U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Salt Plains
National Wildlife Refuge


Salt Plains NWR offers a sensational place for animals and humans to interact.  Birds like the bald eagle, snowy plover, Canada geese, and American avocets visit the refuge.
Route 1, Box 76
Jet, OK   73749
E-mail:
Phone Number: 580-626-4794
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
http://www.fws.gov/refuge/salt_plains/
Salt Plains NWR offers a wide variety of habitats for wildlife, resulting in a rich diversity of wildlife species who use the refuge throughout the year.
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  History
Continued . . .

The Great Salt Plains have been the Scene of many Indian Councils, both of war and peace. In drafting the treaty which defined the territory to become the so-called permanent home of the Cherokees in 1828, the U.S. Government withheld the Salt Plains areas with the provision that, "The right is reserved to the United States to allow other tribhes of red men to get salt on the Great Salt Plains in common with the Cherokee Tribe". The value of the plains lay not in its salt alone, but in the rich hunting affored by the animals migrating therer for the salt supply, and possession of this area is said to have been the cause of many Indian battles. In the earliest of the settlement of the Indian Territory, Western Kansas and Texas cattlemen sent wagons to the Plains to haul away great loads of salt. A local legend of interest concerns a cache of gold that was reportedly buried in the vicinity of the dam. In 1850, five men were returning to Missouri from California with fourteen bars of gold. In the vicinity of the present dam, they were attached by Cheyenne-Arapaho Indians, threee of the been were killed. The two remaining men wrapped the gold in a buffalo calf skin and buried it, marking the spot with an end-gate rod from their wagon. At least one of the men survived, since in 1901 Carl Sheldon arrived in the area with a map showing the location of the buried gold. Mr. Sheldon continued to search for the gold until 1940 when he was forced to leave because of the dam construction.


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