Oklahoma, like many areas of the country, has seen an increase in the number invasive species which threatens our agricultural lands, forests, water supplies and even our neighborhoods and homes.
So just what is an invasive species? This refers to any species which does NOT naturally occur in a specific area and whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. By species, we are including any seeds, eggs, spores, or other biological material capable of propagating the species, that is not native to that ecosystem. Species can represent either animals or plants.
Here in Hughes County, we have several species that are considered invasive. Some of the species found include: Africanized honey bees, eastern red cedar, feral hogs, grass carp, hydrilla, Johnson grass, mesquite, musk thistle, fire ants, and zebra mussels. Below are a few helpful websites and forms dealing with our invasive species.
Hughes CCD Recognized as Oklahoma's Outstanding Conservation District for 2015
The Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts (OACD) sponsored "Conservation Day at the State Capital" on March 23, 2016. The Oklahoma Conservation Commission (OCC) cosponsored the event. Several of the state's local conservation districts displayed exhibits at the events along with partner agencies and other organizations.
An awards ceremony was held in the Governor's Blue Room. OACD President Steve House welcomed everyone to the event and then began the presentations.
The Hughes County Conservation District (HCCD) received the "Oklahoma Outstanding Conservation District" award which was sponsored by Community Volunteer, Vicky Mackey of Holdenville. HCCD was recognized for the many programs and services that the district offers. HCCD is one of only a handful of district in Oklahoma which maintains a webpage and Facebook page to keep citizens informed of local events and news. The District hosts two natural resource days at permanent outdoor classroom located at Thomas Elementary in Holdenville and Moss School. HCCD sponsors several youth events including poster, essay, speech and land judging contests, Blue Thumb - volunteer stream monitoring and offers scholarships to a graduating senior from each of the schools in the county. HCCD provides rental equipment and custom services to area land owners to assist them with implementing conservation practices on their land. The District also participates in the State funded Cost-Share Program to help citizens offset costs of implementing certain approved practices. HCCD also oversees the operations and maintenance of 37 upstream flood control structures which provide flood protection on 188,599 acres in Hughes County.
Other awards included "Outstanding Landowner/Cooperator" which was presented to Samuel Grant Victor, Jr. of the Ottawa County Conservation District. This award was sponsored by the Nature Conservancy of Oklahoma.
"Outstanding Conservation District Director" was presented to Jimmy Emmons of the Dewey County Conservation District and was sponsored by the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation.
An awards ceremony was held in the morning in the House of Representatives’ Chamber, emceed by Clay Pope, OACD executive director. Jim Reese, Oklahoma Sec. of Agriculture, and Gary Sherrer, Sec. of Environment, represented Gov. Mary Fallin and joined Kim Farber, OACD president, in presenting awards. Representatives of sponsoring organizations also joined in the presentations.
Hughes County Conservation District (HCCD) received the Outstanding District Award, sponsored by Chesapeake Energy. HCCD was recognized for the many programs and services that the district offers. HCCD is one of only a handful of districts in Oklahoma which maintains a webpage to keep citizens informed of local events and news. The District hosts two natural resource days at permanent outdoor classroom locations at Thomas Elementary in Holdenville and at Moss School. HCCD sponsors several youth events including poster, essay, speech and land judging contests, Blue Thumb - volunteer stream monitoring and offers a large scholarship to a graduating senior. HCCD provides rental equipment and custom services to area land owners to assist them with implementing conservation practices on their land. The District also participates in the State funded cost-share program to help citizens offset costs of implementing certain approved practices. HCCD also oversees operations and maintenance on 37 flood control structures which provide flood protection on 188,599 acres in Hughes County.
OACD Partners in Excellence awards were presented to OETA television and to Ashley Barcum, OETA communications director, in appreciation of a statewide effort between OETA and OACD and other partners to publicize and stimulate community conversations about the Ken Burns documentary THE DUST BOWL. The communication campaign took place from August to November 2012 across the state leading up to the premiere of the four-hour documentary on Nov. 18-19.
During the awards presentations, a signing ceremony was held to commemorate an agreement to help further efforts for prescribed burning in the state. The agreement between the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation and the Oklahoma Prescribed Burn Association formalizes a relationship between the two organizations to use prescribed burning as a tool to control invasive plant species and promote healthy rangelands, farmlands and wildlife habitat.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Andrea Jones with the Hughes County Conservation District has been honored for her 15 years of service to the local conservation effort. Jones received a certificate in recognition of her work as District Secretary during the recent Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts (OACD) 75th Annual State Meeting held Feb. 24-25 in Midwest City.
Andrea began working for HCCD on June 1, 1997. She is in charge of conservation education, cost-share programs, financial management, and general office management.
Sam McClure was recognized for his 20 Years of Service to the Hughes County Conservation District at the April 12, 2012 Board Meeting.
Sam resides in Calvin, Oklahoma and has been a Board Member since April 1991. He is currently serving as Chairman. Sam and his wife Willa Mae have a farming/ranching operation and have worked closely with Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Wes Watkins Agriculture Research and Extension Center, the Noble Foundation, Lane-Ag Center and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.
Sam also serves on the Oklahoma Agricultural Enhancement and Diversification Program (OAED) Board.
Willa Mae retired from the Holdenville High School Councelor position and currently operates Granny's Garden on highway 75 at Calvin.
Andrea Jones, District Secretary for the Hughes County Conservation District (HCCD) recently won the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) photo contest.
Andrea won 1st place in the "Conservation in Action" Adult division for her submission titled "Soil Profile". The picture was taken during a 2012 Outdoor Classroom at Moss School in which students were learning about soils.
Each participant could submit one entry for each of the four categories: Conservation Practices; Conservation in Action, Close Up Conservation and Ag/Conservation Across America.
Leon Russell, an ardent supporter of the conservation movement, retired after 30 years of service on the Hughes County Conservation District Board of Directors on May 13, 2010. Leon had been the voice for Hughes County natural resource concerns on both the state and national levels since 1975. He worked tirelessly to ensure that future generations inherit a clean and healthy environment.
The Hughes County Conservation District was recognized for its Pollution Awareness Program by the Oklahoma Conservation in November of 2010. Ms. Jones had developed a rapid response kit to take into the field when citizens notified her of pollution events. This enabled her to contact those agencies which could begin the cleanup process.
The Hughes County Conservation District (HCCD) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable sex, marital status, family status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisals, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs). Persons with disabilities who require alterantive means of communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact HCCD at our office located at 419 E. Highway, Holdenville, OK 74848-4057, phone (405) 379-2570 (voice), fax (405) 379-5926, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To file a complaint of discrimination against HCCD, write the Executive Director, Oklahoma Conservation Commission (OCC), 2800 N. Lincoln Blvd., Suite 160, Oklahoma City, OK 73105, phone (405) 521-2384 (voice), fax (405) 521-6686, or go to www.conservation.ok.gov. HCCD and OCC are equal opportunity employers.