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Pushmataha field tour enhances landowner management choices

Oklahoma

Landowners looking to get the most out of their natural resources should plan now to attend the Fire, Wildlife, Timber and Cattle Grazing Annual Fall Field Tour on Sept. 29 at the Pushmataha Wildlife Management Area.

The tour will take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. There is no cost to attend. The Pushmataha Management Area headquarters is located two miles south of Clayton off State Highway 271, approximately three miles west on a county road. Signs will be visible.

"American Indians have managed this country with fire for more than 10,000 years, and to great benefit to people, plants and animals," said Terry Bidwell, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension rangeland specialist. "Our scientific inquiries are helping to rediscover the extent of those benefits. The application of science-based management can and has helped provide for sustainable, healthy ecosystems."

Participants will gain a better understanding of how to use prescribed fire, timber harvest and cattle grazing to meet land management objectives; integrated timber, livestock and wildfire management; stocking rate and carrying capacity considerations for running cattle; and ways to maintain and promote overall forest health.

Also included will be a history of the Pushmataha Wildlife Management Area and some of the many land use and efficiency insights and benefits that research on its 19,000 acres has yielded.

Sessions will be led by Bidwell; Jack Waymire, senior biologist and Pushmataha site manager; and Ron Masters, director of research for Florida's Tall Timbers Research Station and a former faculty member with OSU's Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

"Coming back to Oklahoma for the annual field tour is one of the highlights of my year," Masters said. "We had no idea back in 1982 that the studies we began would still be yielding valuable insights today, or that they would generate such beneficial additional areas of research. It has been quite the land-management detective story."

Anyone seeking additional information about the Pushmataha Wildlife Management Area field tour should contact Waymire by e-mail at pushwma@hughes.net or by phone at 918-569-4239, or Bidwell by e-mail at terry.bidwell@okstate.edu or by phone at 405-744-9618.



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