Deep Fork NWR News
Fork NWR Gains Land Thanks To Trust for Public Land
Trust for Public Land recently acquired a 1/2 acre parcel of
land to be added to the Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge,
Okmulgee. The parcel has been a primary southern entry point to
the refuge and was being foreclosed by a mortgage company. TPL
moved to acquire the land and hold it until it could be added to
the refuge. TPL is a national, non-profit organization working
exclusively to protect land for human enjoyment and well being.
Thank you, thank you Trust for Public Land! Now, Deep Fork has
permanent southern access. Learn more about the Trust for Public
Land at http://www.tpl.org
meeting was held on Saturday, November 10, 2001 in Okmulgee to
work toward the establishment of a friends group for the refuge.
Included were the refuge staff, volunteers from Wisconsin
representing the National Wildlife Refuge Assoc, an independent
organization which works to establish such friends groups and
community members Lenard Thomas, John La Chance, Carolyn
Mathews, Pat Dolan, Jack Blair, and Gail Storey .
Tulsa Audubon Society was
instrumental in the formation of this group. The Society paid
for dinner on Friday, for beverages, and for the barbecue lunch.
The money for this came from payment received for conducting the
two bird surveys in the fall of 2000 and spring of 2001. Please
follow the link above for Gail's complete story about this
Conducts Birds Surveys For Deep Fork
several years, members of the Tulsa Audubon Society have
conducted surveys of wintering and breeding birds in the refuge.
These surveys have provided important data for the refuge. Last
year TAS adopted the Deep Fork as part of the Audubon Refuge
Keepers Program. In 2001, the Fish and Wildlife Service agreed
to budget a sum of money to conduct a winter survey and a
breeding bird census at the refuge. A group of dedicated members
of the Tulsa Audubon Society conducted these counts. In August,
TAS received a check for $1500 in payment. The board of
directors agreed that we would use this money to help with
projects at the refuge when needed.
About the Deep Fork
Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge in Okmulgee is the closest
wildlife refuge to Tulsa. Deep Fork
National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1993 to protect and preserve
an important tract of bottomland hardwood forest and wetland
habitat along the Deep Fork River for the benefit of migratory
birds and other native fish and wildlife resources. Most of the
Refuge is within the 100-year floodplain, and over 80 percent of
it floods annually.
The Refuge is characterized by bottomland
hardwood forests with oxbows, sloughs, marshes, and small streams
scattered throughout. It contains some stands of mature timber,
but most of it has been harvested in the past and supports
regenerated stands of oak, pecan, elm, hickory, ash, sugarberry,
walnut, riverbirch, willow, and other hardwood trees with
understory shrubs, vines, sedges and grasses. Pin oak, shumard
oak, bur oak, and red oak are the most common oaks found. The
soils in the bottoms are predominantly clay. A diversity of
wildlife is supported by the rich variety of habitats and plants
that are found in the bottomlands. Two hundred and fifty-four
species of birds utilize the Refuge. The numerous wetlands support
ducks, herons, egrets, and kingfishers. Raptors, woodpeckers, and
songbirds are abundant. The Refuge provides excellent nesting
habitat for warblers, videos, flycatchers, buntings, and swallows.
It is also an important nesting area for wood ducks. Wintering
waterfowl utilize the sloughs and wetlands along the Deep Fork
River. Mallards are the most common. Fifty-one species of mammals
have been identified from the Deep Fork River bottom. White-tailed
deer are abundant. Squirrels and rabbits populations are very
good. The swamp rabbit is common in the bottoms.
|Deep Fork NWR
Fish and Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 816
Okmulgee, OK 74447
The ARK Program
|National Audubon Society's Audubon
Refuge Keeper (ARK) Program is a core component of the Wildlife
Refuge Campaign that seeks to build public awareness and
appreciation for our national wildlife refuges.
The ARK name grew out of the
ever-increasing role of wildlife refuges as the last bastion
against habitat loss and extinction for birds, wildlife and
plant species. With more than 500 refuges and 92 million acres,
the National Wildlife Refuge System is the only network of
public lands dedicated primarily to the conservation of birds,
wildlife and their habitat.
The ARK program picks up where Audubon's
earlier Adopt-a-Refuge program left off, and involves more
comprehensive recruitment, training and organizational