Governor Brad Henry and the Oklahoma Conservation Commission Commend Darrel Dominick

The State of Oklahoma recently recognized Darrel Dominick for his contribution to the conservation of the state?s natural resources. Dominick received several honors at the November meeting of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission. Dominick recently retired from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service as State Conservationist for Oklahoma. Dominick received a Governor’s Commendation presented on behalf of Gov. Brad Henry by Jeannette Nance, the Governor’s liaison to the Commission.

(From left) Conservation Commission Chairman George Stumkard and Governor’s Liaison Jeannette Nance present Darrel Dominick with a Governor’s Commendation at the November Commission meeting.

The Governor’s Commendation read, “In appreciation of your six years of exemplary service as the State Conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Oklahoma, your visionary leadership in the conservation of Oklahoma’s natural resources and your tireless commitment to making the State of Oklahoma a better place to live.”

The Conservation Commission presented Dominick with its own commendation honoring him “for unsurpassed leadership as the NRCS State Conservationist in Oklahoma, your commitment and unwavering support of Oklahoma’s 88 conservation districts and the Oklahoma Conservation Commission, championing the outreach of conservation programs to all citizens of the state, and most of all for being our friend these past six years.”

In August the Conservation Commission, Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts (OACD), state Sec. of Agriculture Terry Peach and a number of agricultural organizations expressed outrage at the decision by Mark Rey, USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, to reassign Dominick to a position in Fort Worth, Texas. The reason given for Dominick’s reassignment was that he was not effective in working with conservation partners in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma’s conservation organizations took strong exception to Rey’s reasons for the reassignment. According to George Stunkard, chairman of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission, “Mr. Dominick has been an outstanding leader in natural resource conservation in the state. He has worked closely with our state agency to ensure that Oklahoma’s land managers receive the best possible conservation services. For the Under Secretary to say that Mr. Dominick has not worked effectively with his principal state partner is outrageous.”

The November meeting of the Conservation Commission provided the setting for conservation leaders and the Governor’s office to express their appreciation to Dominick for his outstanding service to the state.

OACD President Dan Lowrance said, “Mr. Dominick was committed to working with Oklahoma’s 88 conservation districts. He believes in locally-led conservation where conservation district board members set the conservation priorities in their communities. There was not a more committed conservationist in this state than Darrel Dominick. His leadership will be sorely missed.”

Clay Pope, OACD executive director, expressed his appreciation to Dominick for his service to Oklahoma.

“Darrel is the third generation of his family to work for the conservation service in Oklahoma,” Pope said. “He knew the importance of conservation to the state and worked tirelessly to ensure Oklahoma was a leader in the national conservation movement. When Darrel chose the option of retirement, Oklahoma lost the best NRCS state conservationist in the United States,” Pope said. “It was fitting that Governor Henry and the Oklahoma Conservation Commission recognize Mr. Dominick’s service to the state of Oklahoma.”