August 16, 2010
Contact: Eric Leonard
, 580 622-7282
Join National Park Service staff and fire management professionals to learn more about the red cedar reduction project taking place around the Lake of the Arbuckles in Chickasaw National Recreation Area.
Each tour will begin at the Travertine Nature Center at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday August 21 and August 28. Lasting about two hours, the tour will car-pool to a number of locations around the lake. Topics to be covered include a review of the fuel reduction work which has been ongoing all summer, a discussion of the prescribed burns planned for this autumn and an explanation of the benefits of the projects both to the environment and local landowners.
Although eastern red cedar is native to Oklahoma, it is extremely invasive. The tree species creates a wildfire hazard, displaces other species from the natural ecosystem, impairs local air quality by producing allergens, and contributes to the general decline of the local water table.
"Thinning of the eastern red cedar will increase public safety by reducing the hazardous fuel load in the wildland-urban interface and move the ecosystem closer to a natural state," said park superintendent Bruce Noble.
For more information about the tours or other projects occurring in the park, please call the Travertine Nature Center at 580 622-7234 or visit the park's website at www.nps.gov/chic/