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Ella Alford

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Miriam Ella Alford

The land that is now the Alford Forest passed into the hands of John Alford and the Alford family in July, 1945. According to his daughter Ella, her father wanted the place for his grandchildren to go as a refuge from city life. Since that time the land, with additions and subtractions of acreage, has been with different members of the Alford family. Ella obtained sole ownership in 1983. From that time forward she did all she could to protect the forest, including, from the late 70's on, maintaining a dialog with local and regional individuals and organizations who concerned themselves with the issues of ecological protection and management of forests to see what long term options might be available for caring for the land as far into the future as possible. In 1998, she decided to begin the process of putting the land in trust and easements with Ozark Regional Land Trust (ORLT). This culminated in March, 2005, when Miriam Ella donated a final parcel of her land to ORLT, making a total of 3200 acres to be managed by Alford Forest, Inc. At the same time, she also placed 1,013 acres under conservation easement. These lands are all part of ORLT's Alford Forest, which now encompasses 4,300 acres of permanently protected native forest in the Bryant Creek watershed - with significant river frontage.

Ella Alford was for nearly two decades in the forefront in her efforts to benefit people and nature in the Ozarks, the U.S., and internationally. She was unwavering in doing whatever she could to protect the natural integrity of the Ozarks and particularly the Alford Forest that she cared for so much as part of her family heritage. The list of people and innovative, beneficial projects Ella supported and was involved with is a long one that has never been fully compiled. Within the Bryant Watershed, the list is extensive.

Miriam Ella Alford leaves a great legacy of open-hearted alliance with innumerable things beneficial to the Earth that would not be here had she not helped to engender and support them. She exemplified the idea that ecological protection of land anywhere will need to be based in a strategy that has an economic and educational aspect at the center. Thank you, Miriam Ella, for the great Alford Forest and all the life within it that you gave to be cared for in your family name.