Conservation Partnership Commends SWODA
|Jana Harris, director of Community and Economic Development, represented SWODA in accepting the commendation from OCC Area IV Commissioner Dan Lowrance (left) and OACD President Trey Lam (right).
|This compact track loader is an example of pieces of equipment that SWODA helped conservation districts purchase.
The Oklahoma Conservation Commission (OCC) and the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts (OACD) recently teamed up to present the Southwestern Oklahoma Development Authority with a Conservation Commendation. The presentation took place on Nov. 5 at Lawton during the OACD Area IV Meeting for conservation districts in southwestern Oklahoma. Jana Harris, director of Community and Economic Development, represented SWODA in accepting the commendation.
SWODA, headquartered in Burns Flat, was created in 1971 in a joint effort by municipalities, counties and conservation districts in Beckham, Custer, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa, Roger Mills and Washita counties. Leaders in those communities recognized that some problems shared by many of these governmental entities could be better solved if they worked together. From these governmental units and from other population segments in the region, 30 representatives are elected to serve on SWODA's governing board. A five-member board of trustees determines policy for SWODA.
Since the early 1980s, SWODA has assisted all the conservation districts in the region to prepare and to adopt their five-year long-range plans. A few of the ten districts have also received assistance in their annual work plans (AWP).
In 1996 the Oklahoma Legislature created the Rural Economic Action Plan (REAP) program to help rural communities. Starting in 2006 SWODA has used REAP grants to help conservation districts in its eight-county area to acquire equipment for operation and maintenance on flood control dams and structures.
Upper Washita Conservation District received six grass drills through a REAP grant from SWODA. The district applied for the $75,000 grant in October 2008 and received approval in December of that year. The grant enabled the district to purchase four standard grass drills and two no-till drills, all with small and fluffy seed boxes, and three hitches. Under a previous SWODA grant the district had purchased one-ton pickup with a flatbed and tool boxes and a laptop computer.
In 2006 Washita County Conservation District received a REAP grant from SWODA for $54,954 with which it acquired a bobcat skid loader, a backhoe, a grapple bucket, a shredder and a post hole digger. In 2009 the district received a $30,000 grant to buy a Marshall tree saw and a three-quarter ton four-wheel drive pickup truck.
Other grants to conservation districts for watershed operation and maintenance equipment are as follows:
- 2006 Washita County Conservation District — 54,954
- 2007 North Fork of Red River Conservation District — 69,688
- 2007 Custer County Conservation District — 27,855
- 2007 Harmon County Conservation District — 45,159
- 2007 Mountain View Conservation District — 56,448
- 2007 Upper Washita Conservation District — 50,000
- 2008 Jackson County Conservation District — 75,000
- 2009 North Fork Red River Conservation District — 64,169
- 2009 Harmon County Conservation District — 50,000
- 2009 Upper Washita Conservation District — 75,000
- 2009 Washita County Conservation District — 30,000