By Alice B. Andrews, Ozark Society Conservation Chair

There were at least 46 Ozark Society members in attendance at the annual membership meeting hosted by the Bayou Chapter at Lake Claiborne State Park, LA, October 21-23, and we all had a good time eating, hiking, boating, dancing and electing the new 2023-2025 board at the business meeting. 

        The nominating committee (Brian Thompson, Alice Andrews, Luke Parsch, and Sandy Roerig) presented their recommended slate and after introductions of current and future board members the membership voted in favor by acclamation.

     There is continuity and renewal on the new board: 5 new board members, Karen Pitts and Perry Hill (Louisiana State Directors), Laura Timby (Arkansas State Director), Tom McClure joins Alice Andrews as co-chair of Conservation, and Tim Mason is our new Vice President. 

     Tim has had an interesting life.  He grew up in the south Arkansas oil patch not far from El Dorado.  He rodeoed in college while studying agriculture, and worked as a corporate Environmental Specialist.  Tim is an avid long-distance hiker who has completed the Ouachita Trail and nearly all of the Ozark Highland’s Trail. This past summer, he completed the 486-mile Colorado Trail and envisions many additional hiking adventures.

     People in new positions are Brian Thompson as President and Lowell Collins replacing Brian in   Communication Engagement (e. g. Facebook).  Those staying the course are: Kay Ewart (Treasurer), Sandy Roerig (Secretary), Alice Andrews (Conservation), Carolyn Shearman (Membership/P&P), Fred Paillet (Education), Stewart Noland (Archives), Jennifer Ailor and Brenda Crites (Missouri State Directors) and Mary Schlatterer (Arkansas State Director).  All chapter chairs are also board members.

      After discussions of liability waivers and EV bikes on hiking trails, the general meeting concluded with a presentation by Brian from his book Save the Buffalo River Again, my slide show of The Effects of Climate Change on the Buffalo, and a well-deserved special recognition of Laura Timby for her many years of leadership of the Buffalo River Chapter.  She was presented with a beautiful painting of the Buffalo River at Red Bluff.   

     As President over the last 6 years, I have enjoyed the continuing support of a dedicated board of directors, thank you very much.  The same goes for the general membership.  As Past President I will continue working on wilderness protection and environmental public policy.