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Tulsa Scissortail

Bimonthly newsletter of the Tulsa Audubon Society
edited by Janie Cheek

January/February 2002

ARK (Audubon Refuge Keepers) Update - Bob Germany

The Whooping Cranes Are Now In Florida

Beautiful Bird Pictures Now Available For Purchase at General Meetings

From the President - Tomye Ann Mainer

Recorder's Report - Amy Lambert

Friends of the Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge Organizational Meeting- Gail Storey


ARK (Audubon Refuge Keepers) UPDATE
Bob Germany, Conservation Chairman


The Trust for Public Land recently acquired a 1/2 acre parcel of land to be added to the Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge, Okmulgee. The parcel has been a primary southern entry point to the refuge and was being foreclosed by a mortgage company. TPL moved to acquire the land and hold it until it could be added to the refuge. TPL is a national, non-profit organization working exclusively to protect land for human enjoyment and well being. Thank you, thank you Trust for Public Land! Now, Deep Fork has permanent southern access. Learn more about the Trust for Public Land at


It took 51 days, 2 ultra-lites, one Cessna, motor homes, trucks, SUV's, twelve people (countless others along the way) to go 1223.8 miles -but- the 'Whoopers' finally made it south from Wisconsin to their new Florida winter home December 4th ! They made the news on National Public Radio and CNN, and were visited by President and Mrs. Carter when they were in Georgia.

You can see pictures, video, and read all about it on the web Be sure to go to Operation Migration and read the daily reports from the crew. Fascinating! Next spring, let's follow them from Florida's Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge back to Wisconsin's Necedah NWR to see how well they learned to migrate.


Beautiful bird photographs, matted and ready for framing, will be available for viewing at our General Meetings. Elaine Renning will have samples of these lovely photographs, from which you may order. They are economically priced at $15 and $20, and will be delivered at the following meeting. Support Tulsa Audubon and receive a great picture!

From the President
Tomye Ann Mainer

The TAS Financial Task Force is working to formulate recommendations to solve the problems caused by the projected loss of revenue from National. This reduction is being phased in over the next few years. At the end of three years we will be reduced to only 25% of the income from National that we received for year 2000. The loss of income does not present an immediate problem for our Chapter, however measures need to be taken now before our surplus is depleted.
Best wishes for the New Year.

Rare and Out of Date Sightings
Amy Lambert, Recorder

Count Species Date Location Observer Notes
1 Western Grebe R 11/2-20/01 Mohawk Park, Lake Yahola J.Arterburn, et al
1 White-winged Scoter R 11/10/01 Lynn Lane Reservoir G.Kamp Adult Female
1 Black Scoter R 11/18/01 Mohawk Park, Lake Yahola B.Carrell
3 Willet O 10/23/01 Mohawk Park, Lake Yahola P. Moser, et al
7 Bonaparte's Gull O 10/16/01 Keystone Area J.Loyd,et al
1 Rock Wren R 11/3/01 Mohawk Park, Oxley Nature Center J.Loyd First year bird
2 Ovenbird O 10/11/01 Williams Center Green J.Arterburn Listserv

I am still begging for more reports! Why not make a New Year's resolution to:

Begin a 'year's list' of all the birds you see - then report monthly!

The Great Backyard Bird Count is coming up in February, send me a copy of your report.

Start now, and send me a monthly report of the highest number of each species seen at your feeders at one time in any one day. You could just pick a few days each month to monitor your feeders, (or your favorite spot in a park, or along the river) and, of course, report!

Feel like a friendly competition? 'Tulsa County Listers' starts again this month. Contact me if you want to be included.

Thank you for your reports, we really want to know which birds all of you are seeing. Amy Lambert, Recorder

Amy Lambert 272-4794, or Pat Seibert 747-4202
mail: Amy Lambert, 12006 E 80th St North, Owasso, OK 74055


A couple of years ago we finally convinced the Mayor and City Council that curbside recycling was a good thing. We have over 7000 participants at the present time. That is low, considering we had expected 20,000. But, remember that this is only one option among many for disposing of Tulsa's accumulating waste. Also, I must say, that recycling should be a means to an end (an education process) preceded by a reduction in consumption and a reuse of goods as a follow-up, so recycling ranks third in the waste handling solution process.

As for other options, we have the m.e.t.'s recycling drop-off depots, twice a year household hazardous waste collection, yard waste disposal sites, composting bins distribution and composting education programs, some new pubic park recycling drop-off centers and school recycling programs. The newest is a multiple paper collection program (magazines, catalogs, newspaper, office and school papers and mail) in most schools sponsored by Tulsa World in cooperation with Abitibi Consolidated. By paying schools for the paper, there should be a great boost in paper recycling and an increasing interest in total recycling for that matter; an aside would be engendered interest in reducing and reusing all of our throw-aways.

In a consumerist society we have a long way to go, but new ideas and solutions are coming forward. As it is, we now have two important goals: We must make waste collection fees more equitable., such as with a 'pay as you throw' system. This would make the second goal tenable: to keep the landfill option at a minimum. As we attempt to close-out our air polluting incinerator by 2007, we must consider reducing our waste, come that year of reckoning.

Lastly, on "American Recycles Day", Nov 15th, I received a 'Recycling Hero' award at a dinner, sponsored by many recycling advocates and businesses. It was an unusual 'Picasso' type trophy made from recyclable materials. Awards are not as important as the deeds accomplished; however, they do recognize the combined efforts of a lot of people who make progress possible. Many thanks to my loyal cohort, Laurel Upshaw, who comes to mind as one of those people. She was an able representative at meetings when I was not available. Thank you again, Laurel Upshaw .

Organizational Meeting, November 10, 2001
Gail Storey

Under the guidelines of National's ARK (Audubon Refuge Keepers) TAS has adopted Deep Fork NWR

The Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge in Okmulgee is the closest wildlife refuge to Tulsa. It was established in 1993 to preserve a prime area of Oklahoma bottomland forest. For several years, members of the Tulsa Audubon Society have conducted surveys of wintering and breeding birds in the refuge. These surveys have provided important data for the refuge. Last year TAS adopted the Deep Fork as part of the Audubon Refuge Keepers Program. This year, the Fish and Wildlife Service agreed to budget a sum of money to conduct a winter survey and a breeding bird census at the refuge. A group of dedicated members of the Tulsa Audubon Society conducted these counts. In August, TAS received a check for $1500 in payment. The board of directors agreed that we would use this money to help with projects at the refuge when needed.

We are very fortunate to have a great staff at the refuge. Darrin Unruh is the manager. He has been assisted by Ron Price. They are dedicated to improving the refuge and gaining support from the community. In recent months, Darrin has worked toward the establishment of a friends group for the refuge. Many other national wildlife refuges have friends groups and through their efforts, dramatic improvements have been achieved.

The National Wildlife Refuge Association, which is an independent organization, has a mentoring program to assist in the start-up of friends groups. Darrin was able to get George and Dorothy Hoffman, a husband a wife mentoring team, from LaCrosse, Wisconsin to come to Okmulgee and conduct an organizational meeting. This was quite an honor because the mentors are limited to only a few such trips a year.

The meeting was held on Saturday, November 10, 2001 at the Student Union Building of the OSU Okmulgee Campus in Okmulgee. We were fortunate to have Steve Lobuda, manager of the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge in south Texas, as a special speaker. Also present were Darrin Unruh, Ron Price, and two new members of the staff at Deep Fork, Mike Oldham, assistant manager, who comes to Oklahoma from the Bosque Del Apache Refuge in New Mexico, and Kevin Vaughn, law enforcement officer. Representing the local community were Lenard Thomas, John La Chance, Carolyn Mathews, Pat Dolan, Jack Blair, and myself.

Darrin presented an overview of the Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge. He discussed the history of the refuge, it's current status, future acquisitions, and goals. Dorothy and George described what friends groups are and ways in which they have helped to protect and improve the refuges. The Hoffmans are currently active members of the Friends of the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife Refuges and the Friends of the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Steve Labuda discussed the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge and some of the activities of the friends group there.

At lunch time we drove to the refuge. The weather was perfect and it was a pleasure to be in the beautiful forest. We had a delicious barbecue lunch at the education area, which currently consists of a large wooden table near the pond. After lunch we toured the new boardwalk which is nearing completion. It is beautifully constructed, with Pat Dolan supervising the construction, and refuge staff members providing much of the labor. It will wind through the forest and connect the parking lot area to the pond.

Returning to campus we resumed our meeting. We were asked to write down projects that we would like to see at the refuge, then we prioritized them. Getting a visitor's center had the highest priority. Many of the other projects were dependent on that. Darrin reported that one of the immediate needs of the refuge is a bathroom of some kind at the education area near the pond. School children arrive on buses and predictably need a bathroom. We decided that this would be a worthwhile and achievable first project.

We then discussed the necessary steps in forming a friends group. These included selecting officers, obtaining non-profit status, choosing a logo, and soliciting members. During the break, George asked various people if they would be willing to serve as officers. It is a tribute to George's powers of persuasion that he was able to fill the offices quickly. They are Jack Blair, president, Bruce Mayberry, vice-president, John La Chance, treasurer, and myself as secretary. George then proclaimed that we were witnessing the birth of the Friends of the Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge.

Tulsa Audubon Society was instrumental in the formation of this group. The Society paid for dinner on Friday, for beverages, and for the barbecue lunch. The money for this came from payment received for conducting the two bird surveys in the fall of 2000 and spring of 2001.

It is hoped that in the months ahead, more people will want be a part of the Friends of the Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge and add their efforts to improving and protecting this wonderful place.




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