24 05, 2023

The National Forest Decisions – You Can Make a Difference

By |2023-05-24T15:41:03-05:00May 24th, 2023|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Summer 2022|Tags: |

By Tom McClure, OS Conservation Co-chair       We have all inherited 2.6 million acres of national forest land here in Arkansas. That’s 7.6% of the land area of the entire state, which is 34 million acres.  These lands are a treasure, impacting our lives in so many positive ways.  For a good portion of us, these wonderful places are firmly tied to our sense of well-being, and our hopes and dreams for the future.  We want the “The Natural State” to live up to its motto over the long term.   We know and appreciate what the Ouachita and Ozark National Forests have meant to us in our lifetimes, and we want them to be here, in good shape, for generations to come.          These lands house much of the state’s biological diversity.  Our native plants and animals dwell here, in a variety of habitats.  Some of these species are rare and need special attention from us to help assure their survival into the future.  These forests maintain elaborate ecosystems that we are still trying to understand.  They provide a place to learn about nature and a place to learn about our relationship with [...]

25 05, 2022

Climate Change and the Ozark Society

By |2022-05-25T16:29:09-05:00May 25th, 2022|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Summer 2022|Tags: |

By Jennifer Ailor, Climate Committee Chair Climate change is the existential threat of our times. Where is it, you may ask. Melting glaciers, devastating hurricanes and tornadoes, raging forest fires, drought, 130-degree temperatures in Pakistan and India, massive flooding, warming ocean waters and expanding dead zones, these events are far away from the Ozarks and our beloved Buffalo River.           Watch out. Stream water is warming In the Ozarks, and we’re experiencing hotter summers, milder winters and shifting shoulder seasons. Invasives are moving in. Amphibians and fish counts are changing. Forests may begin drying out. Bird migration patterns and numbers are responding to hotter temperatures and habitat loss. We’re seeing wetter springs and drier summers. The Ozark Society states will not be spared further climate change impacts. The worst is yet to come. It seemed fitting in this 50th anniversary year of the Buffalo becoming the country’s first national river that the Ozark Society take a stand on climate change. In February, Alice Andrews, Brian Thompson, David Peterson, myself and Dr. Stephen Boss of the University of Arkansas put together a positioning statement and collected links to studies on climate change now posted at https://www.ozarksociety.net/about-us/os-climate-change-statement/.  [...]

25 05, 2022

Bayou Chapter Recognizes Roy O’Neal

By |2022-05-25T16:26:15-05:00May 25th, 2022|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Summer 2022|Tags: |

By Marian Howard and Shannon O’Neal The expression “the glue that holds everything together” is the perfect description of what Roy O’Neal has meant to the Bayou Chapter of the Ozark Society for over 3 decades. Roy has served 3 terms as Chairman - in 1995 and 1996 and again in 2018 when no one else volunteered to step up and serve.  He has been a board member for over 10 years because he said that was the only time he’d get to see his Arkansas friends!  He has been working with the Bayou Byline newsletter for almost 30 years, been the contact person for the annual Athens-Big Fork Trail Maintenance and has organized the local Duck Pond Cleanup a couple of times each year.  Not to mention his invaluable assistance in transporting several hundred pounds of crawfish to the Annual BCOS Crawfish Boil and making sure the burners are functioning and providing expertise in taste testing.  Roy can always be counted on to help out whenever and wherever the need arises.      Since he has a need to constantly do something, beginning with a morning crossword and moving on from there, Roy gets a lot done. He’s [...]

25 05, 2022

Mount Whitney Again!

By |2022-05-25T16:23:10-05:00May 25th, 2022|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Summer 2022|Tags: |

By Steve Heye, Pulaski Chapter Outings Chair Is the third time a charm? In 2020 it was Covid restrictions, then in 2021 it was Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever that stopped Steve Heye from reaching the top of Mt. Whitney, California. For 2022, Steve is fired up to make it happen. And he would like a couple of you to come along.      The permit is from August 21st to August 26th. We will be hiking from the Cottonwood Pass Campground to Whitney Portal, about 35 miles.                   We will spend two nights at Cottonwood to acclimatize to altitude. We will be hiking on the Pacific Coast Trail and the John Muir Trail, averaging just 6 miles a day on great trails. The plan is to fly to Las Vegas on the 18th or 19th and drive over to Lone Pine, the city at Mt. Whitney. Then after spending two nights at 10,000 feet, hit the trail on the 21st. After completing the hike, fly back from Vegas on the 27th.       If you are interested in going on this hike please email me: heye@aristotle.net. If you would be interested in [...]

25 05, 2022

Shiloh Museum Exhibit

By |2022-05-25T16:20:24-05:00May 25th, 2022|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Summer 2022|Tags: |

By Janet Parsch, Highlands Chapter Shiloh Museum of Ozark History in Springdale, AR, was the gathering place for the most recent event in Northwest Arkansas related to the 50th anniversary commemoration of the Buffalo National River. In January 2022 the museum opened a new exhibit, titled “Ken Smith’s Buffalo River Country,” featuring photos, memorabilia, manuscripts, and artifacts from author, trail-builder, and conservationist Ken Smith.   Ken Smith at the Shiloh Museum      The exhibit is focused primarily on the time in the mid-1960s when Ken was researching and exploring the Buffalo River watershed for background for his book, Buffalo River Country, first published in 1967. The exhibit is an historical look that conveys the feel of the Buffalo River area of almost 60 years ago. A large wall-sized map of the Buffalo River watershed is populated with Ken’s photos from specific areas, along with 15-20 other large photos. Manuscripts, reports, trail-building tools, and early maps hand-drawn by Ken complete the exhibit.   The Ken Smith Interview On April 27, Shiloh Museum staff hosted a gathering of Ozark Society members and friends from the Highlands Chapter and the Sugar Creek Chapter. Some fifty people attended [...]

25 05, 2022

The Buffalo River and Beyond Networking Event

By |2022-05-25T16:16:30-05:00May 25th, 2022|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Summer 2022|Tags: |

By Lucas Parsch, Ozark Society VP On March 31, 2022, the members of the Highlands Chapter (Fayetteville) and the Sugar Creek Chapter (Bentonville) of the Ozark Society hosted “The Buffalo River…and Beyond,” a networking event at the Mt Sequoyah Bailey Center in Fayetteville.  Attendees at the event included approximately  100 members of the Highlands and Sugar Creek chapters 40 persons representing 22 non-profit conservation groups in Northwest Arkansas 10-20 guests The objective of the event was three-fold: Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Buffalo National River and other collaborative successes of environmental groups Foster awareness of like-minded conservation organizations through networking Encourage future partnerships between Northwest Arkansas non-profit organizations to reach bold conservation goals as a conservation community       The keynote speaker was Rex Nelson, Senior Editor at the Arkansas Democrat Gazette and one of the most high-profile writers and speakers in the state.   Lucas Parsch, MC of the meeting      The capacity crowd (approx. 155 people) was treated to a sit-down dinner catered by Spring Street Grill of Springdale AR.  The event was sponsored and funded by the two chapters with the help of generous donations from several members of the Highlands Chapter. [...]

25 05, 2022

Climate Change and You

By |2022-05-25T15:55:38-05:00May 25th, 2022|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Summer 2022|Tags: |

By Jennifer Ailor, Climate Committee Chair Here are a dozen actions you can take to mitigate or adapt to a warming climate. You won’t save the Earth alone, but if we all do something, it will make a difference. All life is at risk if we don’t. Plant trees – Trees are carbon sinks, and the more there are the better off the Earth. Whenever and wherever and however you can, plant trees, and never stop (native species are the best option). If your property is large enough, plant trees there. If you have family or relatives without many trees, see if they would allow you to donate and plant some. Check with your children or grandchildren’s schools and see if they would accept trees. Do the same with local parks. Finally, donate to organizations that will plant trees for you, often in honor of someone you care about. Here are links to some of the many organizations that will plant trees for you:  https://shop.arborday.org/content.aspx?page=commemorative https://treesforlife.org/give/landing-pages/donating-trees https://www.alivingtribute.org/  http://moreleaf.org/ Drive less – Where feasible, commit to driving fewer days a week anywhere. Bundle errands and appointments to reduce driving. Work from home. Recreate locally. Commit to your next vehicle purchase [...]

25 05, 2022

In Memoriam

By |2022-05-25T15:46:20-05:00May 25th, 2022|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Summer 2022|Tags: |

By Linda Narisi and the family of David Newbern Dorothy Marie (Florida) Meyer was born August 17, 1926 and peacefully passed away at 95 on April 15, 2022.  Dorothy was a passionate member of the Ozark Society.  Dorothy was actively involved in the development of the Big Dam Bridge.  As an active conservationist she helped campaign for the Buffalo River to becoming the first National River.    She loved her many outdoor recreational adventures such as camping, hiking, RV-ing, flying fishing, cave exploration, to name a few.  Dorothy developed many lifelong buddies through the Ozark Society that share a common thread of enjoying life with one another. When the weather was not conducive to fair weather activities Dorothy and the gang (other Ozark Society members) would play all kinds of board/card games and feast on a gourmet meal mostly prepared by Chef Dorothy.   David Harton Newbern passed away on April 24, 2022. He was born on March 14, 1930, in Little Rock and raised in Hope where his mother, Mary Ellen Harton Newbern, taught ballet and his father, George Pierce Newbern, Jr. was a travelling dry goods salesman.      He was quite comfortable growing up in the small southern town of Hope, Arkansas. So comfortable, in fact, that [...]

25 05, 2022

The Ozark Society and OS Foundation Funds

By |2022-05-25T15:41:05-05:00May 25th, 2022|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Summer 2022|Tags: |

By Brian Thompson, David Peterson, and Carolyn Shearman Our mission is unique among the environmental groups in the state - Recreation, Conservation, and Education.  And, we fund that mission through our dues and contributions to our various funds.  We thank you all for your financial and volunteer support.  Recently we have lost some major supporters and we have been very grateful that their families have requested honorary donations to the Ozark Society in their names.   This month alone we have received substantial contributions from the friends and families of Dorothy M. Meyer and David Newbern.  Thank You immensely! With these donations we have come to realize that many people may not be familiar with our funds or the purpose of each so we are trying to clarify them for you.  To help, we have added a short description of each on the website membership and donation forms and we plan to add longer descriptions in a reference page on the site.  In the meantime, here is a breakdown of the funds to help identify each of them and their purpose. The Conservation Fund: Along with membership dues, contributions to this fund support the routine expenses of running the [...]


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