7 12, 2023

The Ozark Society Endowment Fund

By |2023-12-07T14:39:52-06:00December 7th, 2023|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Winter 2023|Tags: |

By Brian Thompson, Ozark Society President     I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty careful with my charitable contributions.  Sometimes I really like the organization, but I’m not sure I trust their board.   Are they spending in a responsible way?     That is one reason why I like The Ozark Society Endowment, managed by The Arkansas Community Foundation.   The money I contribute, adds to principal that is not accessible to the board, but instead throws off efficient annual income in perpetuity.   For a non-profit like The Ozark Society, it is truly the gift that keeps on giving.     In addition, not only can I make a cash contribution, I can give them those decades old shares of Wal-Mart that I’m hesitant to sell due to the horrendous capital gains, allowing the full value to support The Ozark Society’s mission, while providing me with a sizeable tax deduction.   You can do this with real estate as well.   And don’t forget you can donate from required minimum distributions allowing you to avoid those taxes.   Finally, if you are interested in a gift to the Ozark Society from your estate, the good [...]

7 12, 2023

Clobbering Clabber

By |2023-12-07T14:35:48-06:00December 7th, 2023|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Winter 2023|Tags: |

By Steve Heye, OS Pulaski Chapter Outings Chair     It's the only major rapid on the lower section of the Buffalo National River. Located just downstream from the Ghost Town of Rush, Clabber Creek shoals is a quarter-mile of pure excitement when the water is up. It can be a fantastic ride or it can be the bane of a paddler that doesn't know what makes it so much fun.     Located on the top of the "Duck Head", Clabber Creek enters the Buffalo on the left bank where the river makes a hard right to drop down a series of rock shelves. The creek has created conditions that made the river stay right, and overtime, erode the rock ledges of the right bank into a stoney field of pits, ridges and holes. The result is a series of standing "hay stacks" on the right third of the river. The safe way through is always to stay far left. Should an open boat get caught on the right half of the Buffalo in this section, the hay stacks become a real danger.  In 2017, on an Ozark Society week long float, Gary Alexander and I got sucked [...]

7 12, 2023

Are You Taking Advantage of Efficiency Incentives?

By |2023-12-07T14:30:59-06:00December 7th, 2023|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Winter 2023|Tags: |

By Jennifer Ailor, OS Climate Change Committee Chair      One of the most effective ways for a homeowner to mitigate climate change is through energy efficiency. Efficiency is another form of “fuel” that electric utilities often count because it replaces the coal, gas, oil, etc. that otherwise would have been used to generate electricity for inefficient appliances and equipment.     Utilities often offer rebates and other incentives for customers to purchase more efficient appliances and equipment. States sometimes offer incentives as well. Finally, the federal government further sweetens the impact of efficiency by offering tax credits. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 modified (for the better) federal residential energy-efficiency tax credits through Dec. 31, 2032.They apply to energy-efficiency improvements in primary residences owned and lived in by the taxpayer (that’s you). The credits apply to all kinds of appliances and equipment, including heating, cooling and water heating equipment.     Before 2023, the maximum tax credit for all efficiency improvements was $500.  Now, that lifetime limit per taxpayer has been replaced by an annual limit of $1,200. That’s a huge incentive to invest in energy efficiency in your home. The tax credit is now 30 percent of [...]

7 12, 2023

Lessons from the Earth’s Largest Living Organism

By |2023-12-07T14:27:04-06:00December 7th, 2023|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Winter 2023|Tags: |

By Fred Paillet, OS Education Chair We regularly see in newspapers and magazines a general interest filler piece featuring the world’s largest single organism named Pando.  It lives in the mountains of Utah and consists of a giant aspen grove connected by a network of underground roots: covering 106 acres, weighing an estimated 13 million pounds, and consisting of 40,000 individual trees.  Pando is always photographed from the air above as the only practical way of giving a sense of its sheer size.  Here I am reminded of the description of Hinduism as a faith that features thousands of different deities all of whom are the same god.  In Pando, each individual tree has its own avatar, but they are all part of the same biological entity.  The concept of entire groves of trees and shrubs that are separate yet the same – and otherwise genetically identical – is a theme that is repeatedly invoked in the science of forest ecology.  There are many specific examples we can cite in the Ozarks.  But the connection between stands of trees expanding by stems sprouting at a distance from their roots has been an important part of my own personal studies [...]

7 12, 2023

David Eddy – Our 3rd Sassafras Hiking Award Winner

By |2023-12-07T14:22:19-06:00December 7th, 2023|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Winter 2023|Tags: |

By Brian Thompson, Ozark Society President David Eddy and Dixie, both 700-milers     David Eddy, an attorney from Russellville, is our third recipient of the Ozark Society Sassafras Hiking Award.   To qualify for this award, you must have hiked the lengths of The Ozark Highland’s Trail, The Ouachita Trail, the Buffalo River Trail, and the Ozark Trail in Missouri, for a distance exceeding 700 miles.     David grew up in Morrilton, hunting deer and turkey in the Arkansas woods.  “As Thoreau once mused, one finds that hunting and fishing are simply a good introduction to the forest and there is much more to be discovered.”   He’s floated almost all of the mountain streams of the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains, having bought his first canoe (an Ouachita) in 1974, which he wrapped around a tree on a swollen Mulberry River in 1975. He still has his Old Town Tripper he bought from the Pack Rat in Fayetteville in 1979. David has section-hiked the Ozark Highland Trail several times, as well as the Ouachita Trail. In fact, hiking the Ouachita Trail each late winter to early spring has almost become an annual ritual. He enjoys [...]

7 12, 2023

2023-2024 Youth Grants

By |2023-12-07T14:18:35-06:00December 7th, 2023|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Winter 2023|Tags: |

By Roslyn Imrie, OS Youth Grants Chair     The Ozark Society is proud to announce another grant cycle for the Youth Grant. Since 2020, we have granted over $42,000 through 25 different projects. Through this small grant program, the Ozark Society has been empowering the youth of the next generation to actively engage in conservation efforts.     Over the years, we have seen some amazing conservation projects unfold after receiving this funding. The money we have granted to nonprofits and schools in the region has allowed young people to clean up riverways, test water quality, build educational trails, break ground for gardens, construct greenhouses, and much more. Though the program favors projects that have real-world conservation impacts, we also recognize the importance of environmental education, which can change the hearts and minds of a population, making a real impact on the future.     We welcome nonprofits and schools to apply for between $500 and $3,000 in grant funding before February 3rd.  All projects must involve youth (children under age 18) and should focus on conservation or environmental education efforts. Projects are expected to take place in 2024 or before March of 2025. Applicants can apply online [...]

7 12, 2023

Western Swing

By |2023-12-07T14:15:07-06:00December 7th, 2023|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Winter 2023|Tags: |

By Stewart Noland, OS Archive Chair    I played a lot of baseball as a youngster, but I never hit a home run over the fence.  I may have cured that short coming with a home run of rivers that I rafted during a western swing this summer.  In between leaving Little Rock on June 4, and returning to Little Rock July 21, I joined others on the following rivers. Rogue River in Oregon, 4 days North Fork of the Umpqua River in Oregon, 2 days Selway River, in Idaho, 5 days Middle Fork of the Flathead River in Montana, 4 days Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho, 6 days South Fork of the Salmon River and Main Salmon River in Idaho, 4 days Arkansas River in Colorado, 4 days There is much to recount about each river trip, but I only will mention a few highlights.  On the Rogue, I joined a bunch of folks that have been doing this lodges “Cadillac” trip since 1976, quite a history.  The whole trip was planned around the Selway trip.  A Selway River permit is the hardest permit to get in the U.S., and you just don’t turn down [...]

7 12, 2023

Buffalo River Trail Maintenance Days – Spring 2024

By |2023-12-07T14:13:02-06:00December 7th, 2023|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Winter 2023|Tags: |

By Michael Reed, OS Buffalo River Trail Coordinator The Spring BRT Work Session will be Saturday March 23, 2024 through Friday March 29th. We will use Steele Creek Ranch House as a base. See the full announcement here. You can reach Michael at: mereed@runbox.com The Fall ’23 work session for Ken’s Krew was a great success. We had 12 volunteers in all, including 6 first-timers, and logged 291 hours. Rather than focusing on tread rehabilitation as initially planned, we turned to simply getting the trail opened up – clearing a large amount of downfall from almost 14 miles of trail stretching from the Boxley trail head down-river to the Steele Creek overlook plus a short segment on each side of Kyle’s Landing. We did a heck of a lot of good for the BRT and the people using it, even extinguishing a campfire left smoldering at Arrington Creek.  I only noted 3 areas that need tread repairs so things aren't as bad as I expected (so far). Watch for the announcement of our next one-day event this winter!

7 12, 2023

E-bikes to be Allowed on Two Motorized Trails but Not the Buffalo River Headwaters

By |2023-12-07T14:10:22-06:00December 7th, 2023|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Winter 2023|Tags: |

By David Peterson, Ozark Society Past President Until recently, e-bikes were only authorized on legal, motorized trails and roads on the Ouachita and Ozark-St. Francis National Forests. Last year, in response to rapidly increased e-bike usage everywhere, the USFS reversed this policy and requested that forest managers develop a framework “to determine if e-bike use will be designated on select trails.” In response, forest supervisors in Arkansas proposed an “appropriate environmental analysis and … opportunity for public engagement” for three current bike trails under Forest Service supervision: the Womble Trail on the Ouachita National Forest (51 miles), the Syllamo Mountain Bike Trail (38 miles), and the Buffalo River Headwaters bike trail (35 miles). Although there are potential safety issues and environmental concerns with e-bikes, we responded with support of the proposal but with qualification. Here is a 19- mile bike trail loop in the headwaters – the Buffalo River starts in the upper left-hand corner Support: It is clear that e-bikes provide an enjoyable way to visit our national forests, and expand the potential ridership to those with physical limitations. Qualification: We asked that e-bikes be limited to class I (pedal assist with maximum speed of 20 [...]


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