The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Progress 2013

April 6, 2013

Learning to conserve

Education about saving water resources a silver lining to dark cloud that holds no rain for area lakes, wildlife

(Continued)

ENID, Okla. — Putting salt back in Plains

Salt Plains is another area suffering due to the drought. The area’s wildlife is seeing much of the negative impact.

“The main thing is our winter waterfowl population was down quite a bit,” said Salt Plains refuge biologist Glen Hensley.

Each year 90-95,000 geese roost overnight at Salt Plains during the winter months.

“I believe we maxed out for a short period in November at about 50,000 geese,” said Hensley. “We usually peak in goose numbers in late December, early January.”

December 2012 saw about 17,000 geese compared to its usually 95,000 said Hensley.

“They moved on. They didn’t stick around.”

Hensley said the 50,000 ducks usually come in during peak time, but this winter only saw about 20,000 ducks.

“We maybe had 20,000 tops in about November, a month early,” said Hensley.

The migrating waterfowl depend each year on Salt Plains as a place to rest.

“Salt Plains is kind of a rest and refueling station along the migration,” said Hensley.

Like Canton, Great Salt Plains Lake is suffering a receding shoreline.

“The lake is really low,” said Hensley. “There’s really no way to judge how low. The lake elevation gauge is on the dam, and the water isn’t to the dam. The water line is about half a mile from the dam.”

The waterfowl aren’t the only birds affected by the drought at Salt Plains.

“It’s affected the eagles because they eat ducks and fish,” said Hensley. “The oxygen supply was depleted (in the water) and we had a fish kill. The mid-winter eagle survey was down this year.”

The lack of water also prevented the area’s wetlands from flooding, which hinders the reproduction of certain insect species, such as dragonflies, and reduces the amount of available drinking water for other wildlife.

Salt Plains hosts a public hunting area, but due to the lack of birds in the area, Salt Plains and other places in the area saw fewer hunters. These hunters usually come from all over the state and other states.

“Farmers might have had reduced income because of their hunting leases,” said Hensley.

The salt crystal digging area was successful throughout the past year, but the other areas at Salt Plains saw fewer visitors.

“We hope it’s going to get better, but I think it’s going to be another bad year,” said Hensley. “We have wet periods and dry periods. Hopefully it gets wet again.”

Text Only
Progress 2013
  • Progress cover page.jpg 2013 OUR HERITAGE, OUR FUTURE

    The News & Eagle puts out an annual Progress edition. This year's 2013 Our Heritage, Our Future focuses the Enid area's rich heritage and its current and future endeavors.

    Read individual stories on the enidnews.com site HERE

    Links to Full Edition pdf format: Economic Development | Health & Wellness | Education | Northwest Oklahoma | Faith | Family | Agriculture & Energy | Community Service

    Our Progress edition also is available as part of our digital newspaper. Learn more about the ENE e-edition HERE.

    February 16, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • Bob Farrell_1_BV.jpg A time to give

    Bob Farrell volunteers for a number of organizations throughout Enid, a labor of love that began during his 25-year active duty Air Force career, at which time he rose to the rank of chief master sergeant.

    April 13, 2013 2 Photos 1 Link

  • experiment.jpg Growth spurt

    The market normally opens the second Saturday of May, the week after Tri-State Music Festival. June 22 is the annual GreEnid promotion. Hours are 8-11 a.m. each Saturday during the season.

    April 13, 2013 3 Photos 1 Link

  • Nonprofits Seminar_2_BV.jpg A way to fund progress

    Cherokee Strip Community Foundation was started in 1999 and began receiving funds in 2000. The initial funds were raised because of a challenge match from Sisters of Mercy, former owners of St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, which started the match program as a way to help the community.

    April 13, 2013 2 Photos 1 Link

  • Foster_Grandparent_BH.jpg 'I love you Grandma warms my heart'

    “I can tell Grandma one time, and she knows what the children need, grabs her stuff and goes and does it. It’s like having another teacher.” — Hoover Elementary teacher Nicole Moneypenny

    April 13, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • AmTryke_3_BV.jpg AMBUCS pride

    “Enid is known as the AMBUCS capital of the world because there’s more AMBUCS in Enid per capita than any other city in the country." — Kent Clingenpeel, National AMBUCS president and Enid AM AMBUCS member

    April 13, 2013 2 Photos 1 Link

  • Volunteers_Alisha Jones_4.jpg 'A beautiful thing'

    “When we talk about developing professional airmen, our community involvement is a big part of it.” — Col. Darren James, commander of 71st Flying Training Wing

    April 13, 2013 4 Photos 1 Link

  • Stepping_Stones_1_BH.jpg Helping people overcome

    Stepping Stones and Van’s House are housed at the same facility and are there to provide help for those who are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction.

    April 13, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • Park Avenue Thrift_1_BV.jpg People making a difference

    From vocational rehabilitation and homeless shelter services to community arts programs, a significant portion of Enid’s non-profit causes benefit directly when people shop at or donate to local thrift stores.

    April 13, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • JWL_1_BV.jpg Care to share

    Junior Welfare League bought adjoining buildings downtown and has been operating Return Engagement from one of the buildings but hopes to expand the store throughout both buildings.

    April 13, 2013 3 Photos 1 Link