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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 [...]
For many of us the time we spend in the outdoors amounts to the best part of our busy lives. That has prompted me to invent ways to make those times remain with me as long as possible. One way to do that is by keeping a natural history journal. It could start with the very practical aspects of a small notebook with recorded dates such as the time when a favorite wildflower can be found in bloom in some secluded ravine, or the best date to see migrating raptors at your favorite mountain overlook. It is always useful to have such information available for future reference. My interest in nature journals started early during my days in New England where I enjoyed John Hay’s poetic calendar of the arrival of spring on Cape Cod (The Run). Then on to Thoreau’s famous journal while on sabbatical and exploring the woods around my rented home in areas adjacent to Walden Pond. I soon had my own personal copies of the Lewis and Clark journals while living in Montana, and then the Ozark and Ouachita journals of Schoolcraft and Nuttall after arriving in Arkansas. All of these serve as useful examples of [...]
The second printing of Ozark Forest Forensics is completed. Published in 2019 and co-authored by Fred Paillet and Steve Stephenson, the book is once again available through our store. The authors are planning public programs for the book later this year. A second printing of “Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of Arkansas” is in process. The new field guide has had very strong sales and high public recognition, including citations from the Arkansas Senate and House of Representatives. The book also reached the top of an Amazon list, noted as the #1-selling new book in the nation in Botany. OSF will launch the Sassafras Award for Excellence in Environmental Writing next month. The award will be given to a literary work that addresses conservation issues in the areas where OS/OSF operates. The winner will be announced in early 2022. Finalist judge for the award is Davis McCombs, director of the University of Arkansas Creative Writing Program and a former park ranger at Mammoth Cave National Park. In addition, the Foundation Endowment Fund has been established with the Arkansas Community Foundation. And new activity is underway in the mammoth effort to digitize all OSF files from past and current projects and [...]
Remembrance of Steve Wilson: Steve Wilson passed away February 21 in New Mexico. He was a Norfork, AR resident for several years after his retirement from Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Steve served as Director of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission for 21 years, shaping it into the organization it is today. He was a very active member of the Ozark Society and was President of the OS, 1976-1978. Steve and his wife Jo and their children hiked and paddled as often as possible, good or bad weather. Steve was a born leader as evidenced by the following career successes: He was District Wildlife Biologist for Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, 1968-1969, Senior Environmental Scientist for the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department 1972-1974, Assistant Chief of Highway and Transportation Dept. 1974-1979, Chief of AHTD's Environmental Division in 1979, Director of Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in 1979. During his tenure at AG & F, he established the elk herd in the Buffalo River corridor, stocking 112 elk from Colorado from 1981 to 1985. Then there is fishing! During Steve's term Arkansas developed into our country’s most popular destination to fish for trophy brown trout; Arkansas also became the inland [...]
Prize winning photo journalist Lil Junas, Ph.D. died December 11, 2020 in Pennsylvania at the age of 85. Her career was amazing: college sports information, university teaching, and photographic missions throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada, and Central Asia and much more. She was also an avid canoeist and outdoors person, she tent-camped in all mainland US states, in Canada and the Yukon. She spent 4 years in Arkansas (1976-1980) as a photographer for the Log Cabin Democrat newspaper in Conway, AR. In 1973, the Ozark Society decided to publish books on various endangered Arkansas streams in hopes of exposing the scenic, geological, historical, fish and wildlife, educational and cultural values to the general public, emphasizing the need for preservation. Ken Smith’s Illinois River (1977) was the first in the series, and then Lil was asked to undertake Cadron Creek: A Photographic Narrative (1978) even though she had never been on the Creek. The threat for Cadron Creek at the time was the Soil Conservation Service proposal to put 23 dams on the Creek for the purpose of flood control, even though the amount of land flooded by the impoundments exceeded the amount of land saved from flooding. And as [...]
OS Members can participate in a 100-mile trip down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho from July 29-August 3rd, 2021 with Aggipah River Trips. We have until January 1, 2021 to fill this 24-person trip, after which Aggipah will open the trip to others. For those riding with Aggipah the on-river cost is $2399 per person. For those riding in a private boat the on-river cost is $1686.50 per person. A 25% deposit ($600 or $422) is required before January 1st to hold the reservation. For more information on the trip and the address to send your deposit is: Aggipah River Trips PO Box 425 Salmon, Idaho 83467 Bill Bernt www.aggipah.com 208-756-4167 email@example.com Feel free to contact Stewart Noland at 501-831-8809 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions as well since he plans to participate in the trip and will help coordinate off-river logistics such as pre-trip lodging and vehicle shuttles.