Missed Deadline Meanwhile, back at the majestic Buffalo National River, one of our state's brightest jewels for recreation and tourism. Kevin Cheri, superintendent of the Buffalo River National Park Service office at Harrison, in October sent a letter to Becky Keogh, the latest director of our state's Department of Environmental Quality (cough) asking that agency to place three tributaries of the Buffalo on its annual list of "impaired waterbodies." Such a designation falls under requirements cited in the federal Clean Water Act. Cheri's request included his agency's documentation of sustained fecal E. coli contamination in Mill Creek, as well as significantly low levels of dissolved oxygen in Bear Creek and Big Creek, the stream that flows alongside C&H Hog Farms at Mount Judea. Did our agency for preserving water quality, which allowed the hog factory to set up shop on the Buffalo watershed, agree with Cheri and include these three creeks with obvious environmental problems? Why, of course not. These streams won't even be considered for inclusion on the list until 2018. It seems folks at the Buffalo National River didn't make the March 31, 2015, deadline for inclusion in its latest list. And heaven forbid our state's official environmental watchdogs [...]
The Pulaski Chapter will be hosting the Spring General Membership Meeting the weekend of April 15 at Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center just outside Little Rock. The General Meeting will be Saturday and Sunday, with an OS Board Meeting held on Friday evening. Accommodations include camping, cabins and rooms, as well as an on-site cafeteria. We will have a Saturday night potluck, dutch oven cook-off, and swing dancing. Ferncliff has hiking and biking trails, small lakes for canoeing and kayaking, and there are other recreational opportunities nearby. Click here to download the registration form, with details about registering for lodging, camping and meals if desired . Important information: Please pre-register and pay for sleeping arrangements and cafeteria meals by the April 1 deadline so that Ferncliff can plan staffing and accomodations appropriately (see financial page of registration form.) The Ozark Society has reserved the north 40 acres of Ferncliff for our exclusive use, but there are lots of things to do at Ferncliff (swimming, canoeing, fishing, biking, hiking, etc., on site.) They have found that a $12 /person facilities fee is reasonable for all that is available-it is a good deal in order to encourage families and students, we have decided [...]
Below is a link to comments on the Draft FONSI and Final Environmental Assessment submitted on behalf of Buffalo River Watershed Alliance, Arkansas Canoe Club, National Parks Conservation Association, and Ozark Society. The Coalition's Earthjustice attorneys did a brilliant job of pulling together comments of all four groups. This is an educational document of value to understanding the problems encountered in our efforts to close or move the hog factory. Click on the link below to see the comments submitted on behalf of the Buffalo River Coalition: Final Comments on Draft FONSI final EA
Long-time Ozark Society member Dr. Paul Noland, father of Stewart Noland, has died. He was a professor at the University of Arkansas Dept. of Agriculture (retired). His memorial service will be Saturday, January 9, at 10 a.m., at Central United Methodist Church. The church is located at 6 West Dickson Street in Fayetteville. A reception will follow the service. The family requests, in lieu of flowers, donations to the Dr. Paul R. Noland Endowed Scholarship Fund, 1002 W. Maple Drive, Fayetteville, AR 72701. http://Click to see Dr. Noland's obituary
ATTENTION! Pulaski Chapter Ozark Society members AND all OS members! Please recall The Ozark Society lawsuit against the Ozark and St. Francis National Forests and the Bureau of Land Management because of their plan to drill and frac approximately 1,730 gas wells in the Ozark and St. Francis Forests. This case was filed about four years ago, and will be heard in Federal District Court tomorrow, November 10th at 1:00 PM. PLEASE BE THERE IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, SIMPLY TO SHOW THE COURT OUR INTEREST AND SUPPORT. Our attorneys, Ross Noland and Sam Ledbetter of the McMath Law Firm, will make their oral argument for a "summary judgment" to resolve the matter. The Federal District Court address is 600 West Capitol, downtown LR. 1:00 PM, Judge Moody's court. Cell phones are not permitted in the building, so please leave them in your vehicle. Please call Alice Andrews if you have questions. 501-219-4295.
Below is Mike Masterson’s column from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette regarding the October 23 “Celebrate the Buffalo” event in Fayetteville. Used by permission. […]
John Heuston, long-time Ozark Society member, leader, Communications Chair, and friend, has passed away. From his obituary: “…He was a tireless defender of Arkansas’ natural resources. During the fight to save the Buffalo River and make it the first national river in the U.S. from 1961 to 1972, he gave a voice to those working to protect the river and public notice to all in the scenic beauty and natural resource that would have been lost were the river to be dammed…An active outdoorsman his entire life, he wrote about the life he lived. He was a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America, the Ozark Society, Arkansas Bowhunters Association, the Heritage Hunting Club, the Arkansas Pioneers Association, and the Civil War Round Table of Arkansas.” Visitation will begin at 12:00 P.M., Saturday, September 26, 2015 at Roller-Chenal Funeral Home, 13801 Chenal Pkwy., Little Rock, (501) 224-8300. The funeral service will follow at 1:00 P.M. at the funeral home. Interment will be at Forest Hills Memorial Park in Alexander, Arkansas. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Ozark Society Foundation, 707 Pleasant Valley Drive # 10, Little Rock, AR 72227, or Alzheimer’s Arkansas, 201 Markham Center Drive, [...]
Go to the new OS Outings page to check out information regarding 2016 All-Society Outings, including another trip to the Grand Canyon!
The article below was published in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette on August 11, 2015. Reprinted by permission. The two federal agencies, ordered last December by a federal judge to assess potential environmental damages from the waste produced by C&H Hog Farms in the Buffalo National River watershed, have released their draft report. Their conclusion: All's hunky-dory above the river. So we can all relax, fall back asleep and quiet the unfounded concerns. Meanwhile, one geoscientist studying the potential contamination called their assessment "hogwash." This paper's Emily Walkenhorst reports that a complete assessment wasn't submitted with the original approval of Farm Credit Services' loan guarantees by the Small Business Administration and the USDA Farm Service Agency. The original assessment without nearly enough significant data to suit U.S. District Judge D. Price Marshall essentially found no potential problems, but in a lot fewer words. The new one finds no need for concern that the millions of gallons of hog waste being routinely spread six miles above the Buffalo might permanently contaminate the country's first national river, not even after an historic rainfall. Whew! I'm glad those agencies finally performed a supposedly "complete" assessment that ... drum roll, please ... happened to affirm their [...]
The Fall All Society Meeting will be held October 3-4, 2015 at the Crater of the Diamonds State Park near Murfreesboro, AR. LOCATION: Two miles southeast of Murfreesboro on Arkansas Highway 301.For further information on park hours and fees, contact: Crater of Diamonds State Park, 209 State Park Road, Murfreesboro, AR 71958. www.CraterofDiamondsStatePark.com . The telephone is (870) 285-3113, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Bayou Chapter will be hosting the event and are looking forward to seeing and meeting members from the other chapters. Charles Kirkland, a wilderness first responder, will present a session on wilderness first aid. Charles has worked all over the world in many different climates and activity setting providing wilderness medicine services to injured individuals. He has a wealth of knowledge regarding wilderness medicine. There will also be a silent auction from donated items from a member who has passed away (you are welcomed to donate items also) and the proceeds will go to the Ozark Society. There will have a potluck supper and a dutch oven desert cook off. On Sunday, there will be options for hiking in the park, diamond digging, and paddling (depending on the water level).