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Nature Connects Us Webinar Series

Oklahoma

The J.T. Nickel Preserve comprises 17,000 acres of exceptional beauty and environmental value.
J.T. Nickel Family Preserve The J.T. Nickel Preserve comprises 17,000 acres of exceptional beauty and environmental value. © 2015 David Joshua Jennings

Overview

Join us for an interactive, lunchtime virtual gathering as part of our Nature Connects Us webinar series. It’s a chance to hear from our leading scientists and conservation experts about tackling climate change, protecting land and water to create a sustainable future for Oklahoma.

Register for upcoming webinars at the links below. All webinars are at 12 pm central time. You must register to attend—information for joining the webinars via Zoom will be provided upon registering. 


Upcoming Webinar Dates & Topics

Hike-a-long at the Blue River
April 21, 2021 | 12pm CT

Have you ever seen the headwaters of a river? Now you can!

Celebrate Earth Day with us by tuning in for a virtual hike-a-long at a unique river in Oklahoma. Watershed Health Director, Kimberly Elkin, will take us on an exclusive journey to see the bubbling springs and headwaters of the Blue River in southern Oklahoma.

This river is one of only two rivers in Oklahoma that remains undammed from its headwater source all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. The Blue River is also home to the rarest tree in the United States—the seaside alder. Seaside alder has the most highly disconnected distribution of any tree species in North America as it is found in only two other locations, Georgia and Delaware, with very small population numbers.

Even the fish are unique to the Blue River. The upper Blue River is a center of divergence for a variety of fishes including a mix of Ozark and pre-glacial Ouachita River species like the southern redbelly dace and logperch. But the river doesn’t stop there! Three Blue River subspecies of darter– orangebelly darter, orangethroat darter and least darter–may eventually be described as separate species based on genetic studies.

The headwaters of the Blue River are protected by private property ownership and are not open to the public. Don’t miss this opportunity to see this rare, naturally pristine place in Oklahoma! Bring your virtual waders or rubber boots, your digital feet will get wet!

Register Here

Great for classrooms and watch-parties with family and friends, see the recordings of these in-depth webinars straight from the conservation experts by clicking on the topic titles below.

Man sitting on a horse atop a hill looking over a prescribed fire with overlaid text that reads "1 Million Acres Burned."
Nature Connects Us Prescribed fire is a critical conservation tool for grasslands management. © Kevin Sink

1 Million Acres Burned in Osage County with Bob Hamilton

Since 1993, The Nature Conservancy has been utilizing “good fire” as a conservation tool to restore the tallgrass prairie ecosystem at the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Pawhuska, OK. Utilizing a “patch-burn” model approach, staff have burned over one million acres in Osage County by conducting prescribed burns on the 40,000-acre preserve, as well as partnering with neighboring landowners to assist in the burning of their property. Meet Burn Bob and learn how prescribed burns on and off the preserve are helping Osage County thrive!

Key Take-Aways

  • Since 1993, The Nature Conservancy has burned more than one million acres in Osage County, OK at the Joseph H. Williams Tallgrass Prairie Preserve and on neighboring lands helping to restore a fully functioning portion of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem. 
  • Known as “good fire," prescribed burns not only help increase biodiversity, but they also help mitigate the negative impacts of wildfires by reducing fuel load on the prairie. 
  • Want your property to flourish from prescribed burns? Great news! There are funding and technical assistance programs out there to help you burn. Contact your local county conservation district and your local prescribed burn association.
Close-up of bison herd beginning to stampede into the corrals with overlaid text that reads "Bison Roundup at Tallgrass."
Nature Connects Us The bison herd is roundup each fall to receive vaccinations and a general health check-up. © Going West Productions

Bison Roundup at the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve with Harvey Payne

Live from the corrals at the Joseph H. Williams Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Pawhuska, OK, take a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to roundup over 2,500 bison. Each fall, the bison herd receives annual vaccinations, weight checks and are treated for a variety of parasites and disease. Not only is this event an opportunity to check the adult animals, it is also the first look at all the bison calves that were born earlier in the spring. Listen to our very own bison expert Harvey Payne and learn how the annual Bison Roundup ensures a healthy herd and a healthy prairie.

Key Take-Aways

  • Bison and fire shaped the tallgrass prairie ecosystem. Because of this, bison serve a critical role in restoring and protecting the tallgrass prairie – one of the most endangered and threatened landscapes on the planet.
  • The Nature Conservancy has 12 bison herds in the U.S., totaling more than 6,000 bison - 2,500 of which are at the Joseph H. Williams Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Pawhuska, OK, the largest TNC bison herd.
  • We can’t build more land. We can’t grow more water. We need your voice to help speak up for nature. Take action to help save our planet and ensure bison and other wildlife continue thriving at protected places like the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve.

Binge Watch Past Episodes

Did you miss a webinar? Have no fear! You can watch a recording of all past webinars on our Youtube channel.