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Talking Trees Campground

From hunting leases to hiking trails, one area that continues to grow in popularity is forest recreation.
Talking Trees Campground


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Talking Trees Campground

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Show 0832: Talking Trees Campground

Air date: August 10, 2008



Rob:  When it comes to Oklahoma’s woodlands, the latest figures show close to eleven thousand people are employed by Oklahoma’s timber and paper industry; with a payroll of over a quarter of a billion dollars.  Add in timber-based manufacturing, and the economic impact of Oklahoma’s forestlands nearly triples to three quarters of a billion dollars.  But most agree; that figure has plenty of room to grow.  And here is why.  When you look at the two hundred plus million acres that comprise the southern forest, they breakdown like this:  twelve percent is owned by the federal government; fourteen percent by large companies like Weyerhaeuser; and the rest, which is over seventy percent, is owned by private landowners.  But when it comes to production, almost half of all revenue comes off the fourteen percent that is owned by the large companies, leaving close to eighty percent of Oklahoma’s woodlands relatively underdeveloped, which brings us to our next story.  From hunting leases to hiking trails, one area that continues to grow in popularity is forest recreation.  Our Jessica Lowe takes us to a private campground in the middle of Oklahoma’s Ouachita National Forest.

Dorothy Aronds:  It’s quiet.  It’s peaceful, back to nature.

Jean Harris:  It’s a beautiful place, and the prettiest spot in Oklahoma.

Barbara Fulson:  We came up here on vacation, and it was so beautiful, that when we got ready to retire, this is where we landed; and we’ve never regretted it.

Jessica:  These are the thoughts of those who visit Talking Trees Campground and Spa, located in Stapp-Zoe, a small bedroom community of only 300 people, just 10 miles south of Heavener.  It’s exactly what director Barbara Tyson intended.

Barbara Tyson:  Upon retirement, which I have been retired now since 95, I decided to do something different and developed this campground to serve people who are interested in the outdoors, and this seems to be a need, in the area, for a private campground.

Jessica:  Activities ranging from horseshoe pitching, pedal boating, fishing, and more. Barbara’s favorite, riding her ATV.

“Happy trails as she rides into the sunset.”

Tyson:  You can go directly into a national forest area and ride your ATV vehicles.  There are miles and miles of road to ride in the mountains.   People bring their horses here and can access the trails from our camp.  I’ve got plenty of grass, and I encourage all the horses to eat as much as they want while they’re here.

Jessica:  And as word spreads, Talking Trees Campground is getting more and more visitors.

Tyson:  This area receives a lot of tourists during the year.  We’re getting probably 20 or 30 a month now, and sometimes more.  Now I’m taking reservations for next year already.  I’ve had requests for larger groups, and we’re going to be building a pavilion this winter that will sleep 20 people.  We have conferences, reunions, parties, private parties; all of that, that we can do meal service for.  That seems to fit the bill.  We’re calling it camping and breakfast, instead of bed and breakfast.  A lot of people really like that.

Jessica:  Making Talking Trees Campground more than just a fun job for Barbara, but a great gift to all who visit, from Mother Nature herself.