Summer 2018

28 08, 2018

Ozark Resources Watchdogs

By | 2018-08-28T14:56:15+00:00 August 28th, 2018|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Summer 2018|Tags: |

On April 7, 2018, 17 people seated around a large table at the Omni Center in Fayetteville Arkansas exchanged ideas, options and information about ways to successfully remove threats to our rivers and their watersheds. Two additional participants communicated with the group via the Internet. Goals included finding common ground as we strive toward success, and ways to promote effective communication among different organizations. This luncheon meeting was in conjunction with the Public Meeting, What’s Next for our Buffalo River, held at Mt. Sequoyah in Fayetteville on the evening of the same day. For additional information on this evening event please see: http://buffaloriveralliance.org/event-2865333 Individuals and Organizations included: ·    Terry Spense* of Socially Responsible Agricultural Project (SRAP) ·     Ozark River Stewards ·    Buffalo River Watershed Alliance ·      Mulberry River Society ·     Rita Grifflin,* Mayor of Harman Arkansas ·     Kings River Watershed Partnership ·     The Ozark Society ·    The OMNI Center ·     White River Waterkeeper ·     NW Arkansas Worker Justice organization ·     Animal Legal Defense Fund ·     Peter Lehner,* attorney for Earthjustice ·     Kelly Hunter Foster* of Waterkeeper Alliance's (Pure Farms, Pure Waters campaign) ·     Center for Biological Diversity ·     Friends of the North Fork and White River * Note: These folks served on the panel or spoke at the evening [...]

28 08, 2018

The Trouble with Mussels

By | 2018-08-28T14:56:25+00:00 August 28th, 2018|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Summer 2018|Tags: |

Everyone who has ever floated the Buffalo River is familiar with freshwater mussels. Their shells litter the gravel bars and living mussels can be seen embedded in the rocks in riffles. Although most of us enjoying the Ozark out of doors think of these “river clams” as peripheral to our activities, the lowly mussel has played an inordinate role in our local economic history. This little creature has had a strong influence on industry as well as ecological management in Arkansas, serving as both an economic resource and an ecological management problem. The industry part is nicely summarized in an article in the March-April 2017 issue of Arkansas Wildlife. It all started with a late 1800’s pearl rush after the discovery of valuable pearls in White River mussels. In the meantime, Arkansas mussel shells were found to be a valuable source of mother-of-pearl goods in the manufacture of buttons. New cutting techniques and President Harrison’s protective tariff bill spawned a surge in button manufacturing based on blanks cut from White River mussels. The industry lagged during the depression, but then surged again when buttons had to replace zippers during WWII metal rationing. After that, the Japanese cultured pearl industry found that [...]

28 08, 2018

High-Pointing the States: Part Two

By | 2018-08-28T14:56:35+00:00 August 28th, 2018|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Summer 2018|Tags: |

Here is another installment of the adventures I’ve had trying to conquer the highest point in each state of the US. Last time I started showing you the highest points in the states that border Arkansas. This time we will finish the list with Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. A very diverse set of peaks. Ok, two of them are hills! Texas Like Oklahoma's highest point, Texas' high point is way out west in the Guadeloupe National Park, south of Carlsbad New Mexico. Guadeloupe Peak (8751 feet) is on the end of a long ridge running out of New Mexico south into west Texas. Around the ridge is the high plains desert. This is real “Old West” country, mesquite, cacti, hot and dry. The park is on US 62 about 25 miles south of Carlsbad Cavern. The hike up the peak is a moderate day hike on well-worn trail. In fact, you can ride a horse to a corral to near the top if its sure footed. I did this day hike as part of a trip to explore the park on September 29, 2008. My good friend, Gary Alexander did the hike with me and it became the 8th high point [...]

6 08, 2018

Highlands Chapter Goes Green

By | 2018-08-28T14:56:46+00:00 August 6th, 2018|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Summer 2018|Tags: |

In an attempt to uphold the tenants of the Ozark Society, the Highlands Chapter has initiated an effort to reduce disposable waste. It started at the Chapter meetings as we switched to restaurant style cups, silverware and utensils. Support was nearly universal as members stepped up to wash dishes and remarked about the long overdue process of using recyclable products. An unforeseen benefit was the reduction in our storage of disposable products. We stored hundreds of disposable plastic cups, and stacks of paper plates; now we have about 30 tumblers, 30 plates and about 40 coffee cups, and we don’t run to the store as often. Cloth napkins maybe next on our list! The OSHC Buffalo River Classic was our next challenge. We famously produced about 5 bulging bags of trash. Here we asked participants to bring their own non-disposable eating utensils, and we brought a set of our dishes for the event in case a few people forgot to bring their own stuff. We’re all new to this and admittedly there was some confusion as some members brought their own disposable plates and forks or they brought disposable items for the Highlands Chapter. It’s a learning process; we’ll get there. [...]