With a proposal in the works to construct a 345,000-volt transmission line in the heart of the Ozark Highlands in Northwest Arkansas and Southwest Missouri, a group of volunteers banded together to protest against the construction plan and protect the forested karst terrain from permanent, irreversible damage.
A region of rugged terrain and mountains covered by montane forests, the Ozark Highlands is a "natural splendor" and foundation of Arkansas' tourism-based economy. The region's scenic beauty consists of rivers, lakes and creeks; many caves, springs and sinkholes; a rich biodiversity; and historic structures and archeological sites. In order to protect and enhance the environment, a small, all-volunteer staff formed in April 2013 and quickly gained the support and engagement of the regional community.
Save the Ozarks, an organization consisting of a team of lawyers and paralegals, experts and community members, has stalled Southwest Power Pool's Kings River Project that was "widely regarded as absolutely unstoppable."
The transmission line project, which is to be carried out by American Electric Power (AEP) and its subsidiary Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), would "traverse 50 to 60 miles of the fragile karst terrain in the heart of the Ozarks."
While the final decision sits with the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC), Save the Ozarks is an intervenor opposing the project and bringing awareness to the community. The organization is dedicating its time to challenging the need for the Kings River Project and doing all it can to intervene and stop it now and forever.
"Save the Ozarks’ purpose is to preserve, protect and enhance the environment of the Ozark Highlands and the quality of life of all its inhabitants."
To learn more about the Save the Ozarks and what you can do to help, click here.