Oklahoma Conservation Groups

Mary K. Oxley Nature Center

The 800+ acre Mary K. Oxley Nature Center is located within Mohawk Park in Tulsa County. Operated by the City of Tulsa, the Center includes over nine miles of trails traversing forest, wetland and grassland habitats, as well as an interpretive building, boardwalk and teaching shelter. The Center also manages Redbud Valley Nature Preserve and the Barclay Visitor’s Center, located east of the city in Rogers County. Oxley offers numerous educational programs, including bird, botany and butterfly walks. With the exception of most City holidays, the Center’s gates are open from 8-5 daily. Admission is free.

Contact:
Mary K. Oxley Nature Center 5701 E 36th St N
Tulsa, OK 74115
(918) 669-6644 www.oxleynaturecenter.org

The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy is a leading non-profit organization with a mission to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Conservancy works
in all 50 states and in over 30 countries around the world with local governments, communities, landowners, and partner organizations, sharing our science-based and collaborative methods to protect the diversity of life on Earth. In Oklahoma, the Conservancy protects over 90,000 acres including the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Pawhuska, home of over 2,700 free-roaming bison.

Contact:
The Nature Conservancy Oklahoma Chapter 2727 E 21st St, Suite 102
 Tulsa, OK 74114
(918) 585-1117

www.nature.org

 

The Oklahoma Native Plant Society

The Oklahoma Native Plant Society was founded in 1987 to encourage the study, protection, propagation, appreciation and use of the state’s native plants. The society’s varied activities—field trips, lectures, workshops, displays, inventories, roadside plantings and the quarterly newsletter, The Gaillardia— promote an awareness and understanding of some of the state’s most valued treasures. ONPS also produces the annual scholarly journal, the Oklahoma Native Plant Record.

Contact:

Oklahoma Native Plant Society PO Box 14274
 Tulsa, OK 74159 oknativeplants@yahoo.com www.oknativeplants.org

The Oklahoma Biological Survey

The Oklahoma Biological Survey is both a research unit of the University of Oklahoma and a state office. The mission of the Survey is to scientifically investigate the diversity of plants and animals in Oklahoma and associated regions and to contribute to conservation and education concerning these important resources. The Survey was conceived by Dr. Arthur Ortenburger, an early Professor of Zoology at O.U., who began a series of expeditions to survey the fauna and flora of Oklahoma. The Survey was established as a research unit of the University of Oklahoma in 1927 by the Board of Regents and as a state office by the legislature in 1987.
Today the Survey includes: (1) the General Biological Survey program; (2) the Oklahoma Natural Heritage Inventory; (3) The Bebb Herbarium jointly operated with the Department of Botany and Microbiology; (4) the Oklahoma Fishery Research Laboratory jointly operated with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation; and (5) the Sutton Avian Research Center, a bird conservation center located in Bartlesville. Personnel in the Survey include faculty, staff, graduate students and undergraduates that engage in a wide range of research, teaching and service activities.

Contact:
Oklahoma Biological Survey University of Oklahoma
111 East Chesapeake Street Norman, OK 73019-5122 (405) 325-4034 www.biosurvey.ou.edu/

 

Oklahoma Natural Heritage Inventory

Biodiversity encompasses the variety of life, including the variety of species, biological communities and landscapes. Within Oklahoma’s borders there is a remarkable array of environments, from the wetlands of the southeast to the mesas of the western panhandle. These environments harbor a broad spectrum of biological communities and thousands of animal and plant species. This rich and diverse natural heritage is one of Oklahoma’s most valuable resources. In order to protect this resource, we must know where the elements of biodiversity occur.

The Oklahoma Natural Heritage (ONHI), a program of
the Oklahoma Biological Survey, was established by the state Legislature in 1987 to serve as a centralized repository for information on Oklahoma’s rich and diverse natural heritage. The ONHI maintains a dynamic database of the best scientifically based information on biodiversity within the state to meet the changing needs of citizens, organizations and government agencies in the state, and to assist in wise natural resource use, management and conservation planning.

Why is it needed?

  • To help the people of Oklahoma make informed decisions on the use of their land.
  • To preserve valuable biological resources in Oklahoma. • To comply with existing laws and regulations.

Inventory Features

  • It is a centralized repository. Information previously scattered among agencies, academic institutions, museums, private individuals and other sources are gathered into a single database.
  • It is fast. Information is stored in a computer and map files for rapid and easy retrieval.
  • It is informative. A professional staff of biologists works to interpret the information for specific applications.
  • It is ongoing. Information is continuously updated. Old records are verified, new areas are searched, known sites are monitored and changes in land use are recorded.

Inventory Applications

  • Environmental Impact Assessment. Many important biological resources have been destroyed inadvertently because land- use decisions were made without sufficient information. A professionally staffed inventory with a centralized database facilitates informed decisions before costly planning investments are made. For the same reason, compliance with laws and regulations is facilitated.
  • Resource management. Wise management of Oklahoma’s parks and wildlife management areas requires knowledge of sensitive biological features. Information maintained on these areas may be used to improve existing management practices.
  • Land protection. Information from the inventory helps us focus attention on Oklahoma’s most significant features for priority in conservation and protection.

Contact:
Oklahoma Natural Heritage Inventory University of Oklahoma
111 East Chesapeake Street
Norman, OK 73019-5122

(405) 325-1985

www.biosurvey.ou.edu/heritage/onhi.html