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

Why Oklahoma Had the Nation’s Highest Percentage Of Bee Deaths Last Year

Beekeeper Tim McCoy pries a hive of European honeybees out of an electrical box on Ed Crall's property near Weatherford, Okla.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Beekeeper Tim McCoy pries a hive of European honeybees out of an electrical box on Ed Crall's property near Weatherford, Okla.

Honeybees are dying at an alarming rate across the country, but no state lost a greater percentage of its bees than Oklahoma over the last year. When it comes to the general public, there’s a lot of mystery around this issue, but the reasons are becoming more clear.

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“There’s a Giant Hole That’s Draining a Lake Like It’s a Bathtub”

Oklahoma’s Lake Texoma is getting some attention from the national news media for a weird looking hole with an obvious explanation.


Like something straight out of the Twilight Zone, a swirling vortex has opened up in a giant lake in Texas. The gaping hole – which appeared recently in Texas’ Lake Texoma – alarmed everyone from Twitter users to the Tulsa District US Army Corps of Engineers, who posted a YouTube video of the vortex.

Read more at: www.businessinsider.com

Closed Shipping Lanes Pose Yet Another Problem For Oklahoma’s Wheat Farmers

The Newt Graham Lock and Dam near Inola, Okla.

Tyler / Flickr

The Newt Graham Lock and Dam near Inola, Okla.

Slow moving storms that dumped record amounts of rain on Oklahoma in April and May killed the five-year drought, but damaged wheat crops in western Oklahoma. This after one of the worst wheat harvests on record in 2014.

Now, as The Journal Record‘s Brian Brus reports, wheat farmers are facing another hurdle: A closed Port of Catoosa on the Arkansas River that usually carries their product to markets outside of Oklahoma. Continue Reading

Why Midwest City and Del City Oppose Norman’s Plan to Reuse Wastewater

Lake Thunderbird, near Norman, Okla.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Lake Thunderbird, near Norman, Okla.

It was around this time last year that the Norman City Council decided to stake its water future on reuse — sending cleaned wastewater back into Lake Thunderbird, the city’s main water source. It’s an ambitious, future-looking plan Norman Mayor Cindy Rosenthal says is in line with the state’s goal of using no more water in 2060 than it did in 2012.

But Norman isn’t the only city that relies on Lake Thunderbird for its water, and Midwest City and Del City are against the plan, which will make it more difficult to bring the idea before the Department of Environmental Quality for approval.

As The Oklahoman‘s William Crum reports, Rosenthal is calling the two cities’ opposition to the plan premature: Continue Reading

State Parks in Danger After Tourism Department’s $16 Million Budget Cut

Justin Stratford and several of his nieces and nephews play in Lake Thunderbird on a road trip from Arizona.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Justin Stratford and several of his nieces and nephews play in Lake Thunderbird on a road trip from Arizona.

The $7.1 billion state budget Governor Mary Fallin signed in June 2015 included deep cuts to the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation — the agency that runs the state park system. That could mean some parks will have to be closed or transferred to new operators, and some eastern Oklahoma lawmakers are fuming.

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Agency That Protects Oklahoma’s Scenic Rivers Takes Another Big Budget Cut

James Gaylor plays in a tributary of the Illinois River near Tahlequah, Okla.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

James Gaylor plays in a tributary of the Illinois River near Tahlequah, Okla.

When Governor Mary Fallin signed the $7.1 billion budget earlier this week, the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission took a big cut. It’s a small state agency with a big job: overseeing hundreds of miles of river and roads in northeast Oklahoma with dwindling resources.

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Oklahoma Farmers and Ranchers Flooded With New Problems As Drought Ends

The latest update of the U.S. Drought Monitor.

U.S. Drought Monitor

The latest update of the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Given the choice between the crippling drought of the past nearly 5 years and the ongoing threat of flooding Oklahoma farmers and ranchers are currently dealing with, Chris Kirby with the Oklahoma Wheat Commission says she’ll take the rain every time.

“I’ve heard some people say, ‘well, I don’t want to complain about the rain, because the last time I did, it quit raining for six years,” Kirby tells StateImpact.

But flooding has becoming a big problem for the agriculture industry, and, as The Oklahoman‘s Silas Allen reports, is cutting into what was expected to be a much better wheat crop compared to the past few years: Continue Reading

Oklahoma Attacks EPA as Federal Agency Finalizes ‘Waters of the U.S’ Rule

Oklahoma farmer Mason Bolay worries the streambeds and ponds on his family's land will now be regulated by the federal government.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma farmer Mason Bolay worries the streambeds and ponds on his family's land will now be regulated by the federal government.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the United States Rule — also known as the Clean Water Rule — attempts to clarify which bodies of water qualify for federal protection — which ones are streams, which ones are tributaries, whether pollution dumped into one stream will trickle into another — that sort of thing.

But what the EPA says is nothing more than a tweak to current rules that farmers won’t event notice, opponents say is a vast federal government overreach that will extend to every pond and ditch in the country. Continue Reading

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