Pack & Paddle

7 06, 2021

Conservation Crisis – Free Little Sugar Creek

By |2021-06-30T15:39:09-05:00June 7th, 2021|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Summer 2021|

The Friends of Little Sugar Creek and the Sugar Creek Chapter in Bentonville, AR are advocating for the removal of the Lake Bella Vista dam and the restoration of a free- flowing stream through this area of north Bentonville. The lake is formed by a 100- year-old, man-made dam on Little Sugar Creek. Cooper Realty Investments conveyed the property containing the dam in 2000 to the Bentonville/Bella Vista Trailblazers Association by limited warranty deed. The Trailblazers conveyed the property to Bentonville in 2006 by special warranty deed. The city then included Lake Bella Vista in its park system. The dam was first damaged during flooding in 2008. It was topped again by flooding in 2011, 2013 and December of 2015. After the flooding in 2008, the city planned to rebuild and improve the dam. At that time the Friends of Little Sugar Creek organized to advocate for the dam removal and restoration of the creek. FOLSC, the Ozark Society, other naturalist groups and residents at large asked the city to remove the dam and restore Little Sugar Creek to a free- flowing stream. Supporters of the stream called the dam an eyesore, a hazard and a liability to the city. [...]

7 06, 2021

Geological Wonders of the Ozarks in Southeastern Missouri

By |2021-06-30T15:39:58-05:00June 7th, 2021|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Summer 2021|

When we think of geologic wonders in the Ozarks, they are most often associated with karst features like springs and caverns, lofty crags along bluff lines, and the historic legacy of lead-zinc mining. However, geoscientists also marvel over the one truly extensive midwestern exposure of the ancient (we are talking billions of years) exposure of the underlying crystalline “basement” rocks one normally associates with the glacially scoured Canadian Shield. Compare the ages of these rocks that predate the existence of anything more complex than simple bacteria with the “mere” 300-million-year age of the rocks that line the Springfield Plateau. The extensive area of these ancient rocks comprise the St Francois Mountains of southeastern Missouri celebrated by exhibits you can see in several state parks. Two of these are of special interest for geologically minded visitors: Elephant Rocks and Johnson Shut-Ins. Nearby you can visit a Civil War battle site overlooked by the ancient rocks of Pilot Knob and the igneous rock glades surrounding the highest point in Missouri. Elephant Rocks State Park contains a pink granite dome that exhibits the classic form of exfoliation where convex layers of rock separate from the central core as the weight of overlying rock [...]

7 06, 2021

The Buffalo River Trail Update

By |2021-06-30T15:40:28-05:00June 7th, 2021|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Summer 2021|

We had good weather and a good turnout for the Spring '21 Buffalo River Trail work session. Our goal for the week was construction of 1/4 mile of new trail to complete the 28-mile segment east of US-65 that was started in 2005. The work site was near Little Rocky Creek, north of Marshall and between Red Bluff and South Maumee roads. The fun began Friday March 26 with 4 of us setting flags to mark the exact route and then clearing a corridor - raking away all organic matter to expose the soil in a 3- foot-wide path and then digging out all vegetation and small rocks to create a walkable path. This continued Saturday and Sunday with about 10 people. One of the notable features of this route is "The Ditch" where the trail would have to drop steeply 15-20' to cross a small creek below a waterfall and then climb steeply up the other side. It was apparent all along that a lot of stone steps would have to be constructed here and I wondered if we would even be able to finish within the week. A few of our more-experienced trail builders looked at it from [...]

7 06, 2021

Arkansas Extraordinary Resource Waters (ERW)

By |2021-06-30T15:41:25-05:00June 7th, 2021|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Summer 2021|

Living in Arkansas, we are blessed with an abundance of water which falls into different categories of water quality. We have not reviewed Extraordinary Resource Waters (ERWs) for several years, so hang on! ERW is a special use designation made by the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission (APC&E) to protect Arkansas’ most valuable water resources. About 16 % of Arkansas’ total stream miles have been designated as ERWs. The ERW designation gives the Arkansas Division of Environmental Quality the responsibility of providing extra protection to those waters. APC&E Regulation 2 defines ERWs as “This beneficial use is a combination of the chemical, physical and biological characteristics of a waterbody and its watershed which is characterized by scenic beauty, aesthetics, scientific values, broad scope recreation potential and intangible social values.” ERW designation provides extra stream protections: No significant physical alterations of in-stream habitat are allowed, including channelization of a significant portion of the stream bed or construction of a major impoundment. Bacteria concentrations must meet swimmable (primary contact) standards year-round. No commercial gravel mining is allowed below the ordinary high-water mark. All point-source (pipe) discharges must meet “advanced treatment” technology – a technically feasible, established treatment method already being met [...]

7 06, 2021

The Ozark Society Foundation Endowment

By |2021-06-30T15:41:52-05:00June 7th, 2021|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Summer 2021|

The recently established Ozark Society Foundation Endowment is a good opportunity for those of us who want to provide long term stable financial funding for conservation activities for the Ozark Society Foundation and the Ozark Society. The Endowment is managed by The Arkansas Community Foundation in Little Rock which manages over $400 million in assets for more than 2,000 funds. The Ozark Society Foundation Endowment establishes a pool of money which will pay yearly returns to the OSF for working capital while maintaining and increasing the initial investments for the long term. All contributions are fully tax deductible and there are additional special services that the Arkansas Community Foundation provides. The easiest way to contribute is ONLINE via credit or debit card. Go to www.arcf.org/give- online/?fund=Ozark+Society+Foundation+Endowment. Or you can send cash or a check in behalf of OSF Endowment to: Arkansas Community Foundation 5 Allied Drive, Suite 51110 Little Rock, AR, 72202 One special service Arkansas Community Foundation offers is assistance for Planned Giving, which can include stock, real estate, retirement and insurance distributions, crops/timber, or farmland. Chief Development Officer at ACF, Ashley Coldiron, at 501-372-1116, can handle the details for you. There may be tax benefits for giving through [...]

9 03, 2021

Enhancing your Ozark Experience with a Nature Journal

By |2021-03-09T14:29:37-06:00March 9th, 2021|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Spring 2021|Tags: |

For many of us the time we spend in the outdoors amounts to the best part of our busy lives. That has prompted me to invent ways to make those times remain with me as long as possible. One way to do that is by keeping a natural history journal. It could start with the very practical aspects of a small notebook with recorded dates such as the time when a favorite wildflower can be found in bloom in some secluded ravine, or the best date to see migrating raptors at your favorite mountain overlook. It is always useful to have such information available for future reference. My interest in nature journals started early during my days in New England where I enjoyed John Hay’s poetic calendar of the arrival of spring on Cape Cod (The Run). Then on to Thoreau’s famous journal while on sabbatical and exploring the woods around my rented home in areas adjacent to Walden Pond. I soon had my own personal copies of the Lewis and Clark journals while living in Montana, and then the Ozark and Ouachita journals of Schoolcraft and Nuttall after arriving in Arkansas. All of these serve as useful examples of [...]

9 03, 2021

Ozark Society Foundation News

By |2021-03-09T14:29:57-06:00March 9th, 2021|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Spring 2021|Tags: |

The second printing of Ozark Forest Forensics is completed. Published in 2019 and co-authored by Fred Paillet and Steve Stephenson, the book is once again available through our store. The authors are planning public programs for the book later this year. A second printing of “Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of Arkansas” is in process. The new field guide has had very strong sales and high public recognition, including citations from the Arkansas Senate and House of Representatives. The book also reached the top of an Amazon list, noted as the #1-selling new book in the nation in Botany. OSF will launch the Sassafras Award for Excellence in Environmental Writing next month. The award will be given to a literary work that addresses conservation issues in the areas where OS/OSF operates. The winner will be announced in early 2022. Finalist judge for the award is Davis McCombs, director of the University of Arkansas Creative Writing Program and a former park ranger at Mammoth Cave National Park. In addition, the Foundation Endowment Fund has been established with the Arkansas Community Foundation. And new activity is underway in the mammoth effort to digitize all OSF files from past and current projects and [...]

9 03, 2021

Update from the Conservation Desk

By |2021-03-09T14:30:13-06:00March 9th, 2021|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Spring 2021|Tags: |

Remembrance of Steve Wilson: Steve Wilson passed away February 21 in New Mexico.  He was a Norfork, AR resident for several years after his retirement from Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.  Steve served as Director of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission for 21 years, shaping it into the organization it is today.  He was a very active member of the Ozark Society and was President of the OS, 1976-1978.  Steve and his wife Jo and their children hiked and paddled as often as possible, good or bad weather. Steve was a born leader as evidenced by the following career successes: He was District Wildlife Biologist for Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, 1968-1969, Senior Environmental Scientist for the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department 1972-1974, Assistant Chief of Highway and Transportation Dept. 1974-1979, Chief of AHTD's Environmental Division in 1979, Director of Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in 1979.   During his tenure at AG & F, he established the elk herd in the Buffalo River corridor, stocking 112 elk from Colorado from 1981 to 1985.  Then there is fishing! During Steve's term Arkansas developed into our country’s most popular destination to fish for trophy brown trout; Arkansas also became the inland [...]

9 03, 2021

Remembrance of Lil Junas

By |2021-03-09T14:30:27-06:00March 9th, 2021|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Spring 2021|Tags: |

Prize winning photo journalist Lil Junas, Ph.D. died December 11, 2020 in Pennsylvania at the age of 85. Her career was amazing: college sports information, university teaching, and photographic missions throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada, and Central Asia and much more. She was also an avid canoeist and outdoors person, she tent-camped in all mainland US states, in Canada and the Yukon. She spent 4 years in Arkansas (1976-1980) as a photographer for the Log Cabin Democrat newspaper in Conway, AR. In 1973, the Ozark Society decided to publish books on various endangered Arkansas streams in hopes of exposing the scenic, geological, historical, fish and wildlife, educational and cultural values to the general public, emphasizing the need for preservation. Ken Smith’s Illinois River (1977) was the first in the series, and then Lil was asked to undertake Cadron Creek: A Photographic Narrative (1978) even though she had never been on the Creek. The threat for Cadron Creek at the time was the Soil Conservation Service proposal to put 23 dams on the Creek for the purpose of flood control, even though the amount of land flooded by the impoundments exceeded the amount of land saved from flooding. And as [...]

7 12, 2020

Middle Fork of the Salmon River

By |2020-12-07T12:34:58-06:00December 7th, 2020|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Winter 2020|Tags: |

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. For 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 bill@aggipah.com Feel free to contact Stewart Noland at 501-831-8809 or stewartnoland51@aol.com 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.