from a source are considered negligible is 0.010 kg/ha/yr.|
|Forest Service Administrative Unit(s):||Southern Region (Region 8) -- Ouachita National Forest|
|Elevation Range:||1,240 - 2,340 feet|
|Detailed wilderness information:||https://www.wilderness.net|
|GIS Map/Official Boundary:||https://www.wilderness.net/NWPS/|