Foundation Committed To Preserving Oklahoma Wildlife

Monday, June 24th 2019, 3:10 pm

By: News 9

From hunting deer and turkey, to fishing for catfish and bass, Oklahoma wildlife is thriving.

"In Oklahoma we're really blessed we have so many different kinds of habitat," said Micah Holmes with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

The ODWC has 350 employees managing about one million acres across the state.

"We manage it for several purposes," said Holmes. "The first is to conserve habitat, and when you have good habitat you have good wildlife populations."

The second reason is to open the land for hunting and fishing.

"Wildlife in Oklahoma is doing fantastic, as good as it's ever been really," he said.

To keep wildlife healthy, the nonprofit organization formed the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Foundation, and named Oklahoma native and country music star Blake Shelton to the board of directors.

"I love country music, I love my job at The Voice, but I'm not as passionate about any of my jobs as I am about the outdoors," said Blake Shelton. "It's just how it is, it's just how God made me."

The department doesn't receive any tax dollars. It is funded by hunting and fishing license sales, federal grants and donations. Shelton had a benefit concert in his hometown of Tishomingo recently to raise money toward the cause.

"I hope they walk away having had a great time and knowing that they've helped raise money for a great foundation," Shelton said.

The money will be used for several projects including stream rehabilitation, wetland development and restoring wildlife habitats.

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