Hackberry Flat Wildlife Management Area (WMA) has been described as one of the most significant wetland restoration projects ever completed in North America. Restored in the 1990s by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, it was designed to mimic the region’s seasonal wet and dry cycles, creating a mosaic of microhabitats. Within the first year of restoration, shorebirds that had not nested in southwest Oklahoma in decades began nesting on the restored wetland. Today, the wetland welcomes an impressive diversity of species provides critical habitat for endangered species like the whooping crane.
Wetlands like Hackberry Flat WMA serve as refueling stations for migrating birds, serve as breeding grounds for shorebirds and provide food to waterfowl and other species. Wetlands are among the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world. Unfortunately, the wetland habitat provided by Hackberry Flat WMA is disappearing. A 17-mile pipeline that connects Hackberry Flat WMA to the Tom Steed Reservoir is no longer able to provide the area with water in times of drought. Since statehood, Oklahoma has lost two-thirds of its wetlands underscoring the need for Hackberry Flat’s wetland.
The Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Foundation (OWCF) is working to protect these restored wetlands through the construction of a new 16-mile pipeline. OWCF has funded a 3-1 matching grant totaling $300,000 to complete the planning and engineering for the replacement project. OWCF is now raising approximately $3 million, which will be matched 3-1, to bring water back to Hackberry Flat’s historic wetlands. Support hundreds of species that depend on Oklahoma wetlands. Donate today!