More than 99 percent of the High Plains landscape is under private ownership, therefore landowners hold the key to conserving the natural resources of this important eco-region. There are numerous non-regulatory and voluntary conservation programs and technical assistance available to landowners, but these opportunities are not being utilized to the fullest extent because of lack of landowner knowledge of the programs and lack of communication and trust between private landowners and resource agencies.
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation realized the need to form an entity in
Western Oklahoma ’s wildlife-rich farm and ranchland to address these concerns, and spearheaded the development of a grass roots wildlife alliance along with other state and federal resource agencies, the Playa Lakes Joint Venture, conservation organizations and landowner groups. They formed the Oklahoma Wildlife and Prairie Heritage Alliance (OWPHA) in 2002, with the mission of encouraging the conservation of
Oklahoma ’s wildlife and prairie heritage by increasing private landowner awareness of incentive funding, technical assistance, education and rangeland programs guidance.
Since formation, OWPHA has been bridging the gap between programs and projects from conservation groups, state and federal departments, and hundreds of farmers and ranchers across the region.