Down in that deep McDonald County country one encounters a limestone layer that supports a suite of rare-in-Missouri plants like Draba aprica and other spring forbs including green trillium, which expressed itself as though it was on steroids, a massive plant blooming all along the bottomlands.
But it's the landscape, the large, contiguous landscape uninterrupted by campgrounds, roads, towns and highways that makes this area so fantastic from a natural history perspective; this 3,000+ acres of contiguous burned woodlands, areas managed with prescribed fire since 1994, possess some of the richest resources of this area which is a scary stone's throw from sprawling metropolitan areas. What to do? Natural areas exist near the sprawling metroplexes of Arkansas and Southwest Missouri, how do you protect them? How do you keep the deer from moving in, how do you continue the fire regime that made it so exemplary to begin with? Bentonville is encroaching rapidly. Enjoy these wild places while they're still wild with bears and songbird populations no longer found in the area. Communities must embrace a wildness to protect it, and I'm not too certain this one will.