OUTREACH

One goal of the Oka’ Institute is to provide technical assistance to landowners in watershed areas who desire to improve soil health, control undesirable vegetation, and improve forage and crop quality and production. This is accomplished by providing site visits, communication for recommended best management practices, assistance with grazing management, and coordination of prescribed burns. 

The Oka’ Watershed Coordinator is partnering with experts from the Chickasaw Nation, Noble Research Institute, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Oklahoma Conservation Commission, Oklahoma Prescribed Burn Association, and Oaks and Prairies Joint Venture. Projects in the Lake of the Arbuckles watershed are currently underway and projects in the Blue River watershed are in the works. 

If you are interested in receiving more information, please contact Alan Peoples at (405) 590-2581.   

Image by elizabeth lies

Soil Health

Soil health and water sustainability are interconnected. Soil health is increasingly becoming a topic of discussion for landowners in Oklahoma. Due to this growing awareness, farmers and ranchers are implementing no-till, cover crops, nutrient management, and land management by prescribed burning and other practices. 

Prescribed Burns

© Laura Brigger

Land Management Through Fire

 

There are a number of Ecological Benefits of Prescribed Fires:

  1. Systematic part of almost every ecosystem on Earth.

  2. “Natural” part of the process.

  3. Controls woody and non-desirable plant species.

  4. Lessens impacts of wildfires.

  5. The best tool for improving soil health and water quality.

Image by Lucas Santos

The Evils of Eastern Red Cedar

 

The Eastern Red Cedar is an invasive species of cedar that has an astonishing rate of encroachment, but more importantly, an alarming rate of water consumption. It's ability to multiply creates real challenges for our water conservation efforts. 

 

In Oklahoma, estimates of juniper coverage in 1950 was 1.5 million acres. Then it started increasing.

  1. 1985 – 3.5 million acres

  2. 1996 – 6.0 million acres

  3. 2002 – 8.0 million acres

  4. 2015 – 11.6 million acres.

Current estimates are reaching 762 acres per day!

Check out these best practices tips provided by OSU extension to join our efforts in water sustainability for us all. 

Always check burn conditions prior to any burn

Recommended Reading

Eastern Red-cedar: Positives, Negatives and Management

by Steven Smith

1 Acre Every 2 Minutes!

Resources