2019 Oklahoma Nonpoint Source Success Stories

2019 Oklahoma Nonpoint Source Success Stories

There’s aiming for success and there’s adding to it. Oklahoma is in the category of the latter when it comes to cleaning up streams.

The Oklahoma Conservation Commission’s (OCC) Water Quality Division this week in delivering its 2019 Oklahoma Nonpoint Source (NPS) Success Stories to the Conservation Commission announced 12 new stories and three updates.

“That’s success added to success for Oklahoma, the nation’s leader in Nonpoint Source Success Stories at 84 stories since 2007,” said Shanon Phillips, Director of the OCC Water Quality Division. “The partnership among Oklahoma landowners, Conservation Districts, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Oklahoma Conservation Commission and the Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment is a national leader in solving water quality problems.

Finalists Selected for Oklahoma Leopold Conservation Award

Finalists Selected for Oklahoma Leopold Conservation Award

Two finalists have been selected for the prestigious 2019 Oklahoma Leopold Conservation Award®.

Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the award recognizes farmers, ranchers and foresters who inspire others with their dedication to land, water and wildlife habitat management on private, working land.

The finalists are Chuck and Ruth Coffey Family of Springer in Carter County and Victor Ranch of Afton in Ottawa County.

NRCS Offers more than $200 Million in Emergency Funding to Restore Flood-Prone Lands

NRCS Offers more than $200 Million in Emergency Funding to Restore Flood-Prone Lands

In response to flooding impacting many parts of the United States this year, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) earlier announced the availability to 11 states of $217.5 million dedicated to funding conservation easements on certain lands damaged by flooding and other natural disasters. In a second round of funding, an additional $9 million has been made available for the floodplain easement component of the Emergency Watershed Protection Program – Floodplain Easements (EWPP-FPE). With that, Oklahoma, as well as two other states, Kentucky and Mississippi have been added to the list of those identified for funding.

U.S. Congressman Markwayne Mullin learns more about Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program in eastern Oklahoma

U.S. Congressman Markwayne Mullin learns more about Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program in eastern Oklahoma

As impressive and historic as it is, there are a lot of things a person can’t see from Capitol Hill in the nation’s capital. Among those are the projects of the Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program in eastern Oklahoma.

So, in boots and jeans on a slightly muggy August morning, U.S Congressman Markwayne Mullin traveled Muskogee County roads in Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District which he has served since 2013.

USDA Announces Details of Support Package for Farmers

USDA Announces Details of Support Package for Farmers

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced further details of the $16 billion package aimed at supporting American agricultural producers while the Administration continues to work on free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals.

OACD Hosts 2019 NACD South Central Region Meeting

OACD Hosts 2019 NACD South Central Region Meeting

The Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts (OACD) hosted the National Association of Conservation Districts South Central Region meeting July 21-23, 2019. Individuals from across the region gathered at the Winstar World Casino & Resort in Thackerville, OK to give conservation district leaders, members and partners a time and place to discuss their most pressing concerns and share their most valuable insights.

Trey Lam receives the South Central Region Conservation District Employees Association 2019 Distinguished Service Award

Trey Lam receives the South Central Region Conservation District Employees Association 2019 Distinguished Service Award

The South Central Region Conservation District Employees Association on July 22 presented their 2019 Distinguished Service Award to Trey Lam, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission. The award was presented during the 2019 South Central Region of the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) Meeting in Thackerville, Okla.

Aging small dams still have big impact in period of extreme weather

Aging small dams still have big impact in period of extreme weather

Extreme rains across Oklahoma in the past year have underscored the value of small watershed dams and the urgency of maintaining them, according to people who have worked for decades to keep the dams functional.

In May alone, the dams, some of which date back 70 years, prevented $33 million in damages, said Larry Caldwell, an engineer who worked for the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Oklahoma Conservation Commission.

The dams yield nearly $100 million a year in benefits, mostly from preventing property damage, Caldwell said.

Watershed Year for Conservation in Oklahoma

Watershed Year for Conservation in Oklahoma

In the history of Conservation work in Oklahoma there have been several Watershed moments – a turning point – that changed the future of our state for the better.

These include the Dust Bowl, resulting in the formation of Conservation Districts along with Federal and State agencies.

Another was the devastating flooding during the first half of the 1900s that inspired Public Law 534 and 566. Under these, came the construction in Oklahoma of the 2,107 flood control dams.

An additional example is the Clean Water Act which provided the opportunity to tie land conservation to water quality improvement eventually making Oklahoma the national leader in stream water cleanup.

It is also very possible we are living in a watershed moment, right now.