The Ozark Society Foundation has several new projects in planning stages. Trees Book The creation of a new field guide, “Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of Arkansas,” is underway. The book will be a 400-page color compendium of state flora, scheduled to be available later this year. Photo in consideration for cover of new Arkansas Trees book. The work leading up to “Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of Arkansas” started in 2012 by then-OSF Board Chair Kim Smith. The project initially focused on revising a previously published OSF book, a field guide to state trees, shrubs, and vines authored by Carl Hunter. Because Hunter’s original photos were unavailable and more contemporary materials were accessible, OSF chose to create a new field guide. Until recently, project progress was delayed by organizational transition, professional relocation, and the death of individuals. At this time, the book co-authors, Jennifer Ogle and Theo Witsell, are completing the final content. OSF has submitted proposals to several funders to support the graphic designer and printer work, public programs, and book promotion. Literary Award Planning is underway to establish an annual award for excellence in writing on ecology, natural resources, and other themes that align with the OS [...]
Many hikers in the Ozarks are puzzled to see extensive thickets of a kind of shrub with big oblong and vibrantly green leaves that look like they could be found along some tropical jungle trail. This is the pawpaw, a small fruiting tree that was once a useful food resource for Ozark and Appalachian settlers as related by Andrew Moore in his book Pawpaw. I concur with Moore’s observation that pawpaw fruit are not very common in our forests today and wonder how pawpaw could have been a significant part of rural folks’ diet in years gone by. But there are some back-to-the-land types who manage to forage for pawpaw fruit to sell at local farmers markets in Ohio and West Virginia. Part of the story may relate to differences in forest conditions or land use, and how those conditions affect pawpaw pollination. The tree blooms in early April with nickel-sized maroon flowers that attract flies rather than bees. The flower bears a fetid odor that would attract flies while the color resembles that of decaying flesh. Because extensive thickets of pawpaw develop by underground runners, they are essentially giant clones. Pawpaw flowers do not self-pollenate very well and pollen [...]
Editor’s Note: Duane Woltjen (former Highlands Chapter President) and his wife Judy sent me this information and I thought it was a wonderful profile of Joe Clark, a founding Ozark Society Member. It is a compilation of 2 articles that they sent and a biography by Lynn Nabb, Joe’s granddaughter. Thanks to Woltjens and Lynn! C. Shearman Joe Marsh Clark was born in 1903 in Salem, MO. He received his BS and MS from the University of Missouri in Geology and worked for several oil companies of the course of his career. In 1929 he married Maxine Bradford who had a degree in Nursing from University of Missouri and also an MS degree in Botany from the University of Tulsa. In 1961 they received an offer from Arkansas Western Gas and moved to Fayetteville AR. That’s where they became involved in the early efforts to protect the Buffalo River from the series of dams that the Army Corps of Engineers proposed for the river. In May 1962 the Ozark Society was formed and Joe became the editor of the Ozark Society Bulletin in Spring 1967. The Bulletin featured conservation and education articles as well as showcasing Ozark photography and historical [...]
Last week there was a surprise announcement that the Pollution Control & Ecology Commission had a minute order on the agenda to pass changes in Reg 5 at the May 27 meeting. Meaning that after 10 months of delay, there was likely to be a resolution one way or another for our efforts to make permanent the current temporary moratorium on medium and large hog CAFO’s in the Buffalo River Watershed. The temporary moratorium was for 5 years and is scheduled to expire this year. Without a permanent moratorium the entire C&H kind of affair could start over again next year. The battle lines have been between those who think that clean water, as exemplified by the Buffalo National River, should be preserved verses the “right to farm” position postured by the Farm Bureau. The possibility of coexistence has been greatly politicalized by the C&H controversy, which, along with the corona virus problem, led to several delayed votes. But PC&EC meetings are public meetings and DEQ accommodated that by broadcasting on Arkansas Public Television and by allowing no more than 15 members of the public into the hearing room at any one time – the rest were to sit in [...]
We want to thank Loring Bullard and Dan Chiles for all their efforts to revive the Schoolcraft Chapter of Springfield MO. It now has 23 members and counting. In honor of their work, Fred Paillet, OS Education Chair, has a story about Henry Schoolcraft, their namesake. Fred’s Story: The legacy of one of the earliest Ozark explorers is chronicled by a modern annotated edition of Henry Schoolcraft’s winter trip across the broad divide between the Missouri and Arkansas rivers in: Rude Pursuits and Rugged Peaks – Schoolcraft’s Ozark Journal 1818-1819, Henry R. Schoolcraft and Milton D. Rafferty, 1996, 170 p. The book contains the original journal with annotations and maps, plus a biographical sketch of Schoolcraft and his career. The journey takes about three months and was made in early winter (November through January). The route is over the headwater tributaries of the Meramec River, across the headwaters of the Current River to follow down the North Fork of the White River. Then, down the White to the Black River, going up to cross over into the St. Francis River on the way back to the Meramec drainage. Rather mild weather at the beginning and streamflow so reduced that a [...]
This is the ninth in a series of my adventures to visit as many of the fifty United States' highest points as I can. In chapter eight we looked at the trip I took in September of 2018 to visit 7 New England states in one trip. This time we head out west to visit Utah, North Dakota and South Dakota in August of 2019. It all starts on August 6th with a flight to Denver, picking up a rental car and driving to Rawlings, Wyoming, for the night. I would do all my prep work the next morning for my three-day backpack into the High Uintas Wilderness. On August 7th, I drove over to Rock Springs and then spent a few hours exploring the Flaming Gorge region of the Green River before driving over to the trailhead for the night. In the morning I would load up and start my hike towards Kings Peak. Utah Located in northeastern Utah, Kings Peak at 13,528 feet is the highest point in Utah. It barely ekes out nearby points that make up the Uintas range. The range is not unlike the Ouachitas, as they run east-west, only they are way higher. I [...]
Things are taking shape for our hike this summer on the John Muir Trail in the High Sierras of California. And it’s not too late for one more of you to join us! Trip leader Steve Heye has a permit for eight hikers and one spot is still open. You still have time to join in on the training and planning in the months before the hike. The hike will be from June 29th to July 5th starting from the Onion Valley Campground and end at Whitney Portal. This is a distance of 44 miles over 6 nights. A group of us will be in Onion Valley a couple of days early to get used to the altitude. Plan on a vacation window of June 26 to July 6 to get there, do the hike and get back home. If you’d like to join us or want more info, contact Steve at heye@Aristotle.net. If you can’t make it, do you know someone who might like to go? Then please tell them., These permits are hard to come by and we don’t want to leave any slots empty.
The Ozark Society sponsored hiking trips to Zion National Park in September, 2014, and to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks in September, 2017. To continue our visits to the Southwestern US we will hike in the vicinity of the town of Sedona, AZ with an arrival on October 18 and departure on October 24 this year. Of course, you can arrive earlier or depart later on your own. Sedona is surrounded by the Coconino National Forest with its red rock buttes and canyons. There are over 120 hikes within 20 miles of town and 95 of those are within 10 miles with several trailheads in the town itself. These are about equally divided between easy, moderate, and difficult hikes. Hikes will be led by Bob Cross with Roger Keesee and possibly Terry Fredrick as co-leaders. We will try to have at least two led hikes per day. A group campground has been reserved at the Coconino National Forest Chavez Crossing Group Campground (#3, Sycamore). It is right on Oak Creek (for swimming and wading). The capacity is 30 campers, primarily tent campers, but a few camping trailers or RV's of less than 25 ft. in length will be allowed. There [...]
The Buffalo River Chapter of the Ozark Society will be hosting the Spring Ozark Society Recreation meeting the weekend of April 25-26. The meeting will officially begin at 8:30 am on Saturday, April 25th at the Group Pavilion at Tyler Bend Campground of the Buffalo National River. This is a recreation-based event. Activities on Saturday will include hiking, boating, and a potluck supper, followed by entertainment by Buffalo River Chapter member Dave Smith. Meeting registration is $5/person or $10/couple or family. A light breakfast and overview of the day’s activities will be provided at the Pavilion on Saturday morning. Group site #1 at the Tyler Bend Campground has been reserved for the Ozark Society for Friday and Saturday nights, April 24 and 25. The cost for camping for adults is $10/night and $5/night for a child for the first two children. There is no additional charge for more than two children. The Ozark Society Board will meet at Laura Timby’s home, 50 Frost Street, Gilbert, AR at 10 am on Sunday morning, April 26. All are welcome to attend.
Seventy people gathered at the Butterfield Trail Village Lodge in Fayetteville on Jan. 26 to honor Robert A. (“Bob”) Cross as the 2019 recipient of the Neil Compton Award. The award is given to individuals who embody the inspiration, dedication, and perseverance of the Ozark Society’s Founder and first president, Dr. Neil Compton, in conserving our natural treasures and resources in the Ozarks and surrounding regions. The room was full, the conversation was at a high decibel level, and the food and drink were abundant. Tom Perry, chair of the Highlands Chapter which hosted the event, opened the program by welcoming the guests. As Bob was presented with a plaque and handmade wood puzzle, Ozark Society President David Peterson remarked how Bob’s steady investigation and analysis of the handbooks, reports, and data regarding the permitting and operation of the C&H hog farm was key to the dissolution of the farm. Patti Kent, a member of the Highlands Chapter, described her first hiking adventures back in the 1990s with Bob as hike leader. Janet Parsch read the nomination letter that she and Luke Parsch had written to nominate Bob for the award. Luke Parsch, Ozark Society Vice President, presented Bob with [...]