House Approves Resolution Emphasizing Importance of Public Lands

Mike Seals - March 25, 2021 10:42 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma House of Representatives today adopted a resolution to emphasize the critical role public lands play in the state’s economy, heritage and quality of life. State and federally-owned public land constitutes just over 6% of the land in Oklahoma.

Rep. John Talley, R-Stillwater, authored House Resolution 1002 to draw attention to Oklahoma’s public lands. He said the COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced how essential these dedicated lands are for Oklahomans’ mental and physical health. Public lands saw an increase in usage of more than 100% during 2020.

“Oklahoma’s public lands have long been a valuable part of the lives of Oklahomans,” Talley said. “Our public lands not only provide an avenue for recreational activities, but also make up a good chunk of our economy. It’s important that we preserve these lands for future generations to enjoy!”

Talley said he has hunted public lands his whole life and now has the pleasure of seeing his son and grandson enjoy access to the same lands. Talley has also used public lands during his 46 years of youth ministry to introduce students to the joys of Oklahoma’s outdoors.

Public lands provide habitats for Oklahoma’s diverse wildlife, including endangered and threatened species. The lands also provide opportunities for hunting, fishing, kayaking, riding all-terrain vehicles, wildlife viewing, photography, backpacking, cycling, sightseeing and numerous other outdoor recreational activities for Oklahomans of every economic class.

According to a study conducted by the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation is a major economic driver in Oklahoma, generating an estimated $10.6 billion in consumer spending and supporting more than 97,000 jobs in the state.

The Senate heard and adopted a similar resolution, Senate Resolution 8, authored by Sen. Brenda Stanley, R-Midwest City.

Below: Rep. John Talley, R-Stillwater, presents House Resolution 1002.

 

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