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Oklahoma ES Accomplishments
Southwest Region, May 2, 2005
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Biologists Hayley Dikeman and Kevin Stubbs were recognized and presented with the Oklahoma ES ?Kestrel Award?. Hayley: for her work on the Programatic BO on ABB for EPA oil and gas activities, and Kevin: for his lead in helping the Army Corps of Engineers rehabilitate nesting habitat for the Interior least tern on Zink Island (near downtown Tulsa).

On 4/11/05 Hayley Dikeman conducted an American burying beetle (ABB) training seminar for refuge managers and employees which included ABB biology and ecology, detailed survey methodology and justifications, trap and relocate methods, and bait away methods. Each refuge is in the process of obtaining a Section 10 permit for doing ABB recoverywork.

On 4/22/05 OKES Staff were in attendance at a congressional field hearing, held in Tulsa, led by U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe. Region 2 Director Dale Hale was on board to testify. The hearing was held to champion federal legislation that would authorize long-term funding for fish and wildlife habitat restoration and protection on privately owned land (Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, PFWP). Several landowners and school officials were invited to the hearing to testify on the success and their personal involvement in PFWP. Since the beginning of the PFWP in Oklahoma in 1993, 684 projects have restored and protected over 128,000 acres of private land. In a press release dated 5/3/05, Oklahoma Congressman John Sullivan introduced H.R. 2018, ?The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Act? which is identical to Senator Inhofe's Senate bill.

Biologist Terry Whittaker, through coordination with the Langston University Center for Outreach, provided outreach (wildlife programs, information on careers in FWS) and wildlife programs to approximately 4,000 minority students and in 10 inner-city schools and underserved communities. Terry also represented OKESFO at ?Science Fest Oklahoma? held at the Oklahoma City Zoo; 4,600 4th and 5th graders were in attendance and Earth Day 2005 at Tulsa Zoo where over 2,500 students and their families were in attendance. Terry was specifically requested by Monica Alexander, USDA Washington Office, to make a presentation on behalf of FWS as part of an ongoing outreach partnership with USDA to outreach to the Native American community of Oaks, Oklahoma (Cherokee Nation).

Biologist Richard Stark is coordinating efforts with representatives from the University of Kentucky, Ozark-St. Francis National Forest, USFWS, Conway AR, and Ozark Plateau NWR to conduct research on the diet and prey abundance of the Ozark Big-Eared Bat. The anticipated end of this study is 8/31/06. Richard also attended the Arkansas River Navigational Study (ARNS) Aquatic Impacts/Mitigation meeting to discuss aquatic impacts analysis and mitigation plans for ARNS. It was determined that 165 gravel beds will be impacted by dredging activity. The committee is currently developing mitigation measures for each gravel bed.

Contaminant specialist, Dean Heckathorn attended meetings with EPA and Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ), coordinated cleanup activities, researched, and visited sites for Hudson Refinery, Imperial Refining, and Tulsa Fuels and Manufacturing. These sites are in the preliminary stages of investigation, and Service staff has worked to increase familiarity with these sites and any potentially adversely affected natural resources, including threatened and endangered species, aquatic resources of national importance, and utilization of habitat at the Superfund sites by migratory birds. These sites involve extensive coordination with local governments, citizens, Tribes, as well as federal agencies and state government. As agreed, the feasible approach to cleanup would be onsite contamination consolidation and capping.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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