Range management has been a lifelong passion for Dr. Jerry Dodd, Cameron University Professor of Agriculture, so his election earlier this year as President of the Oklahoma Section of the Society for Range Management was a perfect fit. Dodd happily took on the responsibilities of the position, which included planning the organization's annual meeting, to be held jointly with the Oklahoma chapter of The Wildlife Society, headed by Steven Smith of the Noble Foundation in Ardmore. Dodd and Smith chose southwest Oklahoma as the location for the annual meeting and have spent the past several months putting the finishing touches on their agenda. Their plans come to fruition on Wednesday and Thursday, October 29 & 30, when representatives from both organizations convene for "Burning, Birding and Bugling."
"When Steven Smith approached me about holding a joint meeting, it seemed like a great opportunity for members of both organizations to come together to discuss topics that are of mutual interest to both wildlife and rangeland professional managers and scientists," says Dodd. "In order for resource management to be most effective, everyone involved needs to work together to achieve mutual goals."
Dodd and Smith have planned a full two-day conference that will take participants to four locations in southwest Oklahoma, starting in the theatre of the Visitor's Center at Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge. A highlight of the agenda is the inclusion of student speakers who will present on natural resource management, followed by presentations by USFWS personnel about wildlife and range management Refuge. Following a lunch break, the meeting heads to the great outdoors for field tours of the Refuge.
On Wednesday evening, registrants will head to Lawton's Comanche County Fairgrounds, for an evening meal followed by business meetings.
The final session takes place on Thursday at Frederick's Hackberry Flat Wildlife Management Area, where representatives from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation will present information about Hackberry Flat and then lead a tour of the area.
"The habitat in this area is phenomenal," Dodd says. "Southwest Oklahoma provides topography that is like no other place in Oklahoma. Our intention is to show off the natural resources that we enjoy in this region, as we continue our joint efforts of stewardship. It's a prime opportunity for our members to hear the elk bugling and see the sand hill cranes as they rest up on their journey south. "
Dodd invites the public to attend any and all of the activities but advises there is a small registration fee. On-site registration is $40 for Wednesday only, $20 for Thursday only and $60 for both days. For more information, contact Jerry Dodd at (580) 581-2283.
Joint Annual Meetings of the Oklahoma Units of The Wildlife Society and The Society for Range Management - Agenda
Wednesday, October 29
Visitor's Center, Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge
8 a.m. Registration, Coffee and Snacks
9 a.m. Welcome: Steven Smith, President, Oklahoma Chapter, TWS; Jerry Dodd, President, Oklahoma Section, SRM; Jeff Rupert, Refuge Manager, USF&WS
9:05 a.m. Student presentations
- Keith Carter and M. Dunn. CU. "Adoption of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge Herbarium into the Cameron University Herbarium."
- Scott Robertson and K. Hickman. OSU. "Controlling Old World bluestem with fire, mowing, and herbicide."
- Stephen Winter, E. Doxon, S. Fuhlendorf, C. Davis, and D. Leslie, Jr. OSU. "Patch-burn grazing research in sand sagebrush prairie of northwest Oklahoma."
- Elizabeth Doxon, C. Davis, and S. Fuhlendorf. OSU. "Macroinvertebrate diversity and abundance responses in mixed-grass prairie managed with patch-burn techniques."
- Brett Cooper, R. Elmore, F. Guthery, and C. Davis. OSU. "Sand plum relationships with avian abundance in the Southern Great Plains of Oklahoma."
- Valerie Cook, K. Hickman, D. Elmore, and F. Guthery. OSU. "Effects of white-tailed deer overabundance on food resources of bobwhite quail in northwest Oklahoma."
10:35 a.m. Break
10:50 a.m. Presentations by Wichita Mts. National Wildlife Refuge Personnel
- Jeff Rupert, Refuge Manager, Description of USFWS National Wildlife Refuge System and basic information about the Wichita Mts. Wildlife Refuge.
- Walter Munsterman, Wildlife Biologist, Bison and game management on the refuge
- Ralph Bryant, Deputy Refuge Manager, Elk and the refuge hunting program.
- Speaker TBA, The Black Capped Vireos of the refuge
- Ralph Godfrey, Fire Management Officer, Fire management program and fire ecology of cross timbers
12:30- 5 p.m. Lunch followed by field tours led by USFWS personnel: Bus tour into the special use area / Bus tour emphasizing refuge history / Ecology and Management of Grasslands / Ecology and Management of Cross-timbers / Wilderness focused tour / Birding tour
Prairie Room, Comanche County Fairgrounds, Lawton
6:30 p.m. Social hour, dinner, business meetings
Thursday, October 30
Visitor's Center, Hackberry Flat Management Area, Frederick, OK
9 a.m. Coffee and snacks
9:30 a.m. Kelvin Schoonover, ODWC, History and Management of Hackberry Flat WMA
10:30 a.m. Tour of Hackberry Flat
October 24, 2008