Remembering the Dust Bowl – OACD Area Meetings 2012

Local Conservation Representatives Attend Area Meetings of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts

(Links to photos are at the bottom of this page)

graphic "remembering the dust bowl"

Conservation leaders discussed issues relevant to each of their areas of the state a five Area Meetings of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts held in November 2012.  A local conservation district hosted each of the meetings, sponsored by the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts (OACD) and cosponsored by the Oklahoma Conservation Commission (OCC) in cooperation with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). From 120 to 150 people attended each of the meetings.

“Remembering the Dust Bowl,” the theme for the meetings for Oklahoma’s conservation district directors and employees, reflected the challenges faced by natural resource conservation entities during one of the hottest and driest periods in state history. The theme also focused attention on statewide previews of a new documentary called THE DUST BOWL by filmmaker Ken Burns. The 4-hour documentary premiering on PBS television stations on Nov. 18 and 19 features many interviews with Oklahomans who survived that manmade natural disaster. The meeting included showing a 45-minute preview of the film.

Texas County Conservation District hosted the Area I Meeting in Guymon on Nov. 1. Kay County CD hosted the Area II Meeting in Oklahoma City on Nov. 7. Grady County CD hosted the Area IV Meeting in Chickasha on Nov. 8. Craig County CD hosted the Area III Meeting in Vinita on Nov. 14 and Latimer County CD hosted the Area 5 Meeting in Wilburton on Nov. 15.

Greg Scott, state soil scientist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, used a rainfall simulator to demonstrated benefits of the “no-till” farming method at the Area I, II, IV and V Meetings.  Debi Carnott, OCC North Canadian River Project education coordinator, and Clay Pope, OACD executive director, presented the demonstration at the Area II Meeting.

Robert Toole, OCC Conservation Programs director, accompanied by OCC/CP watershed technicians Johnny Pelley at Area IV and and Dennis Boney at Area V, presented and explained equipment used in operation and maintenance of upstream flood control dams.

Jontie Aldrich, Partners for Wildlife program coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, explained how  grants from his program helped the local conservation districts acquire a equipment for the purpose of increasing and restoring native wildlife habitat at the Area I and III Meetings. Dan Herald, Texas County Conservation District director, and Bud Stout, district equipment manager, contributed to the discussion at Area I as did Coleta Bratten, Dewey County CD secretary. Robert Willy, Craig County CD chair, contributed to the discussion at Area III.

Verlin Hart and Gary Bledsoe, Lincoln County Conservation District directors and members of the Crosstimbers Prescribed Burn Association, explained how the burn association came into being and described how equipment is used in prescribed burn events.

Tom Buchanon, Lugert-Altaus Irrigation District general manager, spoke about Irrigation Management and the federal Environmental Quality Incentive Program at the Area IV Meeting.

Frank Acker, Little River CD manager, and Scott Pace, NRCS district conservationist, provided an update on Ouachita Mountains Resource Conservation and Development programs at the Area V Meeting.

Cheryl Cheadle, OCC/Water Quality Blue Thumb coordinator, spoke about the Blue Thumb program and each of the meetings. Richard Zetterburg, NRCS assistant state conservationist for programs, gave a presentation about the Local Emphasis Area program at several of the meetings.

OACD Conservation Awards Area winners were recognized at each of the meetings, who will be considered along entries from the other four areas of the state in the categories of Outstanding Conservation District, sponsored by Chesapeake Energy; and Outstanding District Director, sponsored by the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation; and Outstanding Landowner/Cooperator, sponsored by the Nature Conservancy of Oklahoma. The state winner will be recognized at the OACD State Meeting Feb. 24-26, 2013, in Midwest City.

Links to Area Meeting Photos:

Area I 

Area II 

Area III

Area IV 

Area V