The Oklahoma State Department of Wildlife has added to the Cookson Wildlife Management Area, which is just north of Sequoyah County in Cherokee County.
The addition of 180 acres to the area was made with a State Wildlife Grant. The property adds to the management area and links it to a 189 acre unit of the Ozark Plateau National Wildlife Refuge. Through the properties are owned by different agencies, the wildlife department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, they have similar management goals, officials said.
Mark Howery, wildlife diversity biologist, said, “Connecting these properties has created a contiguous block of conservation land that has value at a landscape level. Not only does the property contain suitable foraging habitat for the federal endangered Ozark big-eared bat, it is likely to support 19 other species of greatest conservation need.”
Although the wildlife grants are often awarded to survey or research species in need of conservation, the congressionally-appropriated funds can also be used to purchase lands that provide habitat for these species.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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