Removal of obsolete dams to restore watersheds to their natural working conditions is a major topic these days in environmental news. Many of us think of such dams as local perturbations on a stream that act as sediment traps and impediments to the natural migration of aquatic life. Fine-grained silt particles in the sediment collecting behind the dam retain a potentially dangerous reservoir for fertilizer and pesticide chemicals washing in from fields and residences. But the situation is much more complicated than that because the function of streams as sediment transport systems depends on a delicate equilibrium that extends over the entire length of the watershed. You can see how this works by recognizing that the force moving sediment is given by the slope of the streambed. If a location has more force available than needed, the extra force will allow the water to eat away at the banks to create meander bends. This, in turn, effectively lengthens the channel to reduce the slope. If there is not enough slope to move the sediment, then gravel-bar deposits will build up producing a braided streambed with an increased slope and an increased sediment load capacity. Of course, the process is a [...]
The Ozark Society Foundation has three projects in active status, each one involving board members and dedicated community volunteers: Youth Grants: Based on the success of the first-year program, OSF Board member Roslyn Imrie and a committee of local environmental educators launched Year 2 of the Youth Grants program. The program will engage youth in active environmental projects. Grant proposals may be submitted from schools and nonprofit organizations in the Ozarks region (Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Louisiana). Project funding between $1,000 and $3,000 will be awarded based on the scope and needs of the student activity. Up to ten projects may be funded. Applications will be accepted from August 23 to October 16, 2020. Award notification and funds distribution will occur by December 2020. Projects will have one year to complete their objectives. Final grant reports will be due by November 2022. Documentary Film: The film production crew, West Creative Group of Springfield, MO, is busy creating initial scripts and first-draft footage after an active half-year of research, interviews, and site shoots. A diverse committee of OS/OSF board members and community volunteers are reviewing the work in process. The film (yet unnamed) will be a 53-minute documentary that tells the history of public policy issues relating to [...]
Bob Lovett was a tree-hugger in the purest sense of the word. He loved pine trees, but he loved his wife and his family so much more. He loved life, in fact. Unfortunately, the Ozark Society lost a lifetime member and the world lost a cherished citizen in April of this year. Bob is survived by his beautiful wife, Priya, his sister, Susan, five children and ten grandchildren. A poem by Tyler Gregson displayed at his memorial service perfectly suited him. It read, in part; “Let the hours fill with adventure, and my legs ache from the wandering; I was built for this, and I’ve no use for staying so still.” A wanderer, an adventurer, an intrepid backpacker, a trekker, a family man and good friend—he was all these, but so much more. Friends called Bob “a friend to man,” and it’s true. He loved to bring people together. He was never critical of others, but really listened to them, patiently, and was interested to hear what they had to say. In conversation, it was never about him; but about you. He had a magical way of bringing out the best in others. His friends noted that he was “genuinely [...]
Janet Parsch has asked that we publish this errata sheet of corrections to Ken Smith’s 2nd Edition of the Buffalo River Handbook: Buffalo River Handbook 2nd edition, 2018 Kenneth L. Smith Corrections: Replacement captions for rock formations on page 14 Page corrections p. 95, paragraph 3, line 2: change “414” to “429.” p. 96, 4th line from bottom: change “409- 417” to “424-432.” p. 123, 10th line from bottom: omit “(see page 424).” p. 143, 9th line from bottom: change “(see page 424)” to “(870-439-2502, daily 8:30 – 4:30).” p. 227, 1st line below “Buffalo Point has been...”: change “page 408” to “page 423.” p. 437, In the Index: under “Birds,” add “395” in boldface.
On March 1, 1972, Richard Nixon signed a bill making the Buffalo River the first National River in the United States. Now almost 50 years later, the Ozark Society is planning 5 major events in support of the 50th anniversary. Details will be posted on the Ozark Society website later. BNR50 Hike Series: A series of hikes on the 134 miles of trails within the Buffalo National River (BNR) will be offered to the public beginning in fall of 2021 and extending throughout 2022. The Highlands Chapter of the Ozark Society (OSHC) will organize the hikes as part of its annually scheduled hiking season with a special focus on hiking within the BNP during this anniversary period. If you are willing to lead a hike, contact coordinator Brian Thompson at email@example.com. Buffalo River Float, Grinder’s Ferry (Hwy 65, River Mile 95.2) to White River (River Mile 153.0), June 13-18, 2022: This 58-mile event is intended to involve more people than the usual semi-annual OS float for members only, with invitations to news media as well as friends, neighbors and celebrities that might not ordinarily float the river. We will travel in small groups (<15) with experienced leaders, and possible access [...]