This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Commentary Lesser Prairie-Chicken listed as ‘threatened’ O


Chris Meyers General Manager, Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives


n March 31, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)


listed the Lesser Prairie- Chicken as “threatened.” The Lesser Prairie-Chicken inhab- its parts of the fi ve states of Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado and Texas.


There is no denying that the population of the bird has been in decline.


Several years ago, in anticipation of a listing deci- sion by USFWS, the fi ve state’s governor’s offi ces, federal delegations, state wildlife departments and industries began working together in a fi rst-of-its- kind collaboration to develop a plan to save the bird and prevent the need for a listing. They devel- oped a range-wide plan to improve the bird’s habi- tat, set population goals, and create mechanisms to fund habitat improvements, which are mostly on private property. I believe that USFWS was genuinely interested in this collaborative approach as an alternative. They cooperated by granting a number of exten- sions throughout the decision process to allow time for the plan to be completed and implemented. In the end, the fi ve-state, range-wide plan was in


fact endorsed by USFWS as the best path forward to improve habitat and increase populations. Voluntary enrollment in the plan is strong. To date, more than $30 million and 4 million acres have been enrolled by oil and gas exploration compa- nies, utility companies and cooperatives, pipeline companies and others that conduct business in the affected areas. Unfortunately, extreme dry conditions in the habitat area have worked against the Lesser Prairie- Chicken and numbers have declined. Pressure from wildlife protection organizations to list the bird was also intense. As a result, to our disappointment, USFWS listed the bird as ”threatened” – better than a listing of “endangered” but nonetheless a listing. With or without a listing by USFWS, the volun-


tary fi ve-state plan will be the method of protecting the Lesser Prairie-Chicken; therefore, we believe there was justifi cation not to list the bird as “threat- ened.” Not listing would send a strong positive mes- sage to others who are directly impacted by the listing of a species. It would encourage more local and collaborative efforts such as this one. We will continue with implementation of the


plan and expect that with the millions of dollars contributed and a good dose of rain we will see the population rebound and sometime in the future the Lesser Prairie-Chicken can be de-listed.


Unity strengthens electric cooperatives I


Jimmy Taylor President, Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives


have had the exceptional privilege of being an ac- tive part of the rural elec- tric program since 1986.


Residing in the community of Berlin, near Elk City, I grew up on my family’s ranch where I fi rst arrived at age six- months. The ranch became a part of my family’s history in


1914 when my great-grandfather began acquiring the land. For years, the remoteness of my family ranch was a hindrance for investor-owned utilities to provide electric power to the area. It was one of the areas they deemed unprofi table to serve, so as a result my family—as well as many other families across rural Oklahoma—was left in the dark. However, through the efforts of local men and women who came together with a common pur- pose, Northfork Electric Cooperative was estab- lished, empowering my family with a better quality of life. This same scenario played out across Oklahoma as cooperatives were formed throughout the state so that everyone had the opportunity to have electricity. Today our statewide association is made up of 30 such cooperatives. I have been a board member of Northfork Electric


Cooperative since 1986 and have served as its board president since 1993. If there’s one lesson I have


4 WWW.OK-LIVING.COOP


learned in the electric cooperative circle, that lesson lies in the power of unity. The pioneers of rural electrifi cation have proven to us that through co- operation we can accomplish much. And, this power of “togetherness” is still available to us today. Your electric cooperative is not just a utility com- pany, your electric cooperative has a vested interest in the well being and prosperity of the communities it serves. Currently, the Environmental Protection Agency


(EPA) is proposing unfeasible regulations for green- house gas emissions generated from coal-fired plants. These regulations, if implemented, will hin- der your electric cooperative’s ability to provide affordable electricity to you, its member-owner. There are 42 million co-op members nationwide, and if we come together to express our opinion about EPA’s “all-but-one” energy approach, our unifi ed voice will be heard. If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to visit www.action.coop to send a message to the EPA—we are a team, and it takes every member speaking up to ensure your electric cooperative is able to provide safe, reliable and affordable electric- ity to you and your family every day. I feel both honored and privileged to have been elected as president of your statewide association. I look forward to working with representatives from each of your cooperatives in the coming year.


Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives


Chris Meyers, General Manager Jimmy Taylor, President


Kendall Beck, Vice-President Gary McCune, Secretary Scott Copeland, Treasurer


Staff


Sid Sperry, Director of PR & Communications sksperry@oaec.coop


Anna Politano, Managing Editor editor@ok-living.coop


Larry Skoch, Advertising Manager lskoch@ok-living.coop


Christy Johnson, Offi ce Manager cjohnson@oaec.coop


Kirbi Mills, Accountant/Offi ce Manager Asst. kmills@oaec.coop


Hayley Leatherwood, Multimedia Specialist hleatherwood@ok-living.coop


Harriet Orleans, Intern intern@oaec.coop


Editorial, Advertising and General Offi ces


P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154-1309 Phone (405) 478-1455


Oklahoma Living online: www.ok-living.coop Subscriptions


$3.12 per year for rural electric cooperative members.


$6.00 per year for non-members. Cooperative Members: Report change of


address to your local rural electric cooperative. Non-Cooperative Members: Send address


changes to Oklahoma Living, P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154-1309.


Oklahoma Living (ISSN 1064-8968),


USPS 407-040, is published monthly for consumer-members of Oklahoma’s rural electric cooperatives by the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives, 2325 E. I-44 Service Road,


P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154-1309. Circulation this issue: 316,692


Periodical postage paid at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Association of Electric


Cooperatives is a statewide service organization for the following electric cooperatives: Alfalfa, Arkansas Valley, Caddo, Canadian Valley,


Central Rural, Choctaw, Cimarron, Cookson Hills, Cotton, East Central Oklahoma, Harmon, Indian, KAMO Power, Kay, Kiamichi, Kiwash, Lake Region, Northeast Oklahoma, Northfork,


Northwestern, Oklahoma, Ozarks, People’s, Red River Valley, Rural, Southeastern, Southwest Rural, Tri-County, Verdigris Valley, and Western


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124  |  Page 125  |  Page 126  |  Page 127  |  Page 128  |  Page 129  |  Page 130  |  Page 131  |  Page 132  |  Page 133  |  Page 134  |  Page 135  |  Page 136  |  Page 137  |  Page 138  |  Page 139  |  Page 140  |  Page 141  |  Page 142  |  Page 143  |  Page 144  |  Page 145  |  Page 146  |  Page 147  |  Page 148  |  Page 149  |  Page 150  |  Page 151  |  Page 152  |  Page 153  |  Page 154  |  Page 155  |  Page 156  |  Page 157  |  Page 158  |  Page 159  |  Page 160  |  Page 161  |  Page 162  |  Page 163  |  Page 164  |  Page 165  |  Page 166