Oklahomans Receive Award for Collaboration on the Blue River

Six groups of Oklahomans were honored for their collaborative approach to conservation on the Blue River at the 22nd Annual Environmental Excellence Celebration held on November 1, 2012 by Keep Oklahoma Beautiful.

Oklahoma's OkaYanahli Preserve on the Blue River near Ada, Oklahoma | November 02, 2012

Oklahomans Receive Award for Collaboration on the Blue River

Oklahoma State Director, Mike Fuhr and OkaYanahli Preserve Director, Jona Tucker

Oklahoma news release 2012-10-16

Supporters attending the Oka’ Yanahli dedication ceremony on March 31, 2012 gather in front of banner utilized to unveil the name of the preserve. From L-R: State Director Mike Fuhr, TNC; Neal McCaleb, Chickasaw Nation; Governor Bill Anoatubby, Chickasaw Nation; Legislator Mary Jo Green, Chickasaw Nation; Legislator Dean McManus, Chickasaw Nation; Legislator Katie Case, Chickasaw Nation; Legislator Beth Alexander, Chickasaw Nation; Legislator Toby Perkins, Chickasaw Nation; Preserve Director Jona Tucker, TNC. 

The Nature Conservancy, Chickasaw Nation, Inasmuch Foundation, The Pauline Dwyer Macklanburg and Robert A. Macklanburg, Jr. Foundation, Dolese Bros. Co., and Rudy & Deb Herrmann were each recognized with the “Team Builders Award” for their partnership this past year on the Conservancy’s newest preserve Oka’ Yanahli (oh-kuh yuh-nawlee), which means “water flowing” in Chickasaw.

“We are glad we got the opportunity to partner with The Nature Conservancy and the other supporters of the Oka’ Yanahli Preserve,” President of Dolese Bros. Co. Mark Helm said. “The company realizes the importance of this region to local citizens, communities and industries and takes seriously the need to act responsibly in conserving its natural resources. Our company believes the greatest conservation impacts will be
made through the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders.”

On December 6, 2011, the Conservancy purchased 490 acres along the Blue River in southern Oklahoma with assistance from the Chickasaw Nation, Inasmuch Foundation, The Pauline Dwyer Macklanburg and Robert A. Macklanburg, Jr. Foundation, Dolese Bros. Co., and Rudy & Deb Herrmann.

“One of the main ways we achieve our mission ‘to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends’ is by using a non-confrontational, collaborative approach to conservation,” State Director Mike Fuhr said. “The Oka’ Yanahli Preserve is a prime example of how a variety of organizations can come together to synchronize their actions in a way that will ensure the future of water for nature and people.”

The Blue River is on the cusp of the next generation of crucial water management decisions in Oklahoma. It is a critical source of water for the city of Durant. The partnership will allow the Conservancy to provide a template for restoration, sustainable use, education and protection.

The Nature Conservancy has worked to conserve Oklahoma’s magnificent landscapes and unique biodiversity since 1986. Using a
strategic, science-based planning process, called Conservation by Design, we identify landscapes that, if conserved, promise to
conserve biodiversity over the long term. The Nature Conservancy of Oklahoma owns 11 preserves and protects over 90,000 acres.
Visit the The Nature Conservancy of Oklahoma on the web at

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at

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Katie Hawk

Communications Director

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