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Interview with Clay Pope - Conservation Practices

We visit with Clay Pope, executive director of Oklahoma's conservation districts, about what conservation practices are being done on the farm.
Interview with Clay Pope - Conservation Practices

Clay Pope

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Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts

Show Dates

Show 1006: Interview with Clay Pope - Conservation Practices

Air date: February 7, 2010



Rob:  And, joining me now is Clay Pope, the Executive Director of Oklahoma’s conservation districts.  Well, what we just saw I think is really a good example of what’s going on all across the state.

Clay Pope:  Absolutely.  Over thirty million dollars has been committed statewide to do projects like this; places like the Eucha/Spavinaw watershed, we’ve seen some of the challenges from the poultry industry, the Fort Cobb watershed.  You’ve got places throughout Oklahoma where we’re working with farmers and ranchers to undertake best management practices, to do things like preparing filter strips to doing manure handling practices that better protect the water, convert to no till, all of these practices that we have in that conservation toolkit to make sure that we’re doing what we can to protect our water throughout the state.  We’re really excited about it.  We’ve got a lot of sign, you know, a lot of interest and a lot of support from the producers; one of the things that we’re very proud of in Oklahoma.  We’ve never had one of these Water Quality Programs that we’ve undertaken in the state where we haven’t ran out of money first, before we ran out of, before we, before we ran out of producers.  We always run out of money before we run out of cooperators that want to come to the table and do what they can to protect the water and the other natural resources of Oklahoma.  So, we’re very excited, we’ve got some resources out there, we’ve got a lot of work to do though, but we are making some headway.

Rob:  Well, and some of those successes have been recognized by the EPA; you just announced this past week.

Clay:  Absolutely.  In fact, we’ve had some successes in the past, you’ve seen reductions in nutrients in places like the Eucha/Spavinaw watershed on the Illinois River.  We keep doing this work throughout the state and now the EPA, based on what we’ve done, has said that at least four streams that are on the impaired list in Oklahoma, streams are impaired for things like nutrients, turbidity which is soil erosion basically, and bacteria.  Four of those streams that were on that impaired list now, are coming off because of the work that those farmers and ranchers have done.  And, more importantly, we’ve got over a hundred and seventy streams that we’ve been monitoring on a rotational basis; streams the EPA were looking at to go on that list, that again, because of the work that the farmers and ranchers have done in that watershed, doing things to control erosion, doing things to control nutrient runoff, undertaking practices to protect that water, because of that over a hundred and seventy streams that were, that were slated to go on the list, won’t go on at all.  So, we’re very excited about that and it shows that these kinds of efforts really do work and like I said, the farmers and ranchers of Oklahoma are, are always ready to step up to the plate and do what they can to protect our natural resources; if the state and federal government will come with the resources to help them to do things in a way that makes economic sense.  So, I think the success speaks for itself, we’re excited, and I think we’ve got some good things going on.

Rob:  As always Clay, we appreciate you coming by.  Now if you’d like to see more on any of the issues we just talked about, we do have several stories streaming on our website.  Simply to and click on this week’s value added where we talk about conservation.