The Ozarks
Overview
 
The Ozarks are a physiographic and geologic
Geology
Geology is the science comprising the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which it evolves. Geology gives insight into the history of the Earth, as it provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and past climates...

 highland region of the central United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It covers much of the southern half of Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

 and an extensive portion of northwestern and north central Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

. The region also extends westward into northeastern Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

 and extreme southeastern Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

. The wooded hills of southwest Illinois, though commonly called the "Illinois Ozarks," are generally not considered part of the true Ozarks.

Although referred to as the Ozark Mountains, the region is actually a high and deeply dissected plateau
Dissected plateau
A dissected plateau is a plateau area that has been severely eroded so that the relief is sharp. Such an area may be referred to as mountainous, but dissected plateaus are distinguishable from orogenic mountain belts by the lack of folding, metamorphism, extensive faulting, or magmatic activity...

.
Encyclopedia
The Ozarks are a physiographic and geologic
Geology
Geology is the science comprising the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which it evolves. Geology gives insight into the history of the Earth, as it provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and past climates...

 highland region of the central United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It covers much of the southern half of Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

 and an extensive portion of northwestern and north central Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

. The region also extends westward into northeastern Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

 and extreme southeastern Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

. The wooded hills of southwest Illinois, though commonly called the "Illinois Ozarks," are generally not considered part of the true Ozarks.

Although referred to as the Ozark Mountains, the region is actually a high and deeply dissected plateau
Dissected plateau
A dissected plateau is a plateau area that has been severely eroded so that the relief is sharp. Such an area may be referred to as mountainous, but dissected plateaus are distinguishable from orogenic mountain belts by the lack of folding, metamorphism, extensive faulting, or magmatic activity...

. Geologically, the area is a broad dome
Dome (geology)
In structural geology, a dome is a deformational feature consisting of symmetrically-dipping anticlines; their general outline on a geologic map is circular or oval...

 around the Saint Francois Mountains
Saint Francois Mountains
The St. Francois Mountains in southeast Missouri are a range of Precambrian igneous mountains rising over the Ozark Plateau. This range is one of the oldest exposures of igneous rock in North America....

. The Ozark Highlands area, covering nearly 47000 square miles (121,729.4 km²), is by far the most extensive mountainous region between the Appalachians and the Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountains are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States...

. Together, the Ozarks and Ouachita Mountains
Ouachita Mountains
The Ouachita Mountains are a mountain range in west central Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma. The range's subterranean roots may extend as far as central Texas, or beyond it to the current location of the Marathon Uplift. Along with the Ozark Mountains, the Ouachita Mountains form the U.S...

 form an area known as the U.S. Interior Highlands
U.S. Interior Highlands
The U.S. Interior Highlands is a mountainous region spanning eastern Oklahoma, western and northern Arkansas, southern Missouri, and the extreme southeast corner of Kansas. The name is designated by the United States Geological Survey to refer to the combined mountainous region of the Ozarks and...

, and are sometimes referred to collectively. For example, the ecoregion
Ecoregion
An ecoregion , sometimes called a bioregion, is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than an ecozone and larger than an ecosystem. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural...

 called Ozark Mountain Forests
Ozark Mountain Forests
The Ozark Mountain forests are a temperate broadleaf and mixed forests ecoregion of the central United States delineated by the World Wide Fund for Nature...

 includes the Ouachita Mountains, although the Arkansas River valley and the Ouachitas, both south of the Boston Mountains
Boston Mountains
The Boston Mountains area is a high and deeply dissected plateau located in northern Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. The Oklahoma portion of the range is locally referred to as the Cookson Hills. The rocks of the region are essentially little disturbed, flat-lying sedimentary layers of the Paleozoic...

, are not usually considered part of the Ozarks.

Etymology

The etymology
Etymology
Etymology is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time.For languages with a long written history, etymologists make use of texts in these languages and texts about the languages to gather knowledge about how words were used during...

 of the name is a subject of speculation.

Ozarks is a toponym believed to be derived as a linguistic corruption of the French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 abbreviation aux Arks (short for aux Arkansas, or "of/at Arkansas" in English) in the decades prior to the French and Indian War
French and Indian War
The French and Indian War is the common American name for the war between Great Britain and France in North America from 1754 to 1763. In 1756, the war erupted into the world-wide conflict known as the Seven Years' War and thus came to be regarded as the North American theater of that war...

, aux Arkansas originally referring to the trading post
Trading post
A trading post was a place or establishment in historic Northern America where the trading of goods took place. The preferred travel route to a trading post or between trading posts, was known as a trade route....

 at Arkansas Post, located in wooded Arkansas Delta
Arkansas Delta
The Arkansas Delta is one of the five natural regions of the state of Arkansas. It runs along the eastern border of the state next to the Mississippi River. It is part of the Mississippi River alluvial plain, itself part of the Mississippi embayment...

 lowland area above the confluence of the White River
White River (Arkansas)
The White River is a 722-mile long river that flows through the U.S. states of Arkansas and Missouri.-Course:The source of the White River is in the Boston Mountains of northwest Arkansas, in the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest southeast of Fayetteville...

 with the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

. "Arkansas" seems to be the French version of what the Illinois
Illiniwek
The Illinois Confederation, sometimes referred to as the Illiniwek or Illini, were a group of twelve to thirteen Native American tribes in the upper Mississippi River valley of North America...

 tribe (further up the Mississippi) called the Quapaw
Quapaw
The Quapaw people are a tribe of Native Americans who historically resided on the west side of the Mississippi River in what is now the state of Arkansas.They are federally recognized as the Quapaw Tribe of Indians.-Government:...

, who lived in eastern Arkansas in the area of the trading post. Eventually, the term came to refer to all Ozark Plateau drainage into the Arkansas and Missouri River
Missouri River
The Missouri River flows through the central United States, and is a tributary of the Mississippi River. It is the longest river in North America and drains the third largest area, though only the thirteenth largest by discharge. The Missouri's watershed encompasses most of the American Great...

s.

An alternative origin for the name 'Ozark' involves the French term "aux arc." In the later 1600s and early 1700s, French cartographers mapped the Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers. The large 'top most' arc or bend in this part of the Arkansas River was referred to as the 'aux arc' - the top or most northern arc in the whole of the lower Arkansas. Travelers arriving by boat would disembark at this top bend of the river to explore the Ozarks; the town of Ozark, Arkansas is located on the north bank at this very location.

Other possible derivations include aux arcs meaning "[land]of the arches" in reference to the dozens of natural bridges
Natural arch
A natural arch or natural bridge is a natural geological formation where a rock arch forms, with an opening underneath. Most natural arches form as a narrow ridge, walled by cliffs, become narrower from erosion, with a softer rock stratum under the cliff-forming stratum gradually eroding out until...

 formed by erosion and collapsed caves in the Ozark region. These include Clifty Hollow Natural Bridge (actually a series of arches) in Missouri, and Alum Cove in the Ozark – St. Francis National Forest. It is even suggested aux arcs is an abbreviation of aux arcs-en-ciel, French for "toward the rainbows" which are a common sight in the mountainous regions. After the Louisiana Purchase
Louisiana Purchase
The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United States of America of of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana in 1803. The U.S...

, American travelers in the region referred to various features of the upland areas using the term Ozark, such as Ozark Mountains and Ozark forests. By the early 20th century, The Ozarks had become a generic term.

Geographic subdivisions

The Ozarks consist of four primary physiographic sections
Physiographic regions of the world
The physiographic regions of the world are a means of defining the Earth's landforms into distinct regions based upon classic 1916 three-tiered approach defining divisions, provinces, and sections...

: the Springfield Plateau, Salem Plateau, Saint Francois Mountains
Saint Francois Mountains
The St. Francois Mountains in southeast Missouri are a range of Precambrian igneous mountains rising over the Ozark Plateau. This range is one of the oldest exposures of igneous rock in North America....

, and Boston Mountains
Boston Mountains
The Boston Mountains area is a high and deeply dissected plateau located in northern Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. The Oklahoma portion of the range is locally referred to as the Cookson Hills. The rocks of the region are essentially little disturbed, flat-lying sedimentary layers of the Paleozoic...

. Topography is mostly gently rolling, except in the Boston Mountains, along the escarpments separating the Springfield and Salem Plateaus, and the Saint Francois Range where it is rugged. Karst
KARST
Kilometer-square Area Radio Synthesis Telescope is a Chinese telescope project to which FAST is a forerunner. KARST is a set of large spherical reflectors on karst landforms, which are bowlshaped limestone sinkholes named after the Kras region in Slovenia and Northern Italy. It will consist of...

 features such as spring
Spring (hydrosphere)
A spring—also known as a rising or resurgence—is a component of the hydrosphere. Specifically, it is any natural situation where water flows to the surface of the earth from underground...

s, losing stream
Losing stream
A losing stream, or influent stream, is a stream or river that loses water as it flows downstream. The water infiltrates into the ground recharging the local groundwater, because the water table is below the bottom of the stream channel...

s, sinkhole
Sinkhole
A sinkhole, also known as a sink, shake hole, swallow hole, swallet, doline or cenote, is a natural depression or hole in the Earth's surface caused by karst processes — the chemical dissolution of carbonate rocks or suffosion processes for example in sandstone...

s and cave
Cave
A cave or cavern is a natural underground space large enough for a human to enter. The term applies to natural cavities some part of which is in total darkness. The word cave also includes smaller spaces like rock shelters, sea caves, and grottos.Speleology is the science of exploration and study...

s are common in the limestone
Limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

s of the Springfield Plateau and abundant in the dolostone
Dolostone
Dolostone or dolomite rock is a sedimentary carbonate rock that contains a high percentage of the mineral dolomite. In old U.S.G.S. publications it was referred to as magnesian limestone. Most dolostone formed as a magnesium replacement of limestone or lime mud prior to lithification. It is...

 bedrock of the Salem Plateau and Boston Mountains. Missouri is known as "The Cave State" with over 6000 recorded caves; the majority of these caves are found in the Ozark counties. The Ozark Plateaus aquifer system affects groundwater movement in all areas except the igneous core of the St. Francois Mountains. Geographic features include limestone and dolomite glades
Glade (geography)
A glade or clearing is an open area within a woodland. Glades are often grassy meadows under the canopy of deciduous trees such as red alder or quaking aspen in western North America. They also represent openings in forests where local conditions such as avalanches, poor soils, or fire damage have...

, which are rocky, desert-like area on hilltops. Kept open by periodic fires that limit growth of grasses
Herbaceous plant
A herbaceous plant is a plant that has leaves and stems that die down at the end of the growing season to the soil level. They have no persistent woody stem above ground...

 and forb
Forb
A forb is a herbaceous flowering plant that is not a graminoid . The term is used in biology and in vegetation ecology, especially in relation to grasslands and understory.-Etymology:...

s in shallow soil, glades are home to collared lizards, tarantulas, scorpions, cacti and other species more typical of the desert southwest.

The Boston Mountains are the highest section of the Ozarks. Summits can reach elevations of just over 2,560 feet (780 m) with valleys 500 to 1,550 feet (472 m) deep (150 m to 450 m). Turner Ward Knob (TWK) is the highest named peak. Located in western Newton County, Arkansas, its elevation is 2,463 feet (751 m). Nearby, five unnamed peaks have elevations at or slightly above 2,560 feet (780 m).

Geology

The Saint Francois Mountain Range rises above the Ozark Plateau and is the geological core of the highland dome. The igneous and volcanic rocks of the Saint Francois Mountains are the exposed remains of a Proterozoic
Proterozoic
The Proterozoic is a geological eon representing a period before the first abundant complex life on Earth. The name Proterozoic comes from the Greek "earlier life"...

 mountain range. The mountains are the exposed portion of an extensive terrane
Terrane
A terrane in geology is short-hand term for a tectonostratigraphic terrane, which is a fragment of crustal material formed on, or broken off from, one tectonic plate and accreted or "sutured" to crust lying on another plate...

 (the Spavinaw terrane
Spavinaw terrane
The Spavinaw terrane is an occurrence of Proterozoic intrusive and volcanic rocks in the mid-continent region of the United States. The terrane extends across southern Missouri, southern Kansas, northern Arkansas and much of Oklahoma...

 in part) of granitic and rhyolitic rocks dating from 1485 to 1350 mya that stretches from Ohio to western Oklahoma. The core of the range existed as an island in the Paleozoic
Paleozoic
The Paleozoic era is the earliest of three geologic eras of the Phanerozoic eon, spanning from roughly...

 seas. Reef
Reef
In nautical terminology, a reef is a rock, sandbar, or other feature lying beneath the surface of the water ....

 complexes occur in the sedimentary layers surrounding this ancient island. These flanking reefs were points of concentration for later ore
Ore
An ore is a type of rock that contains minerals with important elements including metals. The ores are extracted through mining; these are then refined to extract the valuable element....

-bearing fluids which formed the rich lead
Lead
Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...

-zinc
Zinc
Zinc , or spelter , is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element in group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is, in some respects, chemically similar to magnesium, because its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2...

 ores that have been and continue to be mined
Mining
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...

 in the area. The igneous and volcanic rocks extend at depth under the relatively thin veneer of Paleozoic sedimentary rocks and form the basal crust of the entire region.

A major unconformity
Unconformity
An unconformity is a buried erosion surface separating two rock masses or strata of different ages, indicating that sediment deposition was not continuous. In general, the older layer was exposed to erosion for an interval of time before deposition of the younger, but the term is used to describe...

 in the region attests that the Ozarks was above sea level for several hundred million years from the time of the volcanism in the Precambrian until the mid-Cambrian
Cambrian
The Cambrian is the first geological period of the Paleozoic Era, lasting from Mya ; it is succeeded by the Ordovician. Its subdivisions, and indeed its base, are somewhat in flux. The period was established by Adam Sedgwick, who named it after Cambria, the Latin name for Wales, where Britain's...

 with an erosionally produced relief of up to 1500 feet. The seas encroached during the late Cambrian producing the LaMotte sandstone, 200 to 300 ft (61 to 91.4 m) thick, followed by carbonate
Carbonate rock
Carbonate rocks are a class of sedimentary rocks composed primarily of carbonate minerals. The two major types are limestone, which is composed of calcite or aragonite and dolostone, which is composed of the mineral dolomite .Calcite can be either dissolved by groundwater or precipitated by...

 sedimentation. Coral reef
Coral reef
Coral reefs are underwater structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Coral reefs are colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, which in turn consist of polyps that cluster in groups. The polyps...

s formed around the granite and rhyolite islands in this Cambrian sea. This carbonate formation, the Bonneterre now mostly dolomite
Dolomite
Dolomite is a carbonate mineral composed of calcium magnesium carbonate CaMg2. The term is also used to describe the sedimentary carbonate rock dolostone....

, is exposed around the St. Francis mountains, but extends in the subsurface throughout the Ozarks and reaches a thickness of 400 to 1500 ft (121.9 to 457.2 m). The Bonneterre is overlain by 500 to 600 ft (152.4 to 182.9 m) of dolomite, often sandy, silty or cherty, forming the Elvins Group and the Potosi and Eminence Formations. Withdrawal of the seas resulted in another unconformity during the latest Cambrian and early Ordovician
Ordovician
The Ordovician is a geologic period and system, the second of six of the Paleozoic Era, and covers the time between 488.3±1.7 to 443.7±1.5 million years ago . It follows the Cambrian Period and is followed by the Silurian Period...

 periods. Hydrothermal mineralizing fluids formed the rich lead
Lead
Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...

 ore
Ore
An ore is a type of rock that contains minerals with important elements including metals. The ores are extracted through mining; these are then refined to extract the valuable element....

 deposits of the Lead Belt
Lead Belt
The Southeast Missouri Lead District, commonly called the Lead Belt, is a lead mining district in the southeastern part of Missouri. Counties in the Lead Belt include Saint Francois; Crawford; Dent; Iron; Madison: Reynolds; and Washington...

 during this time.

Sedimentation resumed in the Ordovician
Ordovician
The Ordovician is a geologic period and system, the second of six of the Paleozoic Era, and covers the time between 488.3±1.7 to 443.7±1.5 million years ago . It follows the Cambrian Period and is followed by the Silurian Period...

 with the deposition of the Gunter sandstone, the Gasconade dolomite and the prominent Roubidoux sandstone and dolomite. The sandstone of the Roubidoux forms prominent bluffs along the streams eroding into the southern part of the Salem plateau. The Roubidoux and Gunter sandstones serve as significant aquifer
Aquifer
An aquifer is a wet underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials from which groundwater can be usefully extracted using a water well. The study of water flow in aquifers and the characterization of aquifers is called hydrogeology...

s when present in the subsurface. The source of the sands is considered to be the emerging Wisconsin Dome to the northeast. The Ozark region remained as a subsiding shallow carbonate shelf environment with a significant thickness of cherty dolomites as the Jefferson City, Cotter and Powell formations.

Portions of the Ozark Plateau, the Springfield plateau of southwest Missouri and northern Arkansas, are underlain by Mississippian chert
Chert
Chert is a fine-grained silica-rich microcrystalline, cryptocrystalline or microfibrous sedimentary rock that may contain small fossils. It varies greatly in color , but most often manifests as gray, brown, grayish brown and light green to rusty red; its color is an expression of trace elements...

y limestones locally referred to as Boone chert consisting of limestone and chert layers. These are eroded and form steep hills, valleys and bluffs.

During the Pennsylvanian
Pennsylvanian
The Pennsylvanian is, in the ICS geologic timescale, the younger of two subperiods of the Carboniferous Period. It lasted from roughly . As with most other geochronologic units, the rock beds that define the Pennsylvanian are well identified, but the exact date of the start and end are uncertain...

 Period the Ozark Plateau was uplifted as a result of the Ouachita orogeny
Ouachita orogeny
The Ouachita orogeny was a mountain building event that resulted in the folding and faulting of strata currently exposed in the Ouachita Mountains...

. During the early Paleozoic a deep ocean basin existed in central and southern Arkansas. Then South America collided with North America creating the folded Ouachita Mountains
Ouachita Mountains
The Ouachita Mountains are a mountain range in west central Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma. The range's subterranean roots may extend as far as central Texas, or beyond it to the current location of the Marathon Uplift. Along with the Ozark Mountains, the Ouachita Mountains form the U.S...

 and uplifting the Ozark plateau to the north.

Ecology and conservation

Ozark – St. Francis National Forest was created by proclamation of President Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

 in 1908. In 1939, Congress established Mark Twain National Forest
Mark Twain National Forest
Mark Twain National Forest is a U.S. National Forest located in the southern half of Missouri. MTNF was established on September 11, 1939. It is named for author Mark Twain, a Missouri native. The MTNF covers approximately 1.5 million acres , 78,000 acres of which are Wilderness, and National...

 at nine sites in Missouri. In 1976, Congress established Hercules-Glades Wilderness, the first of 13 designated wilderness areas in the Ozarks. In 1986, Congress established the Ozark Plateau National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Oklahoma. Protected areas ensure the recovery of endangered and threatened species of animals and plants, including the Ozark big-eared bat
Ozark Big-Eared Bat
The Ozark Big-Eared Bat is one of the five subspecies of Corynorhinus townsendii, a species of vesper bat . Their average lifespan is 15 years. Part of the mating ritual of these bats includes nuzzling heads...

, Indiana bat
Indiana bat
The Indiana bat is a medium-sized mouse-eared bat native to North America. It lives primarily in eastern and midwestern states and in parts of the south of the United States. The Indiana bat is gray, black, or chestnut in colour and is 1.2–2 inches and weighs about 1/4 an ounce...

, eastern small-footed bat, southeastern bat, southeastern big-eared bat; longnose darter
Longnose darter
The longnose darter is a species of fish in the Percidae family. It is endemic to the United States.-Source:* Gimenez Dixon, M. 1996. . Downloaded on 4 August 2007....

, Ozark cavefish
Ozark Cavefish
The Ozark cavefish, Amblyopsis rosae, is a small subterranean freshwater fish native to the United States. It has been listed as a threatened species in the United States since 1984, the IUCN lists the species as vulnerable. While the Ozark cavefish is listed as threatened by the U.S...

, Ozark cave crayfish
Crayfish
Crayfish, crawfish, or crawdads – members of the superfamilies Astacoidea and Parastacoidea – are freshwater crustaceans resembling small lobsters, to which they are related...

, Bowman's cave amphipod, Ozark cave amphipod, bat cave isopod; and Ozark chinquapin
Chinquapin
-Plants:* Chinquapin or chinkapin, any of the shrubs in the genus Castanopsis* Chinquapin or chinkapin, any of the several trees and shrubs in the genus Chrysolepis* Chinquapin or chinkapin, some of the species in the chestnut genus Castanea...

. It is a habitat of migratory birds and contains geological, archeological, historical, and paleontological resources.

Commercial farms and processing operations are known to raise levels of chemical and biological contaminants in Ozark streams, threatening water supplies, recreational use and endangered native species.

Lakes and streams

The United States Army Corps of Engineers
United States Army Corps of Engineers
The United States Army Corps of Engineers is a federal agency and a major Army command made up of some 38,000 civilian and military personnel, making it the world's largest public engineering, design and construction management agency...

 lakes that were created by damming the White River
White River (Arkansas)
The White River is a 722-mile long river that flows through the U.S. states of Arkansas and Missouri.-Course:The source of the White River is in the Boston Mountains of northwest Arkansas, in the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest southeast of Fayetteville...

 beginning in 1911 with Lake Taneycomo
Lake Taneycomo
Lake Taneycomo is a man-made lake or reservoir on the White River in the Ozark Mountains of Taney County, Missouri. The reservoir is named for the county in which it is located: Taney County, MO....

 have provided a large tourist, boating and fishing economy along the Missouri-Arkansas border. Six lakes were created by dams in the White River basin from 1911 through 1960. White River lakes include Lake Sequoyah, a small recreational fishing lake east of Fayetteville, Arkansas
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Fayetteville is the county seat of Washington County, and the third largest city in Arkansas. The city is centrally located within the county and is home to the University of Arkansas. Fayetteville is also deep in the Boston Mountains, a subset of The Ozarks...

, formed in 1961; Sequoyah is the uppermost impoundment on the White River. Below Sequoyah (northeast of Fayetteville) is Beaver Lake
Beaver Lake (Arkansas)
Beaver Lake is a man-made reservoir in the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas and is formed by a dam across the White River. Beaver Lake has some of natural shoreline...

, formed in 1960. The White River continues northeasterly into Table Rock Lake
Table Rock Lake
Table Rock Lake is an artificial lake or reservoir in The Ozarks of southwestern Missouri and northwestern Arkansas. It is impounded by Table Rock Dam constructed in 1954-1958 on the White River by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It is one of the tourist draws for the nearby town of Branson,...

 (1958) in Missouri, which feeds directly into Taneycomo, where the river zigzag
Zigzag
A zigzag is a pattern made up of small corners at variable angles, though constant within the zigzag, tracing a path between two parallel lines; it can be described as both jagged and fairly regular....

s southeasterly into Arkansas forming Bull Shoals Lake
Bull Shoals Lake
Bull Shoals Lake is an artificial lake or reservoir in the Ozark Mountains of northern Arkansas and southern Missouri. It has hundreds of miles of lake arms and coves perfect for boating, water sports, swimming, and fishing...

 along the Arkansas-Missouri line. Completed in 1952, Bull Shoals is the furthest downstream lake on the White River proper. Lake Norfork
Norfork Dam
Norfork Dam is a large dam in northern Arkansas southeast of Mountain Home. It dams North Fork River and creates Norfork Lake. The top of the dam supports a 2-lane roadway, part of AR 177.-History:...

 formed by damming the North Fork River
North Fork River (Missouri - Arkansas)
The North Fork River or the North Fork of White River is a tributary of the White River, into which it flows near Norfork, Arkansas.It rises in Wright County, Missouri, southeast of the city of Mountain Grove, and flows generally southwards through Douglas and Ozark counties...

, a tributary of the White River, in 1941.

The Lake of the Ozarks
Lake of the Ozarks
The Lake of the Ozarks is a large reservoir created by impounding the Osage River in the northern part of the Ozarks in central Missouri. Extents of three smaller tributaries to the Osage, the Niangua River, Grandglaize Creek, and Gravois Creek, are included in the impoundment...

, Pomme de Terre Lake
Pomme de Terre Lake
Pomme de Terre Lake is located in southwest Missouri at the confluence of Lindley Creek and the Pomme de Terre River . The lake is located in southern Hickory and northern Polk counties, about north of Springfield...

 and Truman Lake in the northern Ozarks were formed by impounding the Osage River
Osage River
The Osage River is a tributary of the Missouri River in central Missouri in the United States. The Osage River is one of the larger rivers in Missouri. The river drains a mostly rural area of . The watershed includes an area of east-central Kansas and a large portion of west-central and central...

 and its tributary the Pomme de Terre River
Pomme de Terre River (Missouri)
The Pomme de Terre River is a tributary of the Osage River in southwestern Missouri in the United States. Via the Osage and Missouri rivers, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River.Pomme de terre is French for potato.-Course:...

 in 1931, 1961 and 1979 respectively. Grand Lake
Grand Lake o' the Cherokees
Grand Lake o' the Cherokees is situated in Northeast Oklahoma, nestled in the foothills of the Ozark Mountain Range. The "o'" in the name of the lake stands for of not over. Grand Lake Of the Cherokees is the official name. It is often simply called Grand Lake...

 in northeast Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

 was created in 1940. Stockton Lake
Stockton Lake
Stockton Lake is located in southeastern Cedar County, northeastern Dade County, and southwestern Polk County, Missouri. The lake is 'V' shaped, and covers , with of shoreline....

 was formed by damming the Sac River
Sac River
The Sac River is a river in southwest Missouri. It is long, with headwaters in Lawrence and Greene counties; the headwaters join near Greenfield, then flow north through the Ozarks, to the Osage River, ending just above Osceola in Truman Reservoir....

 near the city of Stockton, Missouri
Stockton, Missouri
Stockton is a city in Cedar County, Missouri, United States. The population was 1,960 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Cedar County.-Geography:Stockton is located at ....

 in 1969 and supplements the water supply of Springfield
Springfield, Missouri
Springfield is the third largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and the county seat of Greene County. According to the 2010 census data, the population was 159,498, an increase of 5.2% since the 2000 census. The Springfield Metropolitan Area, population 436,712, includes the counties of...

 in nearby Greene County
Greene County, Missouri
Greene County is a county located in Southwest Missouri. As of 2010, the population was 275,174 making it the fourth most populated county in Missouri. Its county seat is Springfield...

. Most of the dams were built for the dual purpose of flood control
Flood control
In communications, flood control is a feature of many communication protocols designed to prevent overwhelming of a destination receiver. Such controls can be implemented either in software or in hardware, and will often request that the message be resent after the receiver has finished...

 and hydropower
Hydropower
Hydropower, hydraulic power, hydrokinetic power or water power is power that is derived from the force or energy of falling water, which may be harnessed for useful purposes. Since ancient times, hydropower has been used for irrigation and the operation of various mechanical devices, such as...

 generation.

The creation of the lakes significantly altered the Ozark landscape and impacted traditional Ozark culture through displacement. The streams provided water and power to communities, farms and mills concentrated in the valleys prior to impoundment. Many farm roads, river fords and railways were lost when the lakes came, disrupting rural travel and commerce. Baxter County, Arkansas
Baxter County, Arkansas
Baxter County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. It is in the northern part of the state, and shares a border with Missouri. It is commonly referred to as the Twin Lakes Area because it is bordered by two of Arkansas' largest lakes, Bull Shoals Lake and Norfork Lake...

 alone saw nearly four-hundred people displaced to make way for the reservoir created by Norfork Dam
Norfork Dam
Norfork Dam is a large dam in northern Arkansas southeast of Mountain Home. It dams North Fork River and creates Norfork Lake. The top of the dam supports a 2-lane roadway, part of AR 177.-History:...

. The town of Forsyth, Missouri
Forsyth, Missouri
Forsyth is a city in Taney County, Missouri, United States. The population was 1,686 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Taney County. The town is part of the Branson, Missouri Micropolitan Statistical Area-Geography:...

 was relocated in its entirety to a spot two miles (3 km) from its previous location. Prior to damming, the White and Osage River basins were similar to the current conditions of the Buffalo, Elk, Niangua, Gasconade, Big Piney, Current, Jacks Fork, Eleven Point and Meramec rivers.

The Buffalo National River
Buffalo National River
The Buffalo River, located in northern Arkansas, was the first National River to be designated in the United States. The Buffalo River is slightly more than in length, with the lower flowing within the boundaries of an area managed by the National Park Service, where it is designated the '. The...

 was created by an Act of Congress in 1972 as the nation's first National River administered by the National Park Service
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

. In Missouri, the Ozark National Scenic Riverways
Ozark National Scenic Riverways
The Ozark National Scenic Riverways is a national park in the Ozarks of southern Missouri in the U.S..The park was created by an Act of Congress in 1964 to protect the Current and Jacks Fork rivers, and it was formally dedicated in 1971. The park's are used for many forms of recreation and are...

, was established in 1964 along the Current
Current River (Missouri)
The Current River forms in the southeastern portion of the Ozarks of Missouri and becomes a 7th order stream as it flows southeasterly out of the Ozarks into northeastern Arkansas where it becomes a tributary of the Black River, which is a tributary of the White River, a tributary of the...

 and Jacks Fork
Jacks Fork River
Jacks Fork is one of two rivers in Missouri that are part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways system.Starting in Texas County, Missouri, this spring-fed river flows in a general east to northeasterly direction through the heart of the geological area known as the Lower Ozark Natural Division...

 rivers as the first US national park based on a river system. The Eleven Point River
Eleven Point River
The Eleven Point River is a river in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas, United States. It originates near Willow Springs, Missouri. It more than doubles in flow when Greer Spring Branch runs into it, adding over of water per day to the river. The name derives from the Mississippi Valley...

 is included in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System established in 1968. These river parks annually draw a combined 1.5 million recreational tourists to the least populated counties in Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

 and Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

.

Missouri Ozark rivers include the Gasconade
Gasconade River
The Gasconade River is about long and is located in central and south-central Missouri in the United States.The Gasconade River begins in the Ozarks southeast of Hartville in Wright County and flows generally north-northeastwardly through Wright, Laclede, Pulaski, Phelps, Maries, Osage and...

, Big Piney and the Niangua River
Niangua River
The Niangua River is a tributary of the Osage River in the Ozarks region of southern and central Missouri in the United States. Via the Osage and Missouri rivers it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River.-Course:...

 in the north central region. The Meramec River and its tributaries Huzzah and Courtois Creeks are found in the northeastern Ozarks. The Black
Black River (Arkansas)
The Black River is a tributary of the White River, about 300 mi long , in southeastern Missouri and northeastern Arkansas in the United States. Via the White River, it is part of the Mississippi River watershed...

 and St. Francis
St. Francis River
The Saint Francis River is a tributary of the Mississippi River, about long, in southeastern Missouri and northeastern Arkansas in the United States...

 Rivers mark the eastern crescent of the Ozarks. The James
James River (Missouri)
The James River is a river in southern Missouri. Its source is near the town of Diggins in Webster County. It begins on a northwesterly course, then turns southwest near Northview and passes near Springfield...

, Spring
Spring River (Arkansas)
The Spring River is a 57-mile long river which flows through the U.S. states of Missouri and Arkansas.The Spring River consists of two branches, the South Fork of the Spring River and the Spring River proper....

 and North Fork
North Fork River (Missouri - Arkansas)
The North Fork River or the North Fork of White River is a tributary of the White River, into which it flows near Norfork, Arkansas.It rises in Wright County, Missouri, southeast of the city of Mountain Grove, and flows generally southwards through Douglas and Ozark counties...

 Rivers are in south central Missouri. Forming the West central border of the Ozarks from Missouri through Kansas and into Oklahoma are Spring River
Spring River (Missouri)
The Spring River is a waterway located in southwestern Missouri, southeastern Kansas, and northeastern Oklahoma. It begins in northern Barry County, Missouri south of Aurora, flows north of Verona and turns west across Lawrence and Jasper counties, passing through Carthage, before crossing into...

 and its tributary Center Creek. Grand Falls, Missouri's largest natural waterfall, a chert
Chert
Chert is a fine-grained silica-rich microcrystalline, cryptocrystalline or microfibrous sedimentary rock that may contain small fossils. It varies greatly in color , but most often manifests as gray, brown, grayish brown and light green to rusty red; its color is an expression of trace elements...

 outcropping, includes bluffs and glades
Glade (geography)
A glade or clearing is an open area within a woodland. Glades are often grassy meadows under the canopy of deciduous trees such as red alder or quaking aspen in western North America. They also represent openings in forests where local conditions such as avalanches, poor soils, or fire damage have...

 on Shoal Creek south of Joplin. All these river systems see heavy recreational use in season, including the Elk River
Elk River (Oklahoma)
The Elk River is a tributary of the Neosho River in southwestern Missouri and northeastern Oklahoma in the United States. Its tributaries also drain a small portion of northwestern Arkansas...

 in Southwest Missouri and its tributary Big Sugar Creek
Big Sugar Creek
Big Sugar Creek is a waterway in the Ozark Mountains of southwest Missouri. The creek starts near the Arkansas state line. Only about of this is floatable during the spring and summer. The gradient is near 9 feet per mile from Highway 90 to Cyclone and 6 feet per mile to Pineville, Missouri. Big...

.

Ozark rivers and streams are typically clear water, with baseflow
Baseflow
Baseflow is the portion of streamflow that comes from "the sum of deep subsurface flow and delayed shallow subsurface flow"...

s sustained by many seeps
Seep (hydrology)
A Seep is a moist or wet place where water, usually groundwater, reaches the earth's surface from an underground aquifer.-Description:Seeps are usually not of sufficient volume to be flowing beyond their above-ground location. They are part of the limnology-geomorphology system...

 and springs
Spring (hydrosphere)
A spring—also known as a rising or resurgence—is a component of the hydrosphere. Specifically, it is any natural situation where water flows to the surface of the earth from underground...

 and flow through forests along limestone
Limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

 and dolomite
Dolomite
Dolomite is a carbonate mineral composed of calcium magnesium carbonate CaMg2. The term is also used to describe the sedimentary carbonate rock dolostone....

 bluffs. Gravel bars are common along shallow banks, while deep holes are found along bluffs. Except during periods of heavy rain or snow melt – when water levels rise quite rapidly – their level of difficulty is suitable for most canoeing and tubing.

Fish hatcheries are common due to the abundance of springs and waterways. The Neosho National Fish Hatchery
Neosho National Fish Hatchery
The Neosho National Fish Hatchery is the oldest federal fish hatchery in operation today. It is one of 69 fish hatcheries operated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. It was established in 1888.-History:...

 was built in 1888; it was the first Federal hatchery. The Missouri Department of Conservation operates numerous warm and cold water hatcheries and trout parks; private hatcheries such as Rockbridge
Rockbridge, Missouri
Rockbridge is an unincorporated community in northern Ozark County, Missouri. It is the site of an old mill on spring fed Spring Creek a tributary of Bryant Creek, which still houses the post office. It is twelve miles north of Gainesville off Route 95. The town was founded in the 19th century...

 are found throughout the region.

Traditional economic activity

The Ozarks contain ore deposits of lead
Lead
Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...

, zinc
Zinc
Zinc , or spelter , is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element in group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is, in some respects, chemically similar to magnesium, because its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2...

, iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

 and barite
Barite
Baryte, or barite, is a mineral consisting of barium sulfate. The baryte group consists of baryte, celestine, anglesite and anhydrite. Baryte itself is generally white or colorless, and is the main source of barium...

. Many of these deposits have been depleted by historic mining activities, but much remains and is currently being mined in the Lead Belt of southeast Missouri. Historically the lead belt around the Saint Francois Mountains and the Tri-state district
Tri-State district
The Tri-State district was an historic lead-zinc mining district located in southwest Missouri, southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahoma. The district produced lead and zinc for over 100 years. Production began in the 1850s and 60s in the Joplin - Granby area of Jasper and Newton counties of...

 lead-zinc mining area around Joplin, Missouri
Joplin, Missouri
Joplin is a city in southern Jasper County and northern Newton County in the southwestern corner of the US state of Missouri. Joplin is the largest city in Jasper County, though it is not the county seat. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 50,150...

, have been very important sources of metals. Mining practices common in the early 20th century left significant undermining and heavy metal contamination in topsoil and groundwater in the Tri-state district. Furthermore, active mining in south-central Missouri continues to hazard groundwater and streams.

Much of the area supports beef
Beef
Beef is the culinary name for meat from bovines, especially domestic cattle. Beef can be harvested from cows, bulls, heifers or steers. It is one of the principal meats used in the cuisine of the Middle East , Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Europe and the United States, and is also important in...

 cattle
Cattle
Cattle are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos primigenius...

 ranching, and dairy
Dairy
A dairy is a business enterprise established for the harvesting of animal milk—mostly from cows or goats, but also from buffalo, sheep, horses or camels —for human consumption. A dairy is typically located on a dedicated dairy farm or section of a multi-purpose farm that is concerned...

 farming is common across the area. Dairy farms are usually cooperative affairs, with small farms selling to a corporate wholesaler who packages product under a common brand for retail sales. Petroleum
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 exploration and extraction also takes place in the Oklahoma portion of the Ozarks, as well as in the east half of the Boston Mountains in Arkansas. Logging
Logging
Logging is the cutting, skidding, on-site processing, and loading of trees or logs onto trucks.In forestry, the term logging is sometimes used in a narrow sense concerning the logistics of moving wood from the stump to somewhere outside the forest, usually a sawmill or a lumber yard...

 of both softwood
Softwood
The term softwood is used to describe wood from trees that are known as gymnosperms.Conifers are an example. It may also be used to describe trees, which tend to be evergreen, notable exceptions being bald cypress and the larches....

 and hardwood
Hardwood
Hardwood is wood from angiosperm trees . It may also be used for those trees themselves: these are usually broad-leaved; in temperate and boreal latitudes they are mostly deciduous, but in tropics and subtropics mostly evergreen.Hardwood contrasts with softwood...

 timber
Timber
Timber may refer to:* Timber, a term common in the United Kingdom and Australia for wood materials * Timber, Oregon, an unincorporated community in the U.S...

 species on both private land and in the National Forest
United States National Forest
National Forest is a classification of federal lands in the United States.National Forests are largely forest and woodland areas owned by the federal government and managed by the United States Forest Service, part of the United States Department of Agriculture. Land management of these areas...

s has long been an important economic activity.

The majority of the Ozarks is forested; oak-hickory
Oak-hickory forest
The oak-hickory forest is a general type of North American forest ecosystem with a range extending from southern New England and New York, west to Iowa, and south to Northern Georgia. Smaller, isolated Oak-Hickory communities can also be found as far west as North Dakota, south to Florida and...

 is the predominant type; Eastern Junipers
Juniperus virginiana
Juniperus virginiana is a species of juniper native to eastern North America, from southeastern Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, east of the Great Plains...

 are common, with stands of pine
Pinus classification
There are three main subgenera of Pinus, the subgenus Strobus , the subgenus Ducampopinus , and the subgenus Pinus...

 often seen in the southern range. Less than a quarter of the region has been cleared for pasture and cropland. Forests that were heavily logged during the early to mid-20th century have recovered; much of the remaining timber in the Ozarks is second-growth forest
Secondary forest
A secondary forest is a forest or woodland area which has re-grown after a major disturbance such as fire, insect infestation, timber harvest or windthrow, until a long enough period has passed so that the effects of the disturbance are no longer evident...

. However, deforestation of frontier forest contributed through erosion
Erosion
Erosion is when materials are removed from the surface and changed into something else. It only works by hydraulic actions and transport of solids in the natural environment, and leads to the deposition of these materials elsewhere...

 to increased gravel bars along Ozark waterways in logged areas; stream channels have become wider and shallower and deepwater fish habitat has been lost.

The numerous rivers and streams of the region saw hundreds of water powered timber and grist mills. Mills were important centers of culture and commerce; dispersed widely throughout the region, mills served local needs, often thriving within a few miles of another facility. Few Ozark mills relied on inefficient water wheel
Water wheel
A water wheel is a machine for converting the energy of free-flowing or falling water into useful forms of power. A water wheel consists of a large wooden or metal wheel, with a number of blades or buckets arranged on the outside rim forming the driving surface...

s for power; most utilized a dam
Dam
A dam is a barrier that impounds water or underground streams. Dams generally serve the primary purpose of retaining water, while other structures such as floodgates or levees are used to manage or prevent water flow into specific land regions. Hydropower and pumped-storage hydroelectricity are...

, millrace
Sluice
A sluice is a water channel that is controlled at its head by a gate . For example, a millrace is a sluice that channels water toward a water mill...

 and water turbine
Water turbine
A water turbine is a rotary engine that takes energy from moving water.Water turbines were developed in the 19th century and were widely used for industrial power prior to electrical grids. Now they are mostly used for electric power generation. They harness a clean and renewable energy...

.

During the New Deal
New Deal
The New Deal was a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936. They were passed by the U.S. Congress during the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs were Roosevelt's responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call...

, the Civilian Conservation Corps
Civilian Conservation Corps
The Civilian Conservation Corps was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families, ages 18–25. A part of the New Deal of President Franklin D...

 employed hundreds in the construction of nearly 400 fire lookouts throughout the Ozarks at 121 known sites in Arkansas and 257 in Missouri. Of those lookouts, about half remain, and many of them are in use by the Forest Service
United States Forest Service
The United States Forest Service is an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture that administers the nation's 155 national forests and 20 national grasslands, which encompass...

. A 2007 report by the National Trust for Historic Preservation deemed these fire lookouts and related structures as one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

Current economic activities

Tourism is the growth industry of the Ozarks as evidenced by the growth of the Branson, Missouri
Branson, Missouri
Branson is a city in Taney County in the U.S. state of Missouri. It was named after Reuben Branson, postmaster and operator of a general store in the area in the 1880s....

, entertainment center celebrating the traditional Ozark culture.

Poultry
Poultry
Poultry are domesticated birds kept by humans for the purpose of producing eggs, meat, and/or feathers. These most typically are members of the superorder Galloanserae , especially the order Galliformes and the family Anatidae , commonly known as "waterfowl"...

 farming and food processing are significant industries throughout the region. The Tyson Foods corporation
Tyson Foods
Tyson Foods, Inc. is a multinational corporation based in Springdale, Arkansas, that operates in the food industry. The company is the world's second largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork only behind Brazilian JBS S.A., and annually exports the largest percentage of beef out of...

 and ConAgra Foods
ConAgra Foods
ConAgra Foods, Inc. is an American packaged foods company. ConAgra's products are available in supermarkets, as well as restaurants and food service establishments. Its headquarters are located in Omaha, Nebraska...

 each operates several hundred poultry farms and processing plants throughout the Ozarks. Schreiber Foods
Schreiber Foods
Schreiber Foods Inc., is a dairy company which produces and distributes cheese, process cheese, cream cheese and yogurt It is an employee-owned customer brand dairy company headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin...

 has operations throughout southern Missouri. Stillwell foods has frozen vegetable and other food processing centers in eastern Oklahoma.

The trucking industry
Trucking industry in the United States
The trucking industry involves the transport and distribution of commercial and industrial goods using commercial motor vehicles . In this case, CMVs are most often trucks; usually semi trucks, box trucks, or dump trucks...

 is important to the regional economy with national carriers based there including J. B. Hunt
J. B. Hunt
J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. is a trucking and transportation company that was founded by Johnnie Bryan Hunt, and based in the Northwest Arkansas city of Lowell. J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. was incorporated in Arkansas on August 10, 1961 and originally started with five trucks and...

, ABF and Prime, Inc.
Prime, Inc.
Prime, Inc. is a trucking company which was founded in 1970 and is currently headquartered in Springfield, Missouri. The company currently operates three divisions; flatbed, refrigerated and tanker. It is the second largest refrigerated carrier operating in the United States.Currently, Prime, Inc...

. Springfield remains an operational hub for BNSF Railway
BNSF Railway
The BNSF Railway is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. It is one of seven North American Class I railroads and the second largest freight railroad network in North America, second only to the Union Pacific Railroad, its primary...

. Logging and timber industries are also significant in the Ozark economy with operations ranging from small family run sawmills to large commercial concerns. Fortune 500
Fortune 500
The Fortune 500 is an annual list compiled and published by Fortune magazine that ranks the top 500 U.S. closely held and public corporations as ranked by their gross revenue after adjustments made by Fortune to exclude the impact of excise taxes companies collect. The list includes publicly and...

 companies such as Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. , branded as Walmart since 2008 and Wal-Mart before then, is an American public multinational corporation that runs chains of large discount department stores and warehouse stores. The company is the world's 18th largest public corporation, according to the Forbes Global 2000...

 in Bentonville, Arkansas, Leggett & Platt
Leggett & Platt
Leggett & Platt , based in Carthage, Missouri, is a diversified manufacturer that conceives, designs and produces a broad variety of engineered components and products that can be found in most homes, offices, and automobiles. The company serves a broad suite of customers that comprise a "Who's...

 and O'Reilly Auto Parts
O'Reilly Auto Parts
O'Reilly Auto Parts , originally known as O'Reilly Automotive, Inc., is a publicly traded chain of auto parts stores that started with one store in Springfield, Missouri in 1957. It has since grown to include more than 3,469 stores in 38 states. The corporate headquarters of O'Reilly is located in...

 are based in the Ozarks.

The area is also home to several Missouri wine
Missouri wine
Missouri Wine refers to wine made from grapes grown in the U.S. state of Missouri. German immigrants in the early-to-mid-19th century, founded the wine industry in Missouri, resulting in its wine corridor being called the Missouri "Rhineland". Later Italian immigrants also entered wine production....

 regions including the Ozark Highlands AVA
Ozark Highlands AVA
The Ozark Highlands AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in southern Missouri in the Ozark Mountains. The appellation includes land from just east of Jefferson City in the north to the Eleven Point River in the south, including parts of Phelps, Maries, Osage, Gasconade, Franklin, Crawford,...

 and Ozark Mountain AVA
Ozark Mountain AVA
The Ozark Mountain AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in northwest Arkansas, southern Missouri, and northeast Oklahoma. The sixth largest American Viticultural Area in total size, Ozark Mountain AVA covers...

s.

Culture

Ozark also refers to a region of people with a distinct culture, architecture
Architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

, and dialect
Dialect
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...

 shared by the people who live on the plateau. Early settlers in Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

 were American pioneer
American pioneer
American pioneers are any of the people in American history who migrated west to join in settling and developing new areas. The term especially refers to those who were going to settle any territory which had previously not been settled or developed by European or American society, although the...

s who came West from the Southern Appalachians
Appalachia
Appalachia is a term used to describe a cultural region in the eastern United States that stretches from the Southern Tier of New York state to northern Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia. While the Appalachian Mountains stretch from Belle Isle in Canada to Cheaha Mountain in the U.S...

 at the beginning of the 19th century, followed in the 1840s and 50s by Irish
Irish American
Irish Americans are citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry to Ireland. A total of 36,278,332 Americans—estimated at 11.9% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau...

 and German immigrants. Much of the Ozark population is of German, English and Scots-Irish
Scots-Irish American
Scotch-Irish Americans are an estimated 250,000 Presbyterian and other Protestant dissenters from the Irish province of Ulster who immigrated to North America primarily during the colonial era and their descendants. Some scholars also include the 150,000 Ulster Protestants who immigrated to...

 descent, often including some Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 ancestry, and the Ozark families from which the regional culture derived tend to have lived in the area since the 19th century.

Early settlers relied on hunting
Hunting
Hunting is the practice of pursuing any living thing, usually wildlife, for food, recreation, or trade. In present-day use, the term refers to lawful hunting, as distinguished from poaching, which is the killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species contrary to applicable law...

, fishing
Fishing
Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

, and trapping, as well as foraging
Foraging
- Definitions and significance of foraging behavior :Foraging is the act of searching for and exploiting food resources. It affects an animal's fitness because it plays an important role in an animal's ability to survive and reproduce...

 to supplement their diets and incomes. Today hunting and fishing for recreation are common activities and an important part of the tourist industry. Foraging for mushrooms (especially morel
Morel
Morchella, the true morels, is a genus of edible mushrooms closely related to anatomically simpler cup fungi. These distinctive mushrooms appear honeycomb-like in that the upper portion is composed of a network of ridges with pits between them....

s) and for ginseng
American Ginseng
American ginseng, Panax quinquefolius, is a herbaceous perennial plant in the ivy family, commonly used as Chinese or herbal medicine.It is native to eastern North America, though it is also cultivated in places such as China....

 is common and financially supported by established buyers in the area. Other forages include poke
Phytolacca americana
American Pokeweed is a large semi-succulent herbaceous perennial plant growing up to 10 feet in height. It is native to eastern North America, the Midwest, and the Gulf Coast, with more scattered populations in the far West...

, watercress
Watercress
Watercresses are fast-growing, aquatic or semi-aquatic, perennial plants native from Europe to central Asia, and one of the oldest known leaf vegetables consumed by human beings...

, persimmons and pawpaw
Asimina triloba
Asimina triloba, the pawpaw, paw paw, paw-paw, or common pawpaw, is a species of Asimina in the same plant family as the custard-apple, cherimoya, sweetsop, ylang-ylang and soursop...

; wild berries such as blackberry
Blackberry
The blackberry is an edible fruit produced by any of several species in the Rubus genus of the Rosaceae family. The fruit is not a true berry; botanically it is termed an aggregate fruit, composed of small drupelets. The plants typically have biennial canes and perennial roots. Blackberries and...

, black raspberry
Black raspberry
Black raspberry is a common name for three species of the genus Rubus:*Rubus leucodermis, native to western North America*Rubus occidentalis, native to eastern North America, the species that is commercially harvested, particularly in the Pacific Northwest, from developed cultivars.*Rubus coreanus,...

, raspberry
Raspberry
The raspberry or hindberry is the edible fruit of a multitude of plant species in the genus Rubus, most of which are in the subgenus Idaeobatus; the name also applies to these plants themselves...

, Red Mulberry, Black Cherry, wild strawberry and dewberry
Dewberry
The dewberries are a group of species in the genus Rubus, section Rubus, closely related to the blackberries. They are small trailing brambles with berries reminiscent of the raspberry, but are usually purple to black instead of red.Dewberries are common throughout most of the Northern Hemisphere,...

; and wild nuts
Nut (fruit)
A nut is a hard-shelled fruit of some plants having an indehiscent seed. While a wide variety of dried seeds and fruits are called nuts in English, only a certain number of them are considered by biologists to be true nuts...

 such as black walnut and even acorn
Acorn
The acorn, or oak nut, is the nut of the oaks and their close relatives . It usually contains a single seed , enclosed in a tough, leathery shell, and borne in a cup-shaped cupule. Acorns vary from 1–6 cm long and 0.8–4 cm broad...

s. Edible native
Native plant
Native plant is a term to describe plants endemic or naturalized to a given area in geologic time.This includes plants that have developed, occur naturally, or existed for many years in an area...

 legumes, wild grasses
Grass
Grasses, or more technically graminoids, are monocotyledonous, usually herbaceous plants with narrow leaves growing from the base. They include the "true grasses", of the Poaceae family, as well as the sedges and the rushes . The true grasses include cereals, bamboo and the grasses of lawns ...

 and wildflower
Wildflower
A wildflower is a flower that grows wild, meaning it was not intentionally seeded or planted. Yet "wildflower" meadows of a few mixed species are sold in seed packets. The term "wildflower" has been made vague by commercial seedsmen who are interested in selling more flowers or seeds more...

s are plentiful, and beekeeping
Beekeeping
Beekeeping is the maintenance of honey bee colonies, commonly in hives, by humans. A beekeeper keeps bees in order to collect honey and other products of the hive , to pollinate crops, or to produce bees for sale to other beekeepers...

 is common.

Print and broadcast media have explored Ozark culture broadly. Books set in the Ozarks include Where the Red Fern Grows
Where the Red Fern Grows
Where the Red Fern Grows is a children's novel written by Wilson Rawls about a boy who buys and trains two Redbone Coonhound hunting dogs. This book is a popular choice for early middle school reading classes, with a reading level appropriate to grades 4 and up.-Plot summary:Before leaving work one...

, the Shepherd of the Hills and As a Friend. The 1999 film
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

 Ride with the Devil, based on the book Woe to Live On, depicts warfare in Southwest Missouri during the Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. Winter's Bone
Winter's Bone
Winter's Bone is a 2010 American independent drama film, an adaptation of Daniel Woodrell's 2006 novel of the same name. The film was written and directed by Debra Granik and stars Jennifer Lawrence...

, a novel by Daniel Woodrell
Daniel Woodrell
Daniel Woodrell is an American writer of fiction. He has written eight novels, most of them set in the Missouri Ozarks. Woodrell coined the phrase "country noir" to describe his 1996 novel Give Us a Kiss...

 (author of Woe to Live On) reflects on contemporary methamphetamine
Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine is a psychostimulant of the phenethylamine and amphetamine class of psychoactive drugs...

 culture and its impact on families on the plateau. Released as a feature film in 2010, Winter's Bone
Winter's Bone
Winter's Bone is a 2010 American independent drama film, an adaptation of Daniel Woodrell's 2006 novel of the same name. The film was written and directed by Debra Granik and stars Jennifer Lawrence...

received the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival
Sundance Film Festival
The Sundance Film Festival is a film festival that takes place annually in Utah, in the United States. It is the largest independent cinema festival in the United States. Held in January in Park City, Salt Lake City, and Ogden, as well as at the Sundance Resort, the festival is a showcase for new...

, as well as other awards. Several early and influential country-music
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

 television and radio programs originated from Springfield
Springfield, Missouri
Springfield is the third largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and the county seat of Greene County. According to the 2010 census data, the population was 159,498, an increase of 5.2% since the 2000 census. The Springfield Metropolitan Area, population 436,712, includes the counties of...

 in the 1950s and 1960s, including ABC-TV's Ozark Jubilee
Ozark Jubilee
Ozark Jubilee is the first U.S. network television program to feature country music's top stars, and was the centerpiece of a strategy for Springfield, Missouri to challenge Nashville, Tennessee as America's country music capital...

and The Slim Wilson
Slim Wilson
Clyde Carol Wilson , better known as Slim Wilson, was an American singer, songwriter, bandleader, and radio and TV personality who was a cornerstone of country music in the Ozarks for more than 50 years beginning in the 1930s; both in his own right, and as a member of The Goodwill Family and The...

 Show
on KYTV
KYTV (TV)
KYTV, virtual channel 3, is the NBC-affiliated television station for the Ozark Plateau area of Southwestern Missouri that is licensed to Springfield. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 44 from a transmitter in Fordland...

. The Clampett clan of The Beverly Hillbillies
The Beverly Hillbillies
The Beverly Hillbillies is an American situation comedy originally broadcast for nine seasons on CBS from 1962 to 1971, starring Buddy Ebsen, Irene Ryan, Donna Douglas, and Max Baer, Jr....

TV show provide a stereotypical depiction of Ozark people. Ozark musicians include Porter Wagoner
Porter Wagoner
Porter Wayne Wagoner was a popular American country music singer known for his flashy Nudie and Manuel suits and blond pompadour. He introduced the young Dolly Parton near the beginning of her career on his long-running television show, and they were a well-known duet throughout the late 1960s and...

 and old-time
Old-time music
Old-time music is a genre of North American folk music, with roots in the folk music of many countries, including England, Scotland, Ireland and countries in Africa. It developed along with various North American folk dances, such as square dance, buck dance, and clogging. The genre also...

 fiddle
Fiddle
The term fiddle may refer to any bowed string musical instrument, most often the violin. It is also a colloquial term for the instrument used by players in all genres, including classical music...

r Bob Holt
Bob Holt (fiddler)
Bob Holt was a fiddler, playing old-time and for square dances. He was known for his lightning-fast, energetic style of playing. He was born on November 25, 1930 in Ava, Douglas County, Missouri...

.

Examples of commercial interpretations of traditional Ozark culture include the two major family theme parks in the region, Silver Dollar City
Silver Dollar City
Silver Dollar City is a theme park in the state of Missouri. Opened on May 1, 1960, the park is located between Branson and Branson West, Missouri, on Highway 76...

 and the now defunct Dogpatch U.S.A.
Dogpatch USA
Dogpatch USA is an abandoned theme park located on State Highway 7 between the cities of Harrison and Jasper in Arkansas, USA, an area known today as Marble Falls...

; and the resort entertainment complex in Branson
Branson, Missouri
Branson is a city in Taney County in the U.S. state of Missouri. It was named after Reuben Branson, postmaster and operator of a general store in the area in the 1880s....

. Ozark Folkways in Winslow, Arkansas
Winslow, Arkansas
Winslow is a city in Washington County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 399 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers Metropolitan Area.-History:...

 and Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas
Mountain View, Arkansas
Mountain View is the largest city in and the county seat of Stone County in the north-central region of the U.S. state of Arkansas. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city was 2,998. The town's name comes from its location in a valley surrounded by the eastern Ozark...

 interpret regional culture through musical performance and exhibitions of pioneer skills and crafts.

Traditional Ozark culture includes stories and tunes passed orally between generations through community music parties and other informal gatherings. Many of these tunes and tales can be traced to having British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 origins and to German folklore
German folklore
German folklore shares many characteristics with Scandinavian folklore and English folklore due to their origins in a common Germanic mythology. It reflects a similar mix of influences: a pre-Christian pantheon and other beings equivalent to those of Norse mythology; magical characters associated...

. Moreover, historian Vance Randolph
Vance Randolph
Vance Randolph was a famous folklorist who studied the folklore of the Ozarks in particular. He wrote a number of books on topics including the Ozarks, Little Blue Books, and juvenile fiction....

 attributes the formation of much Ozark lore to individual families when "backwoods parents begin by telling outrageous whoppers to their children and end by half believing the wildest of these tales themselves." Randolph
Vance Randolph
Vance Randolph was a famous folklorist who studied the folklore of the Ozarks in particular. He wrote a number of books on topics including the Ozarks, Little Blue Books, and juvenile fiction....

 collected Ozark folklore and lyrics in volumes such as the national bestseller Pissing in the Snow and Other Ozark Folktales (University of Illinois Press, 1976), Ozark Folksongs (University of Missouri Press
University of Missouri Press
The University of Missouri Press is a university press founded in 1958 at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri.-External links:*...

, 1980), a four-volume anthology of regional songs and ballads collected in the 1920s and 30s, and Ozark Magic and Folklore (Courier Dover Publications, 1964). Evidenced by Randolph's extensive field work, many Ozark anecdotes from the oral tradition
Oral tradition
Oral tradition and oral lore is cultural material and traditions transmitted orally from one generation to another. The messages or testimony are verbally transmitted in speech or song and may take the form, for example, of folktales, sayings, ballads, songs, or chants...

 are often bawdy
Ribaldry
Ribaldry is humorous entertainment that ranges from bordering on indelicacy to gross indecency. It is also referred to as "bawdiness", "gaminess" or "bawdry"....

, full of wild embellishments on everyday themes. In 1941-42, commissioned by Alan Lomax
Alan Lomax
Alan Lomax was an American folklorist and ethnomusicologist. He was one of the great field collectors of folk music of the 20th century, recording thousands of songs in the United States, Great Britain, Ireland, the Caribbean, Italy, and Spain.In his later career, Lomax advanced his theories of...

 of the Archive of Folk Culture
Archive of Folk Culture
The Archive of Folk Culture was founded at the U.S. Library of Congress in 1928 as a repository for American folk music. The Archive of Folk Culture became part of the American Folklife Center in 1978...

, Randolph returned to the Ozarks with a portable recording machine from the Library of Congress and captured over 800 songs, ballads and instrumentals. Selected from among these several hundred recordings, 35 tracks were released on Various Artists: Ozark Folksongs (Rounder Records) in 2001.
Square dances
Traditional square dance
Traditional square dance is a generic term for any style of square dance other than modern Western. The term can mean any of the regional styles that existed before around 1950, when modern Western style began to develop out of a blend of those regional styles, or any style that has survived,...

 were an important social avenue throughout the Ozarks into the 20th century. Square dances sprang up wherever people concentrated around mills and timber camps, springs, fords, and in towns small and large. Geographically isolated communities saw their own local dance tunes and variations develop. Of all the traditional musicians in the Ozarks, the fiddler holds a distinct place in both the community and folklore. Community fiddlers revered for carrying local tunes; regionally, traveling fiddlers brought new tunes and entertainment, even while many viewed their arrival as a threat to morality. In 2007, Gordon McCann, a chronicler of Ozarks folklife
Folklife
Folklife is an extension of, and often an alternate term for the subject of, folklore. The term gained usage in the United States in the 1960s from its use by such folklore scholars as Don Yoder and Warren Roberts, who wished to recognize that the study of folklore goes beyond oral genres to...

 and fiddle music for over four decades, donated a collection of audio recordings, fieldnotes
Fieldnotes
Fieldnotes refer to various notes recorded by scientists during or after their observation of a specific phenomenon they are studying. Fieldnotes are particularly valued in descriptive sciences such as ethnography, biology, geology, and archaeology, each of which have long traditions in this...

 and photographs to Missouri State University
Missouri State University
Missouri State University is a public university located in Springfield, Missouri, United States and founded in 1905. It is the state's second largest university, with an official enrollment of 20,802 in fall 2011...

 in Springfield. The collection includes more than 3,000 hours of fiddle music and interviews recorded at jam sessions, music parties, concerts and dances in the Ozarks. Selected audio recordings along with biographical sketches, photographs and tune histories were published in the 2008 book/CD set Ozarks Fiddle Music: 308 Tunes Featuring 30 Legendary Fiddlers, with selections from 50 other Ozark fiddlers.

From 1973 to 1983, the Bittersweet project, which began as an English class at Lebanon, Missouri
Lebanon, Missouri
Lebanon is a city in Laclede County, Missouri, United States. The estimated population in July 2009 was 14,292. The population was 12,155 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Laclede County. The Lebanon Micropolitan Statistical Area consists of Laclede County.-Geography:Lebanon is located at...

 High School, collected 476 taped and transcribed interview
Interview
An interview is a conversation between two people where questions are asked by the interviewer to obtain information from the interviewee.- Interview as a Method for Qualitative Research:"Definition" -...

s, published 482 stories and took over 50,000 photographs documenting traditional Ozark culture.

Population influx since the 1950s, coupled with geographically lying in both the Midwest and Upper South, proximity to the Mississippi embayment
Mississippi embayment
The Mississippi Embayment is a physiographic feature in the south-central United States, part of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain. It is essentially a northward continuation of the fluvial sediments of the Mississippi River Delta to its confluence with the Ohio River at Cairo, Illinois. The embayment...

, the Osage
Osage Plains
The Osage Plains are a physiographic section of the larger Central Lowland province, which in turn is part of the larger Interior Plains physiographic division. The area is sometimes called the Lower Plains, North Central Plains, and the Rolling Plains...

 and Northern Plains, contributes to changing cultural values in the Ozarks. Theme parks and theatres seen to reflect regional values have little in common with traditional Ozark culture. Community tradition bearers remain active, in decreasing numbers, far afield of commercial offers.

Religion

Ozark religion, like that of Appalachia, was predominantly Baptist
Baptist
Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

 and Methodist during periods of early settlement; it tends to the conservative
Social conservatism
Social Conservatism is primarily a political, and usually morally influenced, ideology that focuses on the preservation of what are seen as traditional values. Social conservatism is a form of authoritarianism often associated with the position that the federal government should have a greater role...

 or individualistic, with Anglicans
Anglican Communion
The Anglican Communion is an international association of national and regional Anglican churches in full communion with the Church of England and specifically with its principal primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury...

, Assemblies of God
Assemblies of God
The Assemblies of God , officially the World Assemblies of God Fellowship, is a group of over 140 autonomous but loosely-associated national groupings of churches which together form the world's largest Pentecostal denomination...

, Baptists including Southern Baptists
Southern Baptist Convention
The Southern Baptist Convention is a United States-based Christian denomination. It is the world's largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant body in the United States, with over 16 million members...

, Church of Christ
Church of Christ
Churches of Christ are autonomous Christian congregations associated with one another through common beliefs and practices. They seek to base doctrine and practice on the Bible alone, and seek to be New Testament congregations as originally established by the authority of Christ. Historically,...

 and other Protestant Pentecostal
Pentecostalism
Pentecostalism is a diverse and complex movement within Christianity that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God through the baptism in the Holy Spirit, has an eschatological focus, and is an experiential religion. The term Pentecostal is derived from Pentecost, the Greek...

 denominations present, as well as Catholics
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

. Religious organizations headquartered in the Ozarks include the Assemblies of God
Assemblies of God
The Assemblies of God , officially the World Assemblies of God Fellowship, is a group of over 140 autonomous but loosely-associated national groupings of churches which together form the world's largest Pentecostal denomination...

 and the Baptist Bible Fellowship International
Baptist Bible Fellowship International
The Baptist Bible Fellowship International is a separatist, fundamentalist Baptist organization formed in 1950 by members who separated from the World Baptist Fellowship. It is headquartered in Springfield, Missouri...

 in Springfield
Springfield, Missouri
Springfield is the third largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and the county seat of Greene County. According to the 2010 census data, the population was 159,498, an increase of 5.2% since the 2000 census. The Springfield Metropolitan Area, population 436,712, includes the counties of...

, and the Pentecostal Church of God
Pentecostal Church of God
The Pentecostal Church of God is a trinitarian Pentecostal Christian denomination headquartered in Joplin, Missouri, United States. As of 2006, there were 117,000 members and 2,870 clergy in 1,170 churches in the United States. Sixty churches and missions exist among the Native Americans...

 in Joplin
Joplin, Missouri
Joplin is a city in southern Jasper County and northern Newton County in the southwestern corner of the US state of Missouri. Joplin is the largest city in Jasper County, though it is not the county seat. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 50,150...

. The 1960s and 1970s saw back-to-the-land farms and communes
Commune (intentional community)
A commune is an intentional community of people living together, sharing common interests, property, possessions, resources, and, in some communes, work and income. In addition to the communal economy, consensus decision-making, non-hierarchical structures and ecological living have become...

 established in rural counties.

See also

National Forests of the Ozarks
  • Mark Twain National Forest
    Mark Twain National Forest
    Mark Twain National Forest is a U.S. National Forest located in the southern half of Missouri. MTNF was established on September 11, 1939. It is named for author Mark Twain, a Missouri native. The MTNF covers approximately 1.5 million acres , 78,000 acres of which are Wilderness, and National...

  • Ozark – St. Francis National Forest


Ozark National Rivers and Wild Scenic Riverways
  • Buffalo National River
    Buffalo National River
    The Buffalo River, located in northern Arkansas, was the first National River to be designated in the United States. The Buffalo River is slightly more than in length, with the lower flowing within the boundaries of an area managed by the National Park Service, where it is designated the '. The...

  • Ozark National Scenic Riverways
    Ozark National Scenic Riverways
    The Ozark National Scenic Riverways is a national park in the Ozarks of southern Missouri in the U.S..The park was created by an Act of Congress in 1964 to protect the Current and Jacks Fork rivers, and it was formally dedicated in 1971. The park's are used for many forms of recreation and are...

  • Eleven Point National Wild and Scenic River
    Eleven Point National Wild and Scenic River
    The Eleven Point National Wild and Scenic River is a stretch of the spring-fed Eleven Point River in the Ozarks of southern Missouri set aside for preservation by Congress in 1968. The designated part of the river stretches from Thomasville to State Highway 142...



Hiking Trail Systems of the Ozarks
  • Ozark Trail
    Ozark Trail (hiking trail)
    The Ozark Trail is a hiking, backpacking, and, in many places, biking and equestrian trail under construction in the Missouri Ozarks in the United States. It is intended to reach from St. Louis to Arkansas. Over of the trail have been completed as of 2008, and the estimated length when finished...

  • Ozark Highlands Trail
    Ozark Highlands Trail
    The Ozark Highlands Trail roams through parts of seven counties in northwest Arkansas. It stretches from Lake Fort Smith State Park, across the Ozark National Forest, to the Buffalo National River. The trail passes through some of the most remote and scenic portions of the Ozark Mountains, like...



  • United States physiographic region
    United States physiographic region
    The list of continental United States Physiographic regions identifies the 8 regions, 25 provinces, and 85 sections. The system dates to Nevin Fenneman's paper Physiographic Subdivision of the United States, published in 1917...

    s
  • List of U.S. multistate regions
  • Missouri Ozark Forest Ecosystem Project
    Missouri Ozark Forest Ecosystem Project
    The Missouri Ozark Forest Ecosystem Project is a century-long ecological experiment to assess logging practices in the Missouri Ozark forest. Its goal is to find out a logging method that best balances the demand for wood products with forest preservation. Researchers from the Missouri Department...

  • The Old Ozark Auto Trail
    Ozark Trail (auto trail)
    The Ozark Trail was a network of locally maintained roads and highways organized by the Ozark Trails Association that predated the United States federal highway system. The roads ran from St. Louis, Missouri, to El Paso, Texas, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, over a series of routes. These roads were...

  • Green Country
  • Cookson Hills
    Cookson Hills
    The Cookson Hills are in the eastern part of Oklahoma. They are an extension of the Boston Mountains of Arkansas to the east and the southwestern margin of the Ozark Plateau. They lie generally between Stilwell, Oklahoma, Sallisaw, Oklahoma and Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The area became part of the...

  • Carthage Underground
    Carthage Underground
    The Carthage Underground is a collection of marble quarries in Carthage, Missouri, most of which is presently owned by Americold Logistics. They currently hold of the quarry, much of which is occupied by warehouses or factories, primarily for food production...

  • USS Ozark (1863)
    USS Ozark (1863)
    The first USS Ozark, a single-turreted river monitor, was built by contract with George C. Bester, Peoria, Illinois; launched on 18 February 1863; commissioned on 18 February 1864, Acting Volunteer Lieutenant George W. Brown in command....

  • USS Ozark (BM-7)
  • USS Ozark (LSV-2)
    USS Ozark (LSV-2)
    The USS Ozark was a Catskill-class vehicle landing ship built for the United States Navy during World War II. Named for the native American Ozark tribe of the Quapaw confederacy, she was the third U.S...



External links

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