The reroute at Little Rocky Creek was approved right before Thanksgiving so that construction will be the primary focus for the spring work session which is scheduled for March 26-April 2. We'll be camping at Tyler Bend, as usual, but will be following a pandemic protocol like we did for the Fall '20 work session. Whether you join us for a day, the weekend, or the whole week, there is a wide variety of work to be done so there's something for everyone. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information. Michael Reed, Buffalo River Trail Coordinator
The Ozark Society Foundation has selected the recipients of the 2020 OSF Youth Environmental Grants Program. The grants are awarded to organizations and schools that engage students in environmentalism and conservation projects. Priority was given to nonprofits who experienced an interruption to their revenue stream due to the pandemic. In 2020, the Youth Grants Programs awarded $10,000 in seven grants to regional programs in amounts ranging from $600-$2,000. The recipients include organizations and schools from urban and rural areas in Missouri and Arkansas: Learning with Iris, Acorn Elementary School, Mena, AR Students will build an iris garden at the 15-acre outdoor classroom. The iris garden will be used to teach life cycles, soil testing, reproduction, monarch migration, identify pollinators, graphing, art, and technology. Green Leadership Academy for Diverse Ecosystems (GLADE) Greater Ozarks Audubon Society, Springfield, MO. Students will attend a one-week environmental academy paired with year-round community improvement projects. Pineville Primary School Gardens, Pineville Primary School, Anderson, MO. Students will establish garden beds, bird feeders, a butterfly garden and plant trees to enhance environmental awareness among early childhood, special education, and primary classes. Butterfly Garden, Logan County “Old Jail” Museum, Paris, AR. Students will design, build, and maintain a butterfly [...]
Middle Fork of the Salmon River - July 29-August 3. 2021 OS Members can participate in a 100-mile trip down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho from July 29-August 3rd, 2021 with Aggipah River Trips. We have until January 1, 2021 to fill this 24-person trip, after which Aggipah will open the trip to others. For those riding with Aggipah the on-river cost is $2399 per person. For those riding in a private boat the on-river cost is $1686.50 per person. A 25% deposit ($600 or $422) is required before January 1st to hold the reservation. More information on the trip and the address to send your deposit is: Aggipah River Trips PO Box 425 Salmon, Idaho 83467 Bill Bernt www.aggipah.com 208-756-4167 email@example.com Feel free to contact Stewart Noland at 501-831-8809 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions as well since he plans to participate in the trip and will help coordinate off-river logistics such as pre-trip lodging and vehicle shuttles.
From President David Peterson: The Ozark Society wants everyone to stay strong and healthy and we recommend people follow all State and Federal guidelines for limiting contact at this time. Most of our group activities are being postponed for now but it is still okay for each of us to walk outdoors. In fact it is a great way to get exercise and boost your mood and maybe your immune system!
We are pleased to announce that the Schoolcraft Chapter in the Springfield Missouri area is renewing its mission and will be meeting soon. Here is an article by Andy Ostmeyer from the Joplin Globe on the details: Andy Ostmeyer: Battles with CAFOs spark new interest in Ozark Society Battles with CAFOs spark new interest in Ozark Society A fight over a large hog farm on a tributary of the Buffalo River in Arkansas has become a catalyst for a new round of conservation action, including in the Ozark Society. Sixty years ago, efforts to protect the Buffalo River in Arkansas launched the Ozark Society, which led the fight to save the river. A more recent fight to protect the river has sparked new interest in the Ozark Society. A dormant chapter of the Ozark Society in southern Missouri is being revived. It’s a good sign for Ozark rivers and our public lands. This timing is no coincidence, either, but the latest proof of a pattern that repeats throughout the Ozarks as surely as our rhythm of hill and hollow. I’ve seen it happen time and again: Residents, busy with their lives and trusting politicians and regulators to protect their water, air, [...]
Tom McClure gave a rousing keynote address on the value of wilderness at the fall meeting of the Ozark Society at Queen Wilhelmina State Park. Tom, a native of Gurdon who now lives in Rogers, has been involved in preservation issues around the country for most of his life. He traced the wilderness ethic through Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, and others with pithy statements and observations and then brought the issue back to Arkansas. Most of the current wilderness areas in Arkansas (about 1% of the area) were established in the early 1980’s with one recent 640-acre addition last year at Flatside. But there may be as many possible wilderness areas that might have qualified for inclusion but were deleted for various reasons in the ultimate legislative actions. A good example is the Blue Hole, a special interest area on Hurricane Creek. Hurricane Creek is in the watershed just south of East Fork Wilderness, some 15 miles north of I-40 near Hector. It is protected by the steep sides of White Oak Mountain and a narrow canyon where it joins the East Fork of Illinois Bayou. Blue Hole is a swimmable pool just below two wonderful 10-foot waterfalls. It has a [...]
Compton Gardens in Bentonville was the setting once again, on August 10 this year, for what has become an annual public event, since 2012, to commemorate the August 1 birthday of Dr. Neil Compton, founder of the Ozark Society. This year an invitation-only breakfast for 90 people from the Compton family and close friends, Compton Gardens board members and supporters, and Ozark Society officers was followed by the opening of exhibits on the grounds of Compton Gardens. Some 25 local environmental groups, museums, and vendors had displays and goods for sale in conjunction with Arkansas and the Ozarks outdoors. Nearly 15 volunteers staffed the Ozark Society’s three tables throughout the morning, and Fred Paillet, Steve Stephenson, and Ken Smith were on hand to sign their books. Compton Gardens provided birthday cake and ice cream for the several hundred pedestrians who moseyed on through after stopping at the Saturday Bentonville Farmers’ Market nearby. One highlight of the morning was the dedication of a new neon entrance sign to Compton Gardens, with remarks offered by the artist, Todd Sanders. Many members of Dr. Compton’s family and close friends were able to attend the dedication, including Dr. Compton’s two daughters, Ellen and Edra, [...]
This is the eighth in a series of my adventure to visit as many of the fifty US states' highest points. Last time we looked at the odds and ends of high points I picked up as I went by. This time it's a trip I took in September of 2018 to visit 7 New England states: Rhode Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New York and Maine. This was a very aggressive schedule, trying to get all 7 of these states in one 12 -day trip. The number of hikes that would require all day walking, the driving, scheduled stopping spots and weather all pushed me on this journey. It all started on Saturday September 22, 2018 when I flew to Providence, Rhode Island. Rhode Island This was my first time in Rhode Island. I would explore it more when I came back to fly home. I left my hotel and drove about an hour to the west center of this small state. Just off Rhode Island Hwy. 101, near Foster is Jerimoth Hill, 810 feet above sea level. You park at a sign on the roadside and walk about a quarter mile to the marker in a patch [...]
Before there was Saturday Night Live there were the Farkleberry Follies. Founded in 1967, this performance convened every other year was a time when a collection of Arkansas journalists conducted skits to spoof state politics in general, and Governor Orval Faubus in particular. In a recent editorial, Rex Nelson reported that the main objective of the show was to “skewer the inflated egos of the political class.” The show got its name from an editorial by local cartoonist George Fisher who poked fun at the governor over a folksy meeting where Faubus had lectured a brush-clearing highway crew about the native species of shrubs in our region. One of the most obscure of these was the tree blueberry or farkleberry (Vaccinium arboretum) with its amusing name. There is a direct Ozark Society connection here because the family of current Ozark Society President, David Peterson, received one of the prized farkleberry awards bestowed from the hands of Dale Bumpers some 30 years ago on behalf of a folk music group founded by Fisher in Pulaski County. The shrub itself is especially common in the Ozarks and Ouachitas where it is found growing on the edges of cliffs and around rock ledges. [...]
The last piglet at C&H was weened a couple of weeks ago and all hogs are due to be gone by January 2020. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will then proceed with the closure and remediation of the waste lagoons. The next step, making the temporary moratorium on medium and large swine CAFO’s permanent, was put on hold at the October 25, 2019 meeting of the Arkansas Pollution, Control & Ecology Commission (APC&E) when they unexpectedly voted to extend the comment period 90 days. The reason for the extension was the publication of the Big Creek Research and Extension Team's (BCRET) final report. The new deadline is now January 22, 2020. Although the initial 400 positive comments (out of 402) will be counted this time, we ask that Ozark Society members add additional comments in support of the DEQ rule change. Electronic submission: http://water.adeq.commentinput.com/?id=6pAef. The 300+ page BCRET report, available at the BCRET website, is highly technical but with readable summaries. While opponents of the moratorium will latch onto the phrase that C&H has had a “limited impact” on the Buffalo River, there is strong evidence that the Big Creek watershed has been contaminated with excess nutrients. This includes [...]