Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: May 28, 2009
Those receiving the award were: James Allard, Bureau
of Reclamation; Ken Crawford, Oklahoma Climatological Survey;
Duane Smith, Oklahoma Water Resources Board; Susan Paddack, Oklahoma
State Senator; Bill McDonald, Acting Director of the Bureau of
Reclamation; Deanna Archuleta, Deputy Assistant Secretary for
Water and Science, Bureau of Reclamation; Kelly Hurt, Chickasaw
Velta Wingard, wife of Harold Wingard; Secretary Salazar; John
Wingard, son of Harold Wi ngard;
Chuck Roberts, son-in-law of Harold Wingard; Sharon Phillips,
daughter of Harold Wingard;
Wayne Kellogg, Chickasaw Nation; Lynda Roberts, daughter of Harold
Wingard; Bob Talbot,
Bureau of Reclamation; Suzanne Van Cooten, National Oceanic and
Collins Balcombe, Bureau of Reclamation.
Oklahomans Receive Partners in Conservation Award for Project
Protect Aquifer Resources in Oklahoma
Earlier this month, members of an Oklahoma delegation
traveled to Washington, D.C. to receive the Partners in Conservation
Award from Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. This coalition
of individuals and agencies worked collaboratively with the Bureau
of Reclamation and the Chickasaw Nation to protect valuable aquifer
resources and to improve water resource conditions in Oklahoma.
The award to the aquifer resources project was one
of 26 national awards to individuals and organizations presented
at a ceremony at Interior headquarters in Washington, D.C.
“The Partners in Conservation Awards demonstrate that our
greatest conservation legacies often emerge when stakeholders,
agencies, and citizens from a wide range of backgrounds come together
to address shared challenges,” the Secretary said. “In
this case, the Bureau of Reclamation and Chickasaw Nation joined
forces with federal and state partners to combat the recent drought
and protect the water needed by the Nation, the cities of Ada
and Sulphur, Reclamation’s Arbuckle Project and the Chickasaw
National Recreation Area.”
This partnership involved the late Harold Wingard, landowner,
as well as the Chickasaw Nation, the Bureau of Reclamation’s
Oklahoma-Texas Area Office and Technical Service Center, the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency, Oklahoma Climatological Survey, Oklahoma Department of
Environmental Quality, Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma Water
Resources Board, Oklahoma Conservation Commission, Oklahoma State
University, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, and
the US EPA Robert S. Kerr Lab.
As Oklahoma moves toward completion of its comprehensive statewide
water plan, one important strategy that is being used is artificial
aquifer recharge. In 2008, the state passed Senate Bill 1410 and
directed OWRB to develop criteria to prioritize and recommend
demonstration projects designed to recharge aquifers through the
state. The Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer underlies about 500 square
miles of south-central Oklahoma. As one of the proposed recharge
demonstration projects, this site is located near Ada on the property
of the late Harold Wingard, a farmer and rancher who championed
water conservation and graciously agreed to cooperate with federal,
state, and tribal governments on implementing this recharge project.
“These 26 awards … celebrate partnerships that conserve
and restore our nation’s treasured landscapes and watersheds,
partnerships that engage Native American communities, and partnerships
that engage youth.” Salazar noted
The recipients of the Project for the Protection
of Aquifer Resources in Oklahoma are:
Bureau of Reclamation: James Allard, Collins K Balcombe, W. Robert
Talbot, Mark Trevino. Chickasaw Nation: Kelly Hurt, Wayne Kellogg.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: Suzanne Van Cooten.
Oklahoma Climatological Survey: Ken Crawford. Oklahoma Conservation
Commission: Darrell Dominick , Robert Toole. Oklahoma Department
of Environmental Quality: John Craig. Oklahoma State University:
Meghan Dailey, Todd Halihan, Yasemin Leventeli. Oklahoma Water
Resources Board: Duane Smith, Kyle Arthur. U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency: Robert W. Puls. Harold Wingard, landowner.
Paddack, Oklahoma State Senator.
For more information contact:
Sen. Paddack - (405) 521-5541