The Illinois River watershed has over 1,000 miles of streams and covers over 1 million acres in the Ozark Highlands region of western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. Karst features, such as sinkholes, spring-fed streams, and caves, are common across the region. The historical ecology included hardwood and pine forests, savannas, and tall grass prairies.
Today, most of the land use consists of agriculture and expanding urban/ residential areas. Poultry and cattle are the primary agricultural land uses; pastureland and hay fields being common. This region, like many across Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and the region depend on partnerships that improve water quality, wildlife habitat, and the productivity of private lands.