Visiting Branson for the holidays? Be sure to stop by the Henning Conservation Area, the legacy of Ruth and Paul Henning. Paul is best known as the creator of the Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, and Petticoat Junction television series. His native landscape also inspired earlier writer Harold Bell Wright, whose 1907 book, Shepherd of the Hills, immortalized local features such as Dewey Bald, Boulder Bald, Sammy Lane’s Lookout, the Signal Tree and Little Pete’s Cave. “Balds” are what local people called the area’s scenic glades (open desert-like areas) that make up the White River Balds Natural Area. The area also includes a small section of bottomland forest along a half-mile stretch of Roark Creek, a relatively undisturbed Ozark headwaters stream. As you near the area on Highway 76, be sure to tune into the Conservation Department’s broadcasts of local history and folklore on radio station AM 1630.
With the price of oil and gas fluctuating, it makes sense to develop fuel alternatives here at home. Wood is among the many renewable resources that can be converted to ethanol. Although Midwestern processing facilities and markets are still developing, they will soon be online to help landowners meet the growing demand for bio-fuels. Landowners can ready themselves for emerging markets by learning best harvesting practices. These will ensure landowners’ ability to sustain forest health, as well as a steady supply of woody biomass for the market. Visit to download a set of best management practices developed by the Conservation Department and its partners. Contact your local forester to learn about local opportunities to provide timber for this emerging market.
In 1974 botanist Paul Thompson noticed an unusual oak at an I-70 rest stop near Concordia. His discovery revealed a botanically rare, three-way hybrid that occurs only in Lafayette County. At the time, few specimens remained. Concordians hurried to get the rare acorns to the state nursery. Thanks to Friends of the Concordia Oak and the George O. White State Nursery, the oak’s future is secure. To learn more about seedling availability, call Concordia Parks and Recreation at (660) 463-4277.
Editor In Chief - Ara Clark
Managing Editor - Nichole LeClair
Art Director - Cliff White
Writer/Editor - Tom Cwynar
Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Circulation - Laura Scheuler