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26 08, 2020

In Memoriam

By |2020-08-26T14:51:25-05:00August 26th, 2020|Categories: Fall 2020, Pack & Paddle|Tags: |

Jim McKinney and Tom McGill By Alice Andrews, Conservation Chair Many of you will remember Bob McKinney. He served as President of the Pulaski Chapter back in the 70s. Bob's brother James (Jim) McKinney, passed away in December 2018. He was born and grew up in Little Rock. graduated from the University of Arkansas with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Jim moved to Texas where he lived with his family, throughout his career. He was a faithful supporter of the Ozark Society for many years. Jim enjoyed coming back to Arkansas for canoe trips on the Buffalo River and hiking in the Ozarks. He was also a trail maintenance volunteer on Colorado hiking trails, always friendly, helpful and happy outdoorsman. Thomas McGill, Camden, AR passed away in March, 2020. Tom was an active Ozark Society member for many years. He was very fond of white-water canoeing, a Boy Scout leader, wood-worker and very supportive in community affairs. He served his country in the Naval Reserve, having a memorable tour of duty as a naval gunnery officer. Tom graduated from University of Arkansas, returned to Camden to establish his land and timber business. He was a member of the Arkansas Forestry [...]

26 08, 2020

From Hogs to Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds, and Bats

By |2020-08-26T15:11:14-05:00August 26th, 2020|Categories: Fall 2020, Pack & Paddle|Tags: |

As most of you know, our pollinators are in deep trouble and ultimately in danger of extinction. The causes are diverse and challenging. Beginning with honeybees, scientists report that a class of insecticides called “neonics” is mainly responsible for their stunning decline. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) states that nearly 40% of U.S. honeybee colonies collapsed last year, the worst loss ever! The neonics are thousands of times more toxic to bees than old DDT. Next there is glyphosate (Roundup). Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide, one of the most intensely applied pesticides in the world. It was originally manufactured by Monsanto, now owned by the German based Bayer. In fact, the World Health Organization classifies glyphosate as a likely carcinogen. Friends of the Earth reports that Germany (home of Bayer) announced that they are banning the pesticide, joining many countries in banning it or setting severe limits on its use. It has been so profitable that Bayer/Monsanto can spend millions promoting/defending its use. Call it corporate greed. According to NRDC, our EPA approved the sale of Bayer’s neonic products, imidacloprid and clothianidin, without considering their impacts on bees, butterflies and birds – a violation of the Endangered Species Act. [...]

26 08, 2020

Some Interesting and Confusing Ozark Vines

By |2020-08-26T15:10:53-05:00August 26th, 2020|Categories: Fall 2020, Pack & Paddle|Tags: |

Some vines are a familiar part of the Ozark outdoors. We easily recognize grape vines and constantly worry about poison ivy. The latter makes us aware that Virginia creeper vines grow in the same environment as poison ivy and we know that three leaflets are bad while five are good (or at least harmless). The other vine we all know and often curse is the family of species known collectively as greenbrier. Greenbrier is common almost everywhere, entwining shrubs and encroaching on trails. The stems are thin but tough enough to trip a horse and are studded with spines that tear both flesh and clothing. Greenbrier is even a concern for gardeners, because birds spread the little blue-black berries far and wide, and once greenbrier seedlings are established in your flower beds, they are nearly impossible to extinguish. So, grapes are at least innocuous even if their fruit is either too sour or too seedy to bother with. Their vines keep mostly above our heads and their stems never carry any vicious spines. Two other common vines often escape notice because they look so much like the others we find so familiar. One of these is the rattan vine aka [...]

26 08, 2020

Fall Buffalo River Trail Construction – October 26-30th

By |2020-08-26T15:10:35-05:00August 26th, 2020|Categories: Fall 2020, Pack & Paddle|Tags: |

Mark your calendar! The Fall '20 Buffalo River Trail construction session is October 26-30. I and perhaps others will be doing some preparatory work the 23rd, 24th, and morning of the 25th as well. We'll be camping at Tyler Bend again in the main campground (sites #22-26 at no charge) so join us for a day, the weekend, or the whole week. I have some good news - for a change - regarding our obstacle at Little Rocky Creek. NPS has found a route they are happy with and has submitted it to the outside agencies that must sign-off on it. Approval will likely not come before September (if at all). I think this area is the last obstacle to an official opening of the trail so this is a high-priority project. Assuming it's approved, I anticipate having access to the work area from the private property above with a walk of about 3/4 mile to the work site, instead of a 2.5-mile hike from Red Bluff Road. NPS will likely have a UTV on-hand at least part of the time to haul tools. If all else fails, there's brush work and repairs that can be done elsewhere. Of course, [...]

26 08, 2020

OS Fall Elections October 3rd

By |2020-08-26T15:09:02-05:00August 26th, 2020|Categories: Fall 2020, Pack & Paddle|Tags: |

The fall meeting of the Ozark Society is scheduled to take place on Saturday, October 3, 2020 at Lake Nixon in Little Rock AR.  One order of business at the membership meeting will be the biennial election of members to the Ozark Society Board of Directors.  Positions up for election to a two-year term are:  President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Communications/Membership Chair, Conservation Chair, Education Chair, Community Engagement Chair, and Archival Chair.  In addition, two State Directors (i.e., board members at-large) each for Arkansas, Louisiana, and Missouri will also be elected. The Nominations Committee is seeking nominees, suggestions, and/or volunteers who are interested in serving on the Board of Directors by running for one of these important Ozark Society positions.  Interested persons, or those with suggestions for nominees should contact one of the following nominating committee members: Alice Andrews: Lowell Collins: Luke Parsch, Chair: A listing of current 2019-2020 Ozark Society Board members can be found at: Duties of officers can be found in the Ozark Society Bylaws at

26 08, 2020

Ninth Annual Neil Compton Day Event is Virtual This Year!

By |2020-08-26T15:08:48-05:00August 26th, 2020|Categories: Fall 2020, Pack & Paddle|Tags: |

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the ninth annual Neil Compton Day event celebrating what would have been Dr. Compton’s 108th birthday on August 1 was not held in person this year at the Compton Gardens and Conference Center in Bentonville AR.  Rather, it is being celebrated as an on-line virtual event on the Peel Compton Foundation’s website featuring a video playlist of recorded interviews highlighting Dr. Compton’s life, legacy, and contributions to the community. The celebration website is: Video interviewees include: Ken Smith, author of The Buffalo River Handbook Sarah Anne Shipley, great granddaughter of Dr. Compton Stewart Noland, past President of the Ozark Society, and, Ross Noland, Executive Director of the Buffalo River Foundation. In addition, there is a video clip of an interview with David Esterly who created the wood sculpture “Dr. Compton’s Letter Rack” which was displayed in Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville AR in 2019, and an excerpt from Larry Foley’s documentary film, The Buffalo Flows.  The Ozark Society, the Ozark Society Foundation, the Highlands Chapter, and the Sugar Creek Chapter are proud to have co-sponsored this annual event along with the Peel Compton Foundation.

26 08, 2020

Remembering Our Founding Members of the Ozark Society: The Hedges

By |2020-08-26T15:08:27-05:00August 26th, 2020|Categories: Fall 2020, Pack & Paddle|Tags: |

The exploits of Harold and Margaret Hedges are given in some detail in Neil Compton's The Battle for the Buffalo River, which is available from the Ozark Society website.  But here are a few memories we have of them. They purchased 700 acres in what is now the upper Buffalo River wilderness and built their dream home in 1968.  When the national river was established in 1972, they sold their land to the National Park with no regrets since they had obtained a 25- year occupancy lease.  But at least some of their neighbors were upset, and after several incidents of harassment their home was burned (arson) in 1990 while they were traveling to Mexico.  They moved about 25 miles north to Harrison, AR, where Harold died at the age of 91 in 2008 and Margaret died at the age of 93 in 2010. Here is a story we received about the Hedges by Myra Lawrence and her husband, Cliff from Monroe, LA. “In July of 1976 we were canoeing on the Buffalo River. Our canoe overturned and though we were not harmed, Cliff lost a pair of blue jeans with money & credit card in the pockets, all held [...]

26 08, 2020

Ozark Society President’s Report for Fall 2020

By |2020-08-28T12:31:13-05:00August 26th, 2020|Categories: Fall 2020, Pack & Paddle|Tags: |

Fall General Meeting, 9 AM, at Lake Nixon, October 3, 2020 We currently plan a one-day meeting with board meeting in the morning and general meeting with election of officers in the afternoon, followed by a Compton Award recognition of Dana and Bill Steward. Lake Nixon is a church camp a few miles west of Little Rock with canoeing/kayaking on their private lake, hiking on site, and plenty of covered outdoor meeting space to accommodate social distancing. If you have an interest or know of a person who might be willing to serve on the OS board please contact one of the nominating committee members: Luke Parsch, Lowell Collins, or Alice Andrews. CAFO Moratorium In their haste to reject the temporary moratorium on medium and large swine CAFO’s in the Buffalo River Watershed, the Arkansas Legislative Council also rejected changes to regulation 6, which puts Arkansas in the potential awkward position of Federal regulations usurping state implementation for some aspects of the clean water act. There has been no public response from DEQ about a resolution of these issues but the deadline for action on the moratorium is September 19, 2020. Robert’s Gap Project The Forest Service has a [...]

8 06, 2020

High Pointing Part 10: West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania

By |2020-06-08T14:58:06-05:00June 8th, 2020|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Summer 2020|Tags: |

This is the tenth episode of my trips to visit as many of the fifty US States' highest points. In chapter nine we looked at the trip I took in August of 2019 to Utah and the Dakotas. This time it's one long day in the spring of 2017 in the central Appalachians. I started the day in Harrisonburg, Virginia. I had spent the night here on my way to a meeting in Harrisburg, Pa. My goal was to get all three states in one day and make it by nightfall to Harrisburg. At 6am I jumped in the car and started up US 33 to my first stop, Spruce Knob, West Virginia. West Virginia Located about 70 miles west of Harrisonburg, Spruce Knob is 4,863 feet above sea level. A state park and access road make the peak very accessible. This was, however, the first day of Spring and no one had told that to the high elevation snow that was still on the last mile or so of the approach road. You park your car in a nearby lot and walk the last quarter mile to a pavilion that sits on the high point. Highest peak is [...]

8 06, 2020

In Memoriam: Frank Sutterfield and Ellen Compton

By |2020-06-08T14:57:52-05:00June 8th, 2020|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Summer 2020|Tags: |

Frank Sutterfield: By Laura Timby, Buffalo River Chapter Chair For many years Frank and Alma Lee Sutterfield were members of the Buffalo River Chapter of the Ozark Society. I met them through their son Terry, also a member of the BRC, who worked as a physician in Marshall. It was always a pleasure to be around the Sutterfields, whether at chapter meetings or outings. Having spent a large part of their lives in Stone and Searcy County they had so many interesting stories to tell. I remember one memorable chapter outing when Terry and Frank led our group into the Clifty Canyon Special Interest Area. It was an incredibly remote and pristine area and I'm pretty sure we never would have found it without their help. We all had a wonderful time and it was made even more special to be with folks who had a personal tie to the area. Frank was a true naturalist and loved these hills he called home. His respect for nature, his true love and appreciation of the Ozark Highlands, and his enduring spirit of conservation stand as an inspiration to all of us. May you rest in peace Frank, together once again with [...]