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Norman Area Land Conservancy Newsletter

Volume 6, Issue 2

Spring 2011

Parker Families Donate 286 Acres of Land on the Bluffs of the South Canadian River

Dedicated to Conserve, Improve, and Protect Rural and Urban Environments of Norman BOARD MEMBERS Joan Barker Ben Benedum Geoff Canty Dennis R. Crites, Secy. Jim McCampbell Michael Ridgeway Matt Runkle Ben Southerland, Vice Chair James Spurgeon Lynne Miller Stuart Lyntha Wesner, Chair (405) 321-2204 *** John Raeside, Treasurer FOUNDING MEMBERS Marion Bauman Patrick Copeland Robert C. Goins Harold Heiple Edwin Kessler John Raeside Jacci Rodgers Lee Rodgers

There is sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed. Mohandas K. Gandhi

Two brothers were building careers in big cities: Ken on Wall Street and Tony in Denver. Yet, the young Parker men yearned for their boyhood home and, in 1995, they loaded up their families and headed to the bluffs of the South Canadian River, just west of downtown Noble. They traded skyscrapers and freeways for more than 600 acres congested with cedar trees, dilapidated buildings and barely navigable dirt roads. Formerly owned by the Unification Church, locals knew that “the Moonie place” offered incomparable views of the South Canadian River and its Robin and Tony Parker with Tobin. valley, and that the overgrown The pasture in the background was brambles and hidden native trees once covered by invasive cedars. were populated by wild creatures and soaring raptors. (continued page 3)

The success of the Norman Area Land Conservancy is dependent on your annual membership. Your help contributes to the protection of lands that enrich and affect Norman’s environment. It helps us work to promote and sustain conservation efforts for cleaner air and water, natural habitats and locally grown food.

? mber e m ot a n l l i St


Membership form on back

Local Attorneys Give Consultation & Sevices Board Member Ben Benedum has enlisted an impressive group of attorneys to assist the Land Conservancy by providing pro bono consultation and services for any future landowner easement compliance issues. Thanks and appreciation go to: Carl McFarland Lindsay Bailey Rita Flagler Harold Heiple Emily Meazell Stan Ward INSIDE — Celebration of New Easements

Committed to Norman’s Quality of Life

Volume 6, Issue 2

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Spring 2011

Conservation a Way of Life for Stan and Gayle Ward When asked about the importance of placing their land into a conservation easement, Gayle and Stan Ward responded without pause: “Wildlife habitat, watershed protection, agriculture, enjoyment of land in its natural state and cedar eradication.” Gayle is known as a person who cares for homeless dogs, a woman who knows no boundaries when it comes to helping animals. Nurturing and protecting their land for wildlife is a natural extension of the Ward family’s love of animals and they recently placed into the Conservancy their 153 acre tract of land at 84th and Post Oak Road. “It is a safe haven, a place where animals are released following rescue and rehabilitation at Wild Care of Oklahoma. ( Stan’s commitment to conservation includes 30-plus years of night and weekend toil to improve pastures, plant forage for deer and turkey, create and stock ponds. When large native white oak, pecan and cedar trees are removed, he converts the raw timber into useable lumber with the help of Odos Tucker, Tucker Tree Service, and Jimmy Holasek, owner of a sawmill in Noble. Much of the wood has been used in the refurbishment of their guest cabin, including a 10-foot table and distinctive doors made of Eastern Red Cedar (shown at right). “Cedar is an extremely easy wood to stack and season, with less than a year of drying time, compared to several years for pecan or oak. It’s a shame that cedar eradication generally involves bulldozing and destruction of so much good wood.” Stan remarked that there is a myth that owners lose their rights when land is put into an easement with the Conservancy: “The land is still ours. It’s private and we can sell it or give it to our kids. The main difference is that it has a perpetual easement that requires cedar removal, maintenance and no residential or commercial development.” The Ward property is on the headwaters of Jim Blue Creek, a major tributary into Lake Thunderbird, which is a significant step toward NALC’s goal of improving water quality for citizens of Norman. Links to good articles and information:

Lake Thunderbird Watershed Implementation Project, Oklahoma Conservation Commission Lake_Thunderbird_Watershed_Implementation_Project.html From Cowboys & Indians Magazine, Conserving the West by Andrew Sansom Texas Land Conservancy—

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Spring 2011

(Parker Brothers, continued)

“We’ve spent ten years clearing out debris, eradicating Eastern red cedars and chasing off would-be poachers,” said Tony. “We even discovered a dead man near the river while hosting a church picnic,” he continued. Coastal Bermuda and native grasses have returned; wild turkeys and deer are common sites in the large pastures that are ringed with Cottonwoods. Hearing about the Land Conservancy from NALC donors John Potts and Stan Ward, the Parkers decided to give 286 acres of their land and a generous cash donation to assist with future conservancy responsibilities. Left: Bishop Creek flows through the Parker Ranch on its way to the South Canadian River and is home to mink, river otters and an occasional badger. Above right: Members of the Parker family have acquired skills and training to nurture and protect the American Kestrel, a small falcon that often struggles to survive among larger hawk species.

Hoover Family Farm History by Kay Hoover Collins John Alfred Hoover was born 1854 in North Carolina, where he lived until his father died in 1875, when at age 21, he headed West, where he toiled at various jobs, including Pony Express rider who was chased by Geronimo. On April 22, 1889, he made the Run with the opening of Indian Territory and found 160 acres near Noble, but a Frenchman was on the land illegally, so John offered him an Indian pony and $50 to leave the land and John filed his claim in Guthrie. A dugout was built and the Hoover farm developed into one of the best in Cleveland County. He terraced the hillside and drained the swamp with tile, new methods that brought many a laugh “It took two years and over from neighbors who later adopted John’s 375 e-mails to complete the progressive farming techniques.. easement, but we did it,” In 1893 he married Sallie Hodam proclaimed Kay Hoover and they moved into a two-room log Collins, Lancaster, Ohio, house; one room still had a dirt floor. during the closing of their The three oldest children were born in 226-acre family farm, which this house and the other eight were born was held at Old Republic in the two-story house they built on the Title Company on March 29, farm or in Noble at the house they 2011. owned there. J. A. had been in poor health caused by a fire on the farm because he kept going back into the barn to get more horses out. After he died in 1921, Sallie continued to work the farm and moved to Jim Hoover (middle) joint property Noble for the children’s schooling. Before her death in 1963, she sold owner from Stone Ridge, New the farm to her two youngest sons, Lloyd and Marvin. Prior to Marvin’s York, and NALC board members death in 1997, he sold his half interest in the farm to Lloyd. Since Ben Southerland (left) and Lynne Lloyd’s death April 24, 2008, the farm is owned by his children James Miller Stuart (right) inspect the and Kay. Hoover Farm prior to closing.

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The NALC celebrated the year with four Attending the April 4th NALC new easements, totaling 740 acres, were: which Celebration of Easements brings the organization’s holdings to almost 900 acres. 1. Lisa and Greg Carbin, John Potts 2. Tony and Robin Parker 3. Gayle Ward, Harold Haralson, Sue Crites 4. Marjorie Greer, Carole and Ken Parker 5. Ron Hilliard, Cindy Rosenthal, Stan Ward, Carol Crouch, Ken Zetterberg 6. Lynne Miller Stuart 7. Lyntha Wesner 8. David Morgan 9. Edwin Kessler and Lyle Milby 10. Patrick Copeland and Carole Parker 11. Ron Hilliard and Jim Spurgeon




Become a NALC member Join the Conservancy NOW and become a part of Norman’s future! Please complete this form and send it with your tax deductible dues and contribution to: NALC, P.O. Box 1616, Norman, OK 73070 Name:____________________________________________________________________________ Address:__________________________________________________________________________ City:_____________________________State:__________________Zip:______________________ Phone: __________________________e-mail____________________________________________

Annual Membership ( ) Regular ……………………… ( ) Family ………………………… ( ) Student/Senior (65+)… ( ) Supporting………………….. ( ) Sustaining………………….. ( ) Gold Sustaining …….…..

$25 $40 $18 $45* $100* $500*

Corporation, Institution and Organization ( ) Regular …………………... $500* ( ) Supporting .…………….. $1,000* ( ) Sustaining………………… $5,000* ( ) Gold Sustaining ………. $10,000* *Minimum Donation


THANK YOU VERY MUCH! Norman Area Land Conservancy P.O. Box 1616 Norman, OK 73070

Spring 2011  

Parker Families Donate 286 Acres of Land on the Bluffs of the South Canadian River Local Attorneys Give Consultation & Sevices Board Mem...