Tag Archives: Arkansas

USACE employee uses childhood passion for lifelong career

As a young boy growing up on a 500 acre farm in central Arkansas, Seth Fisher, a natural resource specialist with Little Rock District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spent most his childhood playing endlessly outside or in the woods.

From climbing bluffs to crossing rivers his grandparent’s farm was an endless adventure at his fingertips.

“My mom wasn’t like most moms since she let me do my own thing,” Fisher said smiling. “Of course I didn’t tell her everything I was getting into.”

In the eyes of a young child climbing bluffs or wading in creeks was like hiking a mountain or crossing a river.

“I would run inside and tell her all the things I had seen,” he said with a laugh. “How I crossed three rivers…there was some stuff I’m sure I left out because if she knew she wouldn’t let me go exploring.”

After years of exploring woods and being surrounded by nature eventually Fisher was inspired in a natural resources careers.

“Being young and growing up outside in nature made me want a job doing the same type of stuff,” Fisher explained.  “I knew I wanted to be part of a program allowing me to use my passion, but I didn’t know where to begin.”

Lacking clear guidance or goals, Fisher graduated high school and spent his first years in college not knowing what he wanted to do.

Seth Fisher, natural resource specialist with Little Rock District U.S Army Corps of Engineers conducts a school tour with a group of local children from Heber Springs, Arkansas on October 27. Fisher is a new employee with the Little Rock District and used his passion of the outdoors for a career in natural resources. The central Arkansas native spend his childhood on his grandparents’ 500 acre farm and knew during his adolescents that he would later grow up and work in nature.
Seth Fisher, natural resource specialist with Little Rock District U.S Army Corps of Engineers conducts a school tour with a group of local children from Heber Springs, Arkansas on October 27. Fisher is a new employee with the Little Rock District and used his passion of the outdoors for a career in natural resources. The central Arkansas native spend his childhood on his grandparents’ 500 acre farm and knew during his adolescents that he would later grow up and work in nature.

“I knew I wanted to work in nature and with kids,” he said.  “So I decided on a degree in wildlife biology.”

Although a recent graduate, Fishers first job wasn’t with USACE.

“I spent about six years employed at another organization before getting hired with the Corps last year,” he said.

However even as a new Corps employee, the position meant sacrifices for the Arkansas native.

“Getting a position with USACE meant my family and I had to move away,” Fisher said. “I worked with Vicksburg District for a year before getting the position here.”

Once offered a position more locally, Fisher didn’t hesitate to be able to stay with USACE so he could be closer to home.

“Coming here to this district brought my family to our home roots,” he said. “I’m only a couple hours from my parents now.”

Being close to his childhood farm is important to Fisher who is a new dad.

“Being a new father and also a husband I wanted to be close to where I grew up,” he said. “When I was with Vicksburg District I worked in Mississippi and couldn’t go home every weekend like I can now.”

“We [USACE] do things with kids, help the visitor center, shoreline management, and food plots,” he said.

Yet the most rewarding part of being a natural resource specialist, he feels, is the involvement and interaction with kids.

Seth Fisher, natural resource specialist with Little Rock District U.S Army Corps of Engineers conducts a school tour with a group of local children from Heber Springs, Arkansas on October 27. Fisher is a new employee with the Little Rock District and used his passion of the outdoors for a career in natural resources. The central Arkansas native spend his childhood on his grandparents’ 500 acre farm and knew during his adolescents that he would later grow up and work in nature.
Seth Fisher, natural resource specialist with Little Rock District U.S Army Corps of Engineers conducts a school tour with a group of local children from Heber Springs, Arkansas on October 27. Fisher is a new employee with the Little Rock District and used his passion of the outdoors for a career in natural resources. The central Arkansas native spend his childhood on his grandparents’ 500 acre farm and knew during his adolescents that he would later grow up and work in nature.

“Working with kids is my favorite part of this job,” he said.  “Combined with being outside brings me back to my childhood days of exploring in the woods.”

While Fisher plays a vital role in keeping Greers Ferry running, his teammates keep Fisher encouraged.

”The people who work here are professional and do their job well,” he said.  “They inspire me be better at my job.”

Fisher emphasized further it’s the kids who truly promote USACE and the importance of outdoor recreation.

“The kids come out and see what the Corps does,” he said.  “It gets them out in nature and allows hands on learning.”

Seth Fisher, natural resource specialist with Little Rock District U.S Army Corps of Engineers conducts a school tour with a group of local children from Heber Springs, Arkansas on October 27. Fisher is a new employee with the Little Rock District and used his passion of the outdoors for a career in natural resources. The central Arkansas native spend his childhood on his grandparents’ 500 acre farm and knew during his adolescents that he would later grow up and work in nature.
Seth Fisher, natural resource specialist with Little Rock District U.S Army Corps of Engineers conducts a school tour with a group of local children from Heber Springs, Arkansas on October 27. Fisher is a new employee with the Little Rock District and used his passion of the outdoors for a career in natural resources. The central Arkansas native spend his childhood on his grandparents’ 500 acre farm and knew during his adolescents that he would later grow up and work in nature.

While kids are getting a hands on approach it also keeps them excited to come back.

“When they [children] come out here and have fun they look forward to next year’s field trips,” Fisher said.  “We’re paving the way for future generations to be involved and know about the Corps.”

Beaver Lake Celebrates Golden Anniversary

Anniversary celebrations are big events for most families as they spend months planning for their cherished day.   The details in planning and the excitement of the event was no different for the Beaver Project Office personnel and community partners as they prepared for and celebrated the 50th anniversary of Beaver Lake and Dam Oct. 6.

“I’m so proud of my staff and our community partners, Beaver Water District, Beaver Lake Foundation, and Beaver Watershed Alliance, for the time, effort and donations we received,” said the Corps’ Beaver Lake Operations Project Manager Sean Harper.  “This celebration would not have been as big of a success without them.”

And a success it was.

From politicians to local stakeholders, visitors to neighbors, current and former employees, more than 275 people gathered near the dam to roast and reminiscence about the lake and recognize it for all the benefits it provides to the region.

During Beaver powerhouse open house, Oct. 6, visitors looked at photos taken when the facility was under construction. Tours were conducted after the 50th anniversary celebration. The dam and powerhouse were completed in 1966 at the cost of about 46.2 million.
During Beaver powerhouse open house, Oct. 6, visitors looked at photos taken when the facility was under construction. Tours were conducted after the 50th anniversary celebration. The dam and powerhouse were completed in 1966 at the cost of about 46.2 million.

Each of the featured speakers highlighted the lake’s long list of accomplishments, from providing more than $106.1 million in flood risk reduction, producing enough renewable electricity yearly to power 700,000 homes.  The lake provides clean water to more than 500,000 people in the region which has allowed industry to prosper while hosting more than 2 million visitors a year to its 12 parks adding millions of dollars to the local tourism economy.

Little Rock District Commander Col. Robert Dixon, keynote speaker of the celebration, not only focused on how great the Beaver Lake and project was but highlighted people like Bobby Garner and Dale Graham.  The people who built the dam and powerhouse.

“Bobby Garner has been an integral part of everything we do as a Corps and represents the Corps of Engineers most valuable asset: the great people who live and work in our communities while serving their nation by building and taking care of its infrastructure,” said Dixon.

Colonel Robert Dixon (center) poses with Dale Graham (left) and Bobby Garner (right) after the golden anniversary celebration of Beaver Lake, Oct. 6. Both Graham and Garner worked on the construction of the facilities in the early 1960s.
Colonel Robert Dixon (center) poses with Dale Graham (left) and Bobby Garner (right) after the golden anniversary celebration of Beaver Lake, Oct. 6. Both Graham and Garner worked on the construction of the facilities in the early 1960s.

To each speaker, Beaver Lake had a special significance.

Rogers High School senior Audrey Klug, Beaver Lake 50th anniversary essay winner, may have summed it up best.

“Beaver Dam has had a huge impact on the State of Arkansas, not only has it helped prevent flood damage, therefore saving money and resources but it has also given Arkansan’ more new and exciting things to do,” said Klug. “So tons of families, including mine, are out on the lake having fun while the dam is still right there, producing electricity and clean water for hundreds of thousands of people state wide.”

All of the speakers and attendees agreed, Beaver Lake has provided so much to the growth of the northwest region of the state and they all look forward to its next 50 years.