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So far The Ozark Society has created 37 blog entries.
6 12, 2022

Climate Change Hits Donkey Hard

By |2022-12-06T11:05:44-06:00December 6th, 2022|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Winter 2022|Tags: |

By Jennifer Ailor, OS Climate Change Committee Chair and Roscoe’s Mom Hi, I’m Roscoe, a rascal of a donkey living in the Ozarks. Mom asked me to honk a few words about how hard it’s become to find hay and pasture for me and my buddies, Josie, my sweet donkey friend; Fat Abby, the mule; and Sierra, the old mare who heads up the herd. In the winter, we’re burdened by the presence of Rosie, a fast-talking, greedy fox trotter who’s taking some R&R from riding trails. This is the real Roscoe!        This summer was so dang hot and dry even for us hardy donkeys. Why, Mom had to settle for hay not as tasty as last year’s and short of what she’ll need for us equines to eat this winter. We went for 60 days without a drop of rain, and the pasture was so dry even the buckbrush wasn’t fit to eat. It’s been hot and dry in the Ozarks before—I well remember the summer of 2012—but this climate change is bringing on the heat and dry a good month early and lasting longer. My eating is suffering! I know the horse and cows [...]

6 12, 2022

Highpoints Part 13

By |2022-12-06T11:02:31-06:00December 6th, 2022|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Winter 2022|Tags: |

By Steve Heye, Pulaski Chapter Outings Chair California      In early 2020, I had organized a backpacking trip in the California Sierras that would include a day hike to the top of Mt. Whitney. Seven other folks had signed on and I had permits in hand for the trip to take place in early July. Then, in March, Covid came on the scene. Though we could have gone, everyone agreed that we would pass on the trip.       Twenty twenty-one looked much better. I still had the same plan: walk from Onion Valley to the John Muir Trail and I got the permits, we recruited four others to join us and everything was a go this time. We arrived in late July and started the hike after some acclimatizing. The guys did the hike and they had a great time. Meanwhile, I had to turn around the first day, suffering from what would be diagnosed as Rocky Mt. Spotted Fever. Bummer, turned back again.        As New Year's 2022 rolled by, I wondered if I could do Whitney's summit, then finish at Whitney Portal.  I thought I was capable of doing this hike, so I [...]

6 12, 2022

News from Northwest Arkansas

By |2022-12-06T10:56:48-06:00December 6th, 2022|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Winter 2022|Tags: |

By Pattie Heitzman, Highlands and Sugar Creek Chapters      It started way back in the summer of 2021.  Lowell Collins asked for volunteers to form committee to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Buffalo National River, America’s first National River.  She asked, and they came.  A dedicated and enthusiastic group of people from both the Highlands and Sugar Creek Chapters met and brainstormed.  Out of those meetings came two subgroups.         The awesome leader of that first subgroup was Janet Parsch.  Under Janet’s leadership they formed a committee to plan a networking event.  The fruits of their labor culminated in a fabulous dinner and evening this past March.  It was a successful gathering represented by members of over 30 environmental organizations. It lit a flame to focus on environmental issues to benefit our natural state.        The second subgroup also aimed to network but went in a different direction.  The three members of that committee; Peggy Bulla, Jeff Montgomery, and myself, Pattie Heitzman, created over a series of meetings a Traveling Information and Display Booth.   Our mission was to educate and spread awareness of the Ozark Society, and to the Buffalo River’s [...]

6 12, 2022

How to Convince Climate Skeptics

By |2023-01-25T17:43:12-06:00December 6th, 2022|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Winter 2022|

By Fred Paillet, OS Education Chair      Climate change is a major environmental concern, and we can see its effect in a worldwide retreat of glaciers as in my illustration below.  But those glacier retreats occur in remote places or affect sea level in coastal locations while Ozark residents are primarily concerned with what is happening in their midcontinent location.  As a professional geophysicist deeply versed in climate science, I remain dismayed by the way the subject of Climate Change is most often presented.  First, because we mostly hear about a degree or two of temperature change as if that in itself is a physical calamity.  Then, the difficulty in believing that human activities discharging exhaust gases in scattered locations could possibly pollute the vast ocean of air above us.        The big problems inherent in climate change are related to extremes such as droughts and flood and not simple daily averages.  A topic you can easily google is found under the heading of “polar amplification” – a phenomenon that has important consequences for weather extremes.  This is the long substantiated (at least for climate experts) fact that an average global temperature change is not uniformly [...]

6 12, 2022

News from the Ozark Society Foundation

By |2022-12-06T10:47:35-06:00December 6th, 2022|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Winter 2022|Tags: |

By Marvin Schwartz, Ozark Society Foundation Chair The OSF Grant Committee has finished reviewing the proposals submitted for the 2022/23 Youth Engagement in Conservation grant cycle. The committee received 15 grant requests totaling $32,752.95. After reading the proposals, reviewing the budgets, and meeting via Zoom to debate the projects, we have decided to approve full or partial funding to 9 organizations for a grand total of $14,531.05. The selected youth grants for 2023 are listed. Please recognize Grant Committee chair Roslyn Imrie, OSF board member Susan Young, and the community members who assisted in this next year's program. Also, the Sassafras Award book is soon to be delivered to a printer. We are hopeful to announce the winner and have books for distribution early next year. Ozark Society Foundation Youth Grants 2023, Summary of Grant Awards: Arco Iris Earth Care Location: Newton County Arkansas Scope: 15 BIPOC students, 6th-12th grade Proposal Summary: Arco Iris Earth Care will work to reach BIPOC in rural parts of Arkansas. They will connect these students with nature through hikes and invasive plant removal projects. Amount Requested: The organization requested supplies such as flyers, snacks, and educational materials for their program as well as fuel and transportation [...]

6 12, 2022

In Memoriam: Dr. Sally Hubbard

By |2022-12-06T10:43:55-06:00December 6th, 2022|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Winter 2022|Tags: |

By Jennifer Ailor, Climate Change Committee Chair      The passing of Dr. Sally Hubbard—simply Sally as she preferred to be called—in July was an irreplaceable loss to the Schoolcraft Chapter and the greater Ozark Society. Throughout her career as a physician at the Missouri State University health clinic, she made her mark as a compassionate caregiver and an active supporter of Lady Bears basketball, other sports and causes.      But within Schoolcraft and the greater Ozark Society, anyone who “experienced” Sally knew she thrived on adventure and Nature’s challenges. The worse the rain or cold or mishap, the better the trip. She experienced all that and more on her first momentous river float in the 1970s; instead of saying “never again,” she asked, “when’s the next trip.” She went on to become a skilled river runner, and woe be you if you shared her canoe or raft and didn’t match her skills.      Sally became the business lynchpin of Schoolcraft, serving over the decades as secretary, treasurer, membership chair, newsletter editor and general organizer. Likewise, in the greater Ozark Society, she served at least 15 years as board secretary, as well as organizing and participating in [...]

6 12, 2022

Annual Membership Meeting at Lake Claiborne

By |2023-01-25T17:50:12-06:00December 6th, 2022|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Winter 2022|

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 [...]

6 09, 2022

Upcoming Election of Ozark Society Officers

By |2022-09-06T14:40:29-05:00September 6th, 2022|Categories: Fall 2022, Pack & Paddle|Tags: |

By Lucas Parsch, Ozark Society Vice President The fall meeting of the Ozark Society will take place at Lake Claiborne State Park in northwest Louisiana over the weekend (Fri-Sun) of October 21-23, 2022.  One important order of business at the membership meeting on October 22 will be the election of officers to the Ozark Society Board of Directors.  Positions up for election to a two-year term are:  President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, Conservation Chair, Education Chair, Community Engagement Chair, Communications/Membership Chair-Editor, and Archival Chair.  In addition, State Directors (i.e., board members at-large) for Arkansas, Louisiana, and Missouri will also be elected.  The Nominations Committee is seeking nominees and/or volunteers who are interested in serving on the Board of Directors by running for one of these important Ozark Society positions.  Interested persons should contact one of the following nominating committee members for more information: Alice Andrews:  alice209ok.@yahoo.com or 501-912-4597 Luke Parsch:  lparsch@uark.edu or 479-442-3817 Sandy Roerig:  sandra.roerig@lsuhs.edu or 318-686-9481 Brian Thompson: thompsonadd@gmail.com or 479-879-0688 A listing of current 2020-22 Ozark Society Board members can be found at https://www.ozarksociety.net/about-us/officers/   Duties of officers can be found in the Ozark Society Bylaws at http://www.ozarksociety.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/os-bylaws-9nov2019.pdf

6 09, 2022

Ozark Society Fall Meeting October 21st-23rd

By |2022-09-06T14:32:16-05:00September 6th, 2022|Categories: Fall 2022, Pack & Paddle|Tags: |

By Marian Howard and Sandy Roerig Now is the time to make plans to attend the Fall General Membership Meeting that will be held in-person this year.  YEA! The Bayou Chapter will host this get-together for all Ozark Society members at beautiful Lake Claiborne State Park, near Homer, Louisiana.  This is the same location as the 2018 Fall Meeting and we’re hoping that many members show up to enjoy fun activities and fellowship with other Ozark Society members. Attendance by all Ozark Society members is encouraged - this is the meeting where officers are elected for the next two years.  Some key officers are retiring this year, so putting new officers in place will allow the Ozark Society to thrive into the future.  Plus, it’s a chance to meet members in other chapters and renew longtime friendships with chapter members who you don’t see very often.  There will be a $10 per person registration fee which will include a Saturday morning ham, egg and biscuit breakfast and a commemorative bandana. Accommodations: The park offers 10 glamping sites – which are tents already set up on wooden platforms, plus 10 premium campsites, 67 improved campsites, 2 unimproved campsites and a [...]

6 09, 2022

My Personal Encounter with the Asa Gray Disjunct

By |2022-09-06T14:28:27-05:00September 6th, 2022|Categories: Fall 2022, Pack & Paddle|Tags: |

By Fred Paillet, Ozark Society Education Chair The title of this piece prompts several questions.  Who was Asa Gray, what is a disjunct, and why does he have one named after him?  How did I manage to encounter his disjunct and what made it so personal?  It all goes back to my earliest outdoor experiences in the woods of rural Connecticut.  I grew up in a family that spent a lot of time in the outdoors fishing, hunting and just plain enjoying the scenery.  When not actively out there, we were usually reading about the natural world in general, and especially the great north woods where my French-Canadian ancestors came from.  Those interests eventually blossomed into a career as a geoscientist with the expectation that such a life would lead me to a career of outdoor adventure.  And, so it did.  I was delighted to have a job based out of Colorado with the Rocky Mountains at my doorstep, with projects all over the mountain west and even in Hawaii.  But something was missing. This was apparent as I became used to the rather monotonous conifer forests of the American west and northern Canada.  Ranks of Engelmann spruce or [...]

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