Author Topic: Jon's Talk on Watersheds at the 1-6-17 Meeting  (Read 1321 times)

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Offline Suzanne Meeks

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Jon's Talk on Watersheds at the 1-6-17 Meeting
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2017, 09:02:38 AM »
Jan. 6 Program:  Watersheds, by Jon Kruger
     (Secretary's note:  This is not an area of expertise for us, so we apologize to the speakers in advance if this isn't exactly what they said.)
    Back in Minnesota, Jon worked on environmental health for the county government.  Part of the job was lake watershed management.  It's a way of organizing local communities.
     The upper White Rive basin includes Bull Shoals and Lake Norfork.  The White River starts in Arkansas and travels north.  It's dammed near Eureka Springs, at Table Rock Lake in Branson, at Lake Taneycomo, and Bull Shoals -- the western side of the watershed.
   The Little North Fork River  starts at Squires and comes down Baren Fork to Little North Fork, then into the lake.
     The North Fork River starts near Mountain Grove, connects with Bryant Creek in Mansfield, then to the Norfork River, which flows into Norfork Lake.  From there, it meets the Arkansas River, 10 miles from the Mississippi.
     The Little North Fork River watershed would include creaks we live on: 
Pond Fork, Baren Fork (named for Mr. Barnes and pronounced "barn;" distinct from Barren Creek in Arkansas). 
     There are at least 17 watersheds in Ozark County.  A show of hands indicates about a third of us think we know what watershed we live in.
     Our karst topography lets springs out.  It's acidic and dissolves the limestone.
      It's a watershed moment to realize we need to protect and enhance watersheds.  Think like a watershed -- how similar we are to one.  There are branches like a tree that flows to a stem --  like our circulation system.  Water is the lifeblood of the earth.  They are living ecological systems, with many smaller communities in them.
     How can we go about doing this?  It goes back to our mission statement.  We can form local watershed associations.  Find out which one you live in, call a meeting, see who's interested, then form a formal or informal association.  Start looking at what we can do.  It's key to localizing our food system too.
     Water quality is not the only concern about watersheds -- we've created fescue deserts cutting down forests.  But local food production needs be done organically.
     David Lakish called himself a hermit, but brought some paintings because Jon said he needed them to illustrate his talk.  "I realized that if you paint a landscape, it's some sort of watershed," he observed.  One show cows around a pond (Pond Fork, which flows to Bull Shoals Lake, to the Mississippi River, then the Gulf of Mexico).
     Another showed Dawt Mill before touristification.  Yet another was of  Jacks Ford River, where he once floated with his son in a lightning storm  "Scariest thing I've ever done").  One was of the Pond Fork gravel bar.  (Stay tuned for a show of David's sculpture at the Historium, possibly in March.)
     Think like a watershed and see how that comes out, Jon suggested.  He passed a signup sheet for a watershed study group.
     For more on watersheds, including aerial maps, see watersheds.org.