Water supplies in southwest Oklahoma are in danger of drying up as four years of drought drag lake levels to record lows. Some communities are scrambling to supplement their current water sources, while others look for new sources — in Texas.
Estimates say Duncan’s main water source — Lake Waurika — could be too low to use by 2016.
There are more than 78,000 miles of rivers and streams in Oklahoma. But 200 of those miles are unique — Oklahoma’s scenic rivers. They are some of the state’s most environmentally sensitive waterways, and the state grants them special protections.
StateImpact reporters Logan Layden and Joe Wertz spent a month exploring the rivers for a documentary about the rivers' history and the environmental threats they face.
Politicians, agency leaders and energy industry executives gathered in Oklahoma City Thursday for the Governor’s Energy Conference. The annual event is largely promotional, but as Joe Wertz from StateImpact reports, it also serves as a preview of the biggest energy policy topics for the coming year.
This is part two of StateImpact Oklahoma’s four-part series on the history of Oklahoma’s scenic rivers and the environmental threats they face. Part one is available here.
Bob Deitrick checks the snaps on his bright orange life vest, crouches and checks all the gear one last time. The Owasso father’s son and his two friends are behind him, impatiently paddling in circles.
This is part one of StateImpact Oklahoma’s four-part series on the history of Oklahoma’s scenic rivers and the threats they face.
The six eastern Oklahoma waterways classified as scenic rivers are each examples of the pristine beauty of that part of the state. They’re also tourist magnets. Even on a Monday morning, rowdy Tulsans pile into a bus at Diamondhead Resort and rumble toward the nearest access point into the Illinois River.
“If you have a good group of people and enough alcohol you can make anything fun,” one floater tells StateImpact.
State tourism officials are considering closing or transferring four more state parks. The agency, like many, has had its budget cut over the past four years, but the decision to defund state parks is about more than money.
Oklahoma is moving up the national ranks in wind-generated electricity. But as wind farms expand into northeastern Oklahoma, developers are facing a team of unlikely allies: Oil interests and environmentalists. But as StateImpact’s Joe Wertz reports, the wind farm fight in Osage County could affect the whole state.
The males are rowdy, the females are frisky. It’s bison breeding season in Oklahoma. This is the time when horns lock and fur flies.