48 Acres Added to OK State Park

Western Hills State Lodge, OK, 7/19/01 – Commissioners of the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation today approved the purchase of a 48-acre addition to near Altus, Oklahoma. In a unanimous vote by the Department’s Commission, the property will be acquired from the Trust for Public Land, a national conservation organization.

“We’re delighted to add this key parcel to this wonderful state park,” said Jane Jayroe, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation. “It is the main entry point to the park, and its inclusion is part of our master plan for Quartz Mountain State Park.”

Currently, the property is owned by a family residing in California, who are seeking to sell it. The Tourism and Recreation Department cannot purchase the land until bond funds are available this fall. To protect the property from development, the Trust for Public Land has negotiated a contract to purchase it from the current owners and will hold the land until the Department’s funds are available.

Quartz Mountain State Park is a 4,284-acre facility that overlooks Lake Altus-Lugert. The park includes a recently completed resort lodge, cabins, performing arts complex, and numerous outdoor recreation facilities. The park is also home to the Oklahoma Arts Institutes.

“Quartz Mountain State Park is a tremendous amenity for the citizens of Oklahoma,” said Robert Gregory, Oklahoma State Director of the Trust for Public Land. “Protecting this key entrance point is a priority for us.”

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national, nonprofit conservation organization that protects land for the benefit of people and communities. Established in 1972, TPL has protected over 1,500 sites, totaling more than 2 million acres and valued in excess of $2 billion. The Oklahoma State Office, established last year, has helped protect over 5,000 acres including parks, natural areas, and recreational trails.

“This project really represents the power of public-private partnerships,” said TPL Project Manager Jack Blair. “With the family’s cooperation, this property will soon be an amenity for all Oklahomans.”

The Tourism and Recreation Commission, which approved the acquisition during their monthly meeting earlier today, includes eight members from throughout the state. Lieutenant Governor Mary Fallin serves as Commission Chair. Other members include Robyn Batson of Broken Bow, Stan Clark of Stillwater, Joe Harwood of Ketchum, Joe Martin of Weatherford, Janis Ricks of Edmond, Hal Smith of Norman, and Robert Watson of Broken Arrow.