By OS Climate Committee – Jennifer Ailor, chair, Steve Boss, Brian Thompson, Alice Andrews, and David Peterson
Climate Change is Here and Now
The science is undeniable. Climate change is real, and its impacts are all around us. While in the Ozarks may not see the rapid extremes taking place at the Poles, changes in our region are in play nevertheless. Accordingly, the Ozark Society, as a guardian of the Buffalo River ecosystem, has taken a position on climate change as it affects the national river and park and the greater Ozarks region in the Ozark Society’s respective states.
The Ozark Society urges all who float, fish, hike, ride, hunt, recreate and farm in the Buffalo River watershed to be aware of the scientific consensus about climate change. Citizens also should be mindful of potential climate change impacts on our beloved river and the greater Ozarks Plateau. Among the potential impacts of concern are changing weather patterns, including floods and droughts, that could affect regional hydrologic balance to:
- Change forest ecosystems
- Increase influence of non-native, invasive species
- Alter pollinator populations for area crops, pastures, gardens and wildflowers
- Increase erosion and wash out riverside campsites
- Increase nuisance algae blooms
- Create low-dissolved oxygen levels in the river, affecting fish populations and other aquatic creatures
- Alter public access to and enjoyment of the river
The Ozark Society respectfully requests greater investment in public stewardship of our national river, including more investment in continuous scientific monitoring of changing conditions and more public commitment to mitigating potential negative impacts of climate change across the Ozarks.
Potential Action Steps for Ozark Society Members & Chapters
- Educate yourself from reputable sources about climate change impacts
- Identify and support organizations working to mitigate and adapt to climate change in your area
- Encourage your local, state and federal representatives to support and fund research studies and actions to mitigate and adapt to changes
- Get involved in citizen science projects that help identify trends and build a base of scientific knowledge about species impacts
- Involve your children, grandchildren and local schools in climate change projects
The OS Climate Change Committee is Jennifer Ailor, Chair, Steve Boss, Brian Thompson, Alice Andrews, and David Peterson
Feel free to provide comment to David Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org and consider joining the Climate Committee.