Oklahoma

Economy, Energy, Natural Resources: Policy to People

Logan Layden

Logan Layden is a native of McAlester, Oklahoma. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2009 and spent three years as a state capitol reporter and local host of All Things Considered for NPR member station KGOU in Norman.

  • Email: loganlayden@ou.edu

With Water Settlement Inked, Tribes Now Selling The Details Back Home

Members of the Choctaw Nation gather at the Hugo Community Center to hear details on the new water deal from attorney Michael Burrage.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Members of the Choctaw Nation gather at the Hugo Community Center to hear details on the new water deal from attorney Michael Burrage.

After five years of confidential negotiations, the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations have reached an agreement with the State of Oklahoma over water in southeast Oklahoma. The deal has been praised by state leaders as a historic accord that ends the tribes’ lawsuit that blocked Oklahoma City’s plan to pump water out of the region. But the deal still has to be sold to tribe members in that part of the state.

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Inside the Landmark State and Tribal Agreement That Ends Standoff Over Water in Southeast Oklahoma

Choctaw Nation Chief Gary Batton, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby at a news conference announcing the water deal.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Choctaw Nation Chief Gary Batton, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby at a news conference announcing the water deal.

After five years of court proceedings and confidential negotiations, the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations have reached an agreement with the state over control of water in southeast Oklahoma. Continue Reading

Why City of Hugo Hasn’t Seen One Cent of Record Settlement Over Improperly Treated Drinking Water

Hugo, Okla., interim City Manager David Rawls.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Hugo, Okla., interim City Manager David Rawls.

Oklahoma’s primary environmental agency made a private contractor pay just under $1 million earlier in a settlement over improperly treated water in a small city in southern Oklahoma. But the state’s budget shortfall swallowed up the money before the city of Hugo had a chance to use it.

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Settlement Over Texoma Park Privatization Worries Locals, Costs State

Sheldon Stauffer outside the Lighthouse Bait and Tackle shop in Kingston, Okla.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Sheldon Stauffer outside the Lighthouse Bait and Tackle shop in Kingston, Okla.

Lake Texoma State Park was once one of Oklahoma’s most popular parks. Then much of it was sold to a private development firm that has yet to fulfill its promise to build multi-million dollar resort. The matter was recently settled in court, but many local residents don’t like the result.

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Why OKC’s Electric Transformer House Is On the National List Of Historic Places

The restored Electric Transformer House at 2412 North Olie Ave. in Oklahoma City.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The restored Electric Transformer House at 2412 North Olie Ave. in Oklahoma City.

The latest update of the National Register of Historic Places includes the kinds of Oklahoma buildings you’d expect to be on such a list: a school in Atoka built for black students during the New Deal era, a church in Garfield County barely altered since its construction in 1928, a hotel in Guymon that’s been the tallest building in town for nearly 70 years.

But not all of the properties on the list immediately flash their historic value, like a nondescript one-room brick building in Oklahoma City called the Electric Transformer House.

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Southeast Oklahoma Lawmakers Ask Attorney General to Weigh In On Water Board Beef

Rep. Brian Renegar, D-McAlester

Oklahoma House

Rep. Brian Renegar, D-McAlester

State Rep. Brian Renegar, D-McAlester, and three of his House colleagues on Monday wrote a letter to Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt asking for his opinion on whether it’s legal for members of the state Water Resources Board to stay on the OWRB even after their positions have been eliminated.

Renegar wrote on behalf of Representatives Donnie Condit, Ed Cannaday, and Johnny Tadlock, all from southeast Oklahoma:

The language of Senate Bill 965, passed into law in 2013, states that upon expiration (May 2016) of the at-large position presently “held” by Richard Sevenoaks, he will be replaced by a member from the new Southeast Oklahoma District 9.

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Fallin Gave Southeast Oklahoma a Seat on Water Board, But Skips Deadline to Fill It

Atoka Lake in southeast Oklahoma, a focal point of the controversy over who controls water in that part of the state.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Atoka Lake in southeast Oklahoma, a focal point of the controversy over who controls water in that part of the state.

Southeast Oklahoma has many of the state’s largest lakes and rivers and much of the state’s water, but no one from the area serves on the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, the state’s water regulator. A 2013 law requires the area to have representation. But, so far, that hasn’t happened.


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Osage Nation Buys Ted Turner’s Oklahoma Ranch As Part Of Effort To Reclaim County

Bison on the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve near Pawhuska, Okla.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Bison on the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve near Pawhuska, Okla. The nearby ranch the Osage Nation is purchasing also has bison.

Osage Nation Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear is on a mission. He wants the tribe to buy back as much land as possible in Osage County, where it owns less than 10 percent of the nearly 1.5 million acres it did in the early 1900s.

The latest move in that effort is a big one. As the Tulsa World’s Michael Overall reports, the Osage Nation reached a deal to purchase Ted Turner’s 43,000-acre ranch near Pawhuska: Continue Reading

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