(a) The General Assembly finds that:
(1) Unpaved roads in the state are the transportation backbone for rural communities and for many economic sectors in Arkansas, including timber, agriculture, ranching, and energy;
(2) Unpaved roads provide access to the public to hunting, fishing, boating, hiking, and other recreational and tourist activities;
(3) Public access is vital to the economy, tourism, and public enjoyment of natural resources in the state; and
(4) The erosion of unpaved roads can have negative effects on the state's economy, tourism, and natural resources.
(b) The General Assembly intends to support the creation of the Arkansas Unpaved Roads Program, which will:
(1) Combine the resources of public and private organizations;
(2) Provide incentives for the maintenance of select low-volume, unpaved public roads maintained by counties in Arkansas for the purpose of maintaining and improving the health of the state's economy and natural resources;
(3) Use a public-private partnership arrangement to assist counties in funding unpaved road projects; and
(4) Provide funding for demonstration, training, promotion, and use of best management practices in construction and maintenance of rural unpaved roads adjacent to or near lakes, rivers, or streams.
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