Oklahoma SCS/NRCS Retired Employees met at the Golden Corral Buffet at 520 South MacArthur Blvd. in Oklahoma City. Twenty-six people were in attendance. The meeting minutes, attendees list and the newsletter can be found below.
The following article is being provided to explain the Oklahoma Conservation Oral History Collection:
ORAL HISTORIES OF OKLAHOMA CONSERVATIONISTS NOW AVAILABLE ON THE OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY WEBSITE
October 17, 2019.
The Oklahoma Conservation Historical Society has announced the launch of the Oklahoma Conservation Heritage Oral History Collection. The Oklahoma Conservation Historical Society has partnered with the Oklahoma State University Library to record and archive interviews with individuals who have made contributions to conservation in Oklahoma. Audio, video, and transcripts of the interviews are posted digitally in the new Oklahoma Conservation Heritage Section of the OSU Library’s oral history collections. Interviews are available to researchers and the general public. The oral history project was funded in part through a cooperative agreement between the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Oklahoma Conservation Historical Society and the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts.
Oklahoma holds a unique place within the American conservation movement, as the epicenter of the worst man-made ecological disaster in history, the Dust Bowl. Out of the 1930’s conservation districts were created by local farmers and ranchers who recognized the need to implement voluntary conservation practices on private working lands. Over the course of the last 80+ years, Oklahoma has been a leader in the adoption of practices that benefit the health of our soils and water while building resiliency on our farms and ranches.
The Oklahoma Conservation Historical Society was formed in partnership with the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts, the Oklahoma Conservation Commission, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Oklahoma Chapter of the Soil and Waters Conservation Society and the RC&D Association. The Oklahoma Conservation Historical Society believes these interviews will preserve the storied and proud history of conservation in Oklahoma. This collection is a celebration of individuals and programs that have contributed to making Oklahoma known across the country as a leader in conservation.
“This is such a great opportunity for new NRCS employees and conservation district directors to hear about the beginnings of conservation programs directly from many of the leaders of that time” says Gary O’Neill, Oklahoma NRCS State Conservationist. “It is especially important to hear about the challenges of organizing watershed projects as told by project sponsors and Soil Conservation Service employees who were involved in the planning and implementation of the watershed projects during the early days of the watershed program.”
“Please take the time to listen to these great Oklahomans tell their story of bringing our state back from an environmental disaster,” said Trey Lam, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission. “What a fantastic project teaching history in the first person. Conservationists want to leave the land better for the next generation. Now that generation can learn how these pioneers did it. We owe a huge thank you to the Oklahoma Conservation Historical Society.”
“We are most appreciative of the efforts of the Oral History Research Program at the OSU Library and the financial support of NRCS to create this collection,” said Ben Pollard, President of the Oklahoma Conservation Historical Society. We have a proud conservation history in Oklahoma and are pleased that these first-person accounts are now available.”
To listen to the oral histories in the Oklahoma Conservation Heritage Collection, please visit: Oklahoma Conservation Oral History Project
The newsletter following this meeting can be found here: Newsletter October 2019
The minutes from the meeting can be found here: Minutes October 2019
A list of attendees at the meeting can be found here: Attendees October 2019