Annual Elections and Annual Meeting

The time has come again to look at the election of directors to the Board of Friends of the Ouachita Trail. FoOT is governed by nine directors, who the membership elects each fall. This fall we have three board positions to fill, and are seeking candidates for these positions.

Board members serve a three year term. Those elected this fall will serve 2017 through 2019 (with two additional terms allowed). During that time, you would be expected to attend three to four meetings a year, to help provide overall guidance to the organization, to participate in the election of our operating officers, and to approve and monitor our financial position.

Candidates for the Board positions must be identified by September 30th.

The Board elects the operating officers, which serve for the calendar year. Operating officers include the President, three Vice-Presidents (Maintenance,Membership, and Community Relations), and a Secretary / Treasurer. Candidates for officer positions must be identified by the end of the year December 31.

If you would like to nominate someone for the Board or wish to serve yourself,please let me know at Bolea66@Gmail.com or our Secretary / Treasurer, Richard Lawrence at law28@aristotle.net. There are numerous positions of service within FoOT.

You will be receiving information in a few of weeks regarding our FoOT annual meeting. It will be held on Saturday, October 29 th , 2016 in Hot Springs. Further information as to location and agenda to follow. Your support of Friends of the Ouachita Trail is greatly appreciated. I know I am repeating myself but a lot of good things are happening on the OT, we appreciate those who have worked so hard this past year to make that possible.

Bo Lea
FoOT President
501-622-8809 cell

Trail Closure Notice – Temporary

Central Arkansas Water has announced that forest thinning activities wil close the Ouachita Trail Tuesday afternoon, July 5th. The impacted area is mile marker 209 to Highway 300 (MM209-211.5) or from near Lundsford corner and west of there for 2 miles.

National Trail Day Event – June 4 Hike from Winding Stair Campground to Big Cedar

Greetings Friends of the Ouachita Trail!

My name is Andy. I handle social media for the Talimena Scenic Drive. This year we are really focusing in on the Ouachita Trail and I would love an opportunity to speak with you on how we can help support each other!

I would also like to let you know about an event on the trail for National Trail Day.

We are working with Ouachita Trail Guide to help promote a hike on Saturday, June 4th from Winding Stair Campground to Big Cedar.

Would love your support in helping spread the word. Here is the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1663817233899110/

Thank you so much!

Andy Choquette

Jonathan Waldrip Memorial

Friends of the Ouachita Trail would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of Jonathan Waldrip.  Jonathan passed away unexpectedly at the too young age of 34. He is remembered for a kind generous spirit, a great sense of humor and a loving heart.  He loved many pets that enriched his life. Jonathan found solace and renewal in nature and especially enjoyed camping, hiking, fishing and floating.  Sunsets and sunrises were his absolute favorites.  One of his favorite places was the Ouachita Trail in Flatside Wilderness.  Music was another huge outlet in Jonathan’s life and he enjoyed singing and playing multiple instruments.

FoOT has been honored by being the recipient of memorials in Jonathan’s name.  Hope we can all find the solace that Jonathan found in nature.  Embrace those special moments we are given.

Bo Lea, FoOT President

Black Fork Mountain Shelter Completed

The FoOT shelter volunteer crew completed the 9th new shelter for the Ouachita National Recreation Trail, Monday, November 9th, 2015.  The new shelter is the Black Fork Mountain location at mile marker 57.8  (N34 41.437 / W94 18.624).  It is in a beautiful location about 200 yards up the Black Fork Mountain Trail off the OT.  Upon completion of the final 3 shelters, FoOT will have completed its 12 shelter addition to the trail.  At that time, the OT with its existing 9 older shelters will have a complete shelter system for the entire Ouachita National Forest portion of the trail, which is almost 200 miles.

Current plans call for constructing the Turner Gap shelter in March, 2016 and the Suck Mtn. shelter in April, 2016.  The final shelter at Story Creek will be done in October of 2016, wrapping up an amazing project by many hard working volunteers.  It is hard to believe that in about 3 1/2 years FoOT will have built all of the projected 12 new trail shelters.

Your will find a link on the home page that takes you to a listing of all the new shelters with their status, mile marker, and GPS co-ordinates.  Hope you enjoy the new shelters.  If you meet a FoOT volunteer, say “thanks”.

Bo Lea

President, Friends of the Ouachita Trail

FoOT Board Member Nominations and Annual Meeting

FoOT is governed by nine directors, who the membership elects each fall. This fall we have three board positions to fill, and are seeking candidates for these positions. Board members serve a three year term. Those elected this fall will serve 2016 through 2018 (with two additional terms allowed). During that time, you would be expected to attend three to four meetings a year, to help provide overall guidance to the organization, to participate in the election of our operating officers, and to approve and monitor our financial position. Candidates for the Board positions must be identified by September 28th.

The Board elects the operating officers, which serve for the calendar year. Operating officers include the President, three Vice-Presidents (Maintenance, Membership, and Community Relations), and a Secretary / Treasurer. Candidates for officer positions must be identified by the end of the year December 31.

If you would like to nominate someone for the Board or wish to serve yourself, please let me know at Bolea66@Gmail.com or our Secretary / Treasurer, Richard Lawrence at law28@aristotle.net. There are numerous positions of service within FoOT.

You will be receiving information in a couple of weeks regarding our FoOT annual meeting. It will be held on Saturday, November 7th, 2015 in Hot Springs. Further information as to location and agenda to follow. Your support of Friends of the Ouachita Trail is greatly appreciated. A lot of good things are happening on the OT, we hope you can be involved.

Bo Lea

FoOT President

501-622-8809 cell

Friends of the Ouachita Trail Endowment

Since Friends of the Ouachita Trail was formed over 10 years ago, there has been a dream and desire to have a source of sustaining revenue to assist in carrying out our mission.

I am proud to report that it is no longer a dream on our wish list.  The “Friends of the Ouachita Trail Endowment” is a reality.  Our account with the Arkansas Community Foundation has been established after an initial cash contribution of $10,000.  A great feeling to actually see the FoOT account online in black & white.  A special thanks to all who have made this possible.  With contributions and pledges totaling $485,000, the FoOT endowment is off to an amazing start.

Now, we can build on this foundation to make the FoOT endowment an example of building a perpetual legacy for trails.  Taking FoOT to this new level is a major step for the organization.  Your strong ongoing support for FoOT is greatly appreciated.

 

Bo Lea,  FoOT President

Bolea66@gmail.com

501-622-8809

 

OT Closing MM 205-212

UPDATE:    The OT trail closure outlined below has been delayed.  We will post the updated information when it comes available.   Time to enjoy some great hiking.

Bo Lea

FoOT President

 

 

OT Trail Users:

FoOT has been notified by Central Arkansas Water that they will be doing a selective thinning of some of their property along the north side of Lake Maumelle.  The work area will impact about MM 205-212, which is the second crossing of Hwy. 113 on the west end of Lunsford Corner.  The work may begin by the end of July.  Bids are being opened on July 9th.  For safety reasons CAW will have to close part of the Ouachita Trail that runs through this area.  “Trail Closed” signs will be posted once a definite start date has been determined.  A buffer has been flagged for a 66 feet for the trail corridor.  This will be 33 feet either side of the trail.  We will post additional information as we receive it, such as how long this closure will last.

Please contact FoOT if you have any additional question.

Bo Lea

FoOT President

bolea66@gmail.com

Ouachita Challenge 2015

The  2015 Ouachita Challenge will be held on March 28th and 29th this year.  The tour (Saturday) and race (Sunday) will feature 250 riders from many states each day.  As usual, the event will start and finish at the Oden School.  An event of this magnitude requires a lot of volunteers to make it work smoothly.  We will need over 60 volunteers out on the course each of the two days.  Please consider volunteering if you can.  It will involve several hours of work and you will have a great view of the racers.  You may volunteer to be a course marshal or aid station worker by emailing Robert Cavanaugh at stonecoldrc@yahoo.com  If you need to call Robert, his number is 870490-1511.  If you can work both days that would be great, but if you can only work one day we can certainly use that help as well.  Give me your t-shirt size when you sign up.

This event provides funding to the Oden School and to local organizations as well.  The Friends of the Ouachita Trail will receive a considerable amount of funding as a result of providing volunteers for the course and aid stations.  These funds will go to maintain and upgrade the Ouachita Trail.

I look forward to working with you.  I will send out the volunteer assignments about two weeks before the Ouachita Challenge weekend.

 

Robert Cavanaugh

FoOT VP of Resources / Challenge Volunteer Coordinator