Located just a little over an hour away from my home, the Buffalo National River has long been a treasure to me – an ethereal place where the light touches the earth to expose a landscape not of this world. That may seem like a bit of hyperbole to you until you see it for yourself.
I’m not the first or the last to feel that way. The Buffalo River became the country’s first national river in 1972 because people such as Neil Compton worked to preserve this place. Today, the Buffalo National River Partners endorse the highest standards and practices to sustain and interpret the unique features and values for which the park was established.
As part of its educational component, the Partners will offer the program “Bridging Native American Prehistory and History on the Buffalo” from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at the Boone County Library, located at 221 W. Stephenson, in Harrison. Caven Clark, Ph.D. will discuss the relationship between prehistoric cultures and today’s Native Americans. Clark has been employed by the National Park Service since 1987 and came to the Buffalo National River in 2004 as park archeologist. He now serves as chief of interpretation, education, and cultural resources.
National Park Service Ranger Linda Bishop will present the program “Country Crossroads” from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28 at the Newton County Library in Jasper. The discussion highlights the natural and cultural heritage of America’s first national river.
In addition to the natural beauty and spirit of this place, you can enjoy superb canoeing, fishing, hiking, backpacking, and wildlife watching. A huge herd of elk roam the area and are a popular draw. Cabins, camping, resorts, and lodging in small towns are available.