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Cross Timbers Initiative

General Guidance

An allocation will be set aside to fund applications for restoring wildlife habitats indicative of the cross timbers ecoregion. The cross timbers ecoregion is a mosaic of upland deciduous forest, woodland, glade, savanna, and prairie that dissects Oklahoma from north to south. Many savannahs and woodlands have become thicker and composition has shifted as a result of prolonged fire suppression. Fire suppression has also resulted in the invasion of eastern redcedar and winged elm throughout all habitat types. Additionally, many acres of cross-timbers have been cleared and some planted to exotic forages. Across all vegetation types the native herbaceous plant community is being displaced by encroachment and increased density of woody vegetation.

Planned activities must meet planning criteria for Inadequate Habitat for Fish and Wildlife by scoring a 0.5 above on the appropriate land use Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Guides (Rangeland-Prairie/Shrubland and/or Rangeland - Savannah/Woodland) from Biology Technical Note OK-37.

Available Area

Coal, Hughes, McIntosh, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Pittsburg and Seminole counties.

Resource Concerns Addressed

Inadequate Habitat for Fish and Wildlife - cover/shelter

Inadequate Habitat for Fish and Wildlife - Food

Degraded Plant Condition - Inadequate structure and composition

Lands Where Applicable

The conservation effort is applicable to all land uses where participants are willing to restore native plant communities indicative of the ecological site.

NRCS Conservation Practices

645-Upland Wildlife Habitat Management will serve as the Core Practice and will specify the need for facilitating practices which may include:

338 – Prescribed Burning
395 – Firebreak
340 – Cover Crop
314 – Brush Management
666 – Forest Stand Improvement
490 – Forest Site Preparation
612 – Tree/Shrub Planting
327 – Conservation Cover
550 – Range Planting
643 – Restoration of Rare & Declining Habitats
315 – Herbaceous Weed Control
528 – Prescribed Grazing
378 - Pond
472 – Access Control
382 - Fence
642 - Water Well
533 - Pumping Plant
614 - Watering Facilities
516 - Livestock Pipeline
649 - Wildlife Structure


The following resource professionals from partnering agencies may be available to assist in evaluating and planning restoration efforts.

• Kyle Johnson, Private Lands Biologist, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

• RosaLee Walker, Private Lands Biologist, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

• Ken Gee, Biologist, Oaks and Prairies Joint Venture, 580-319-8440