Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Piney Creeks District: Ozark National Forest

We strayed away from our home turf and explored West. Memorial Day weekend at Richland Creek we decided; somewhere new. It is ClOSED for an undetermined amount of time due to the severe Spring Floods. The roads are washed out and trees are washed down. Luckily the parade road guard alerted us to this fact while we were waiting for the Whitt Springs Parade to pass.
hillbilly daze memorial day parade
Whitt guide
another hound at the memorial day parade at whitt springs, ar

He advised us to trek further West and into the Piney Creeks valley for fishing and dirt biking. We drove down a long FS road and pulled into the last remote campsite available. A couple was there for an afternoon of fishing. They let us pull in and pitch tent.

This was the snakiest place I have ever seen aside from the Temple of Doom.

piney creek snake hole

We got to know and like these folks. The lady is from just down the road on Moccasin Creek and she was up for the afternoon . The more we heard about her home, the more we wanted to go see it. She owns 40 acres of a hollow that are grandfathered into the National Forest. It is a apart of the old Paige Homestead. The Paiges were from Mississippi and resettled into Moccasin Creek in the mid 1800s. Supposedly a couple of hundred people lived down in the hollow - and this is just hard for me to imagine.

Moccasin Creek Cabin
creek that goes into moccasin creek

moccasin gap, ar

moccasin gap, ar

This valley is so remote. The homestead has a home built in the 50's and numerous outbuildings on it from the mid 1800s and pastures and more swimming holes than one could ever hit in a weekend. They fed us and toured us around and there was no place else I'd rather be!

homestead cabin at moccasin creek
homestead cabin moccasin creek

Unlike the Sylamore District of the Ozark National Forest, there were biting flying insects here and I'm not accustomed to that!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Arkansas Laws on Creek/River Pollution and dumping and who to contact

Popular opinion states that you can dump whatever you want in Arkansas, wherever you want. Even a local elected dignitary told us that if it’s on private property, you can almost forget about it. The renegade culture in Arkansas is part of its inherent charm; the trash ain’t so cute. I spoke with a chief inspector at the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality today. He stated it is ILLEGAL to dump poultry or livestock into any stream. If you find instances of livestock or poultry (even their waste) you call this number to report it to the inspector: 501.907.2400. If you find solid waste like appliances, autos, household trash go here to find your local inspector. http://www.adeq.state.ar.us/ . The water guys I spoke with at ADEQ deferred to the solid waste guys. I have a query into them now.

Reporting a dump site/ pollution in Big Creek

On a mission. Tossing and turning in my sleep about the trash we saw in wild and beautiful Big Creek. The following Letter was sent to the Arkansas Heritage Commission seeking advice. I've also written to ADEQ. Will seek help from TU and maybe the EPA? My friends at Ozark Anglers have good strong advice - some from experience; no reponse yet from any authority.

Dear Keeper of Big Creek Natural Area,

My husband and I have recently moved to AR. We are a short distance from Big Creek Natural Area of Cleburne County. It is a wonderful place that we visit often for hiking and fishing and whatnot. On our first visit we thought this creek looked like canoe heaven and indeed it is. This very wet Spring afforded us a long canoe trip a couple of weekends ago – almost 19 miles we think. The fishing and the scenery was spectacular.

We saw some bad dump sites and I am not resting easy about it. I write to you now for your guidance. I’d like to learn more about what I can do about this. The two worst sites have: cars (old and new), appliances (old and new) and even freshly dead cattle. The dumping is active and smells wretched. The ‘trash’ is pushed over the side of the ridge and sits very near the water level, which of course ultimately runs to the Little Red River …...

Big Creek is a wild treasure! Any advice you have for me will be appreciated. Who should I go to about this? It’s so remote that I doubt few will ever see this horrible pollution until its too late.


big creek,ar

Friday, May 9, 2008

Big Creek Wilburn Creek Bass Fishing

These are easy enough to hit after work for a couple of hours. The Little Red River is closer, but Wilburn and Big Creek are more fun for us - wade fish. Drive a little bit North of Pangburn, AR. Find Warren Mt. Access Road. Go Left and you can drive up to Wilburn Creek. It's in a WMA.




Go right on Warren Moutnain Road and you can walk down to Big Creek. Or visit the Natural Area of Big Creek. Follow the nature trail down to the river. Follow the unofficial trail left/upstream to a large rock out cropping. There is a deep hole there with abundant variety. Nearly ever cast landed us fish: stripers, smallmouth, 1 gar, brim/bass hybrids, etc.




Other Big Creek Posts on our blog

Arkansas Spring Storm Pictures

My half hearted attempt at storm chasing this season. The first two are from the back porch and the third one is a little bit down Clay Road - behind our house. The dark skies in the back ground are the tornado 15 miles away near Heber Springs, AR. Each week since February there have been tornado warnings. All but three counties in the state are disaster areas.