Doug Stowe is a lifelong professional woodworker, teacher and writer. He’s written 8 books and over 70 articles for woodworking magazines, in addition to teaching woodworking at the Clear Spring School and making furniture and small wooden boxes in his own shop. In 2009, he was named an Arkansas Living Treasure by the Arkansas Department of Heritage for his contributions to his craft.
In April, 2013, he and his wife received a certified letter from the attorney for SWEPCO, notifying them that their property was being considered for the construction of a 345 kV power line. If built along proposed route 91, the 345 kV power line would devastate their property from one end to the other, and their cherished view of Arkansas woodlands would be permanently destroyed by a clear-cut 150 foot right-of-way just 75 feet from their deck. Stowe read through the Environmental Impact Statement and discovered it to be a deeply flawed document, and that the power line would do irreparable harm to the environment and economy wherever it would be placed in Benton, Madison or Carroll Counties.
Motivated by a sense of shock and awe by SWEPCO’s proposal, Stowe began researching the need for the power line. He discovered that while SWEPCO insisted that the power line was needed for “growth and reliability” it was sized far greater than any power line might need to be to meet any foreseeable demand. In fact, it would deliver 4 times the amount of power currently in use. He learned that other states consider their 345 kV power lines to be the backbone of their “interstate highways” of electric power.
In other words, the utility was proposing to destroy properties of enormous ecological, economic and cultural value all across the area for deceptive purposes. Their true intention was not to bring power to us, but to build a transmission corridor of excessive proportions to carry power through us.
“The outrage I felt upon that realization has fueled my participation in Save the Ozarks. Citizens must not be called to make such sacrifices as they asked of my wife and I and other citizens of Carroll, Madison and Benton Counties without having first been perfectly clear and honest in describing the true purpose of what they propose.”
Stowe writes regularly to bring issues of importance regarding this power line to public awareness. In addition, he testified before the APSC on the economic impact the power line would have on a community of artists dependent on the scenic beauty of the Ozarks for the power and quality of their work.