TPL Names Recipient of John Dunkin Award (OK)

Tulsa, OK, 6/11/02 – Lydia Wyckoff, an accomplished author, anthropologist, and local rancher, has been named the first recipient of the John Dunkin Memorial Farm and Ranch Preservation Award by the Trust for Public Land (TPL). The award is named in honor of John Dunkin, noted farmer and rancher from Tulsa who was widely acknowledged for his land stewardship practices and values. Dunkin also served as founding Chair of TPL’s Farm and Ranch Preservation Committee.

“Dr. Wyckoff is very deserving of this award for contributing to the preservation of the state’s farm and ranch lands,” said James E. Horne, Director of the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Chair of TPL’s Farm and Ranch Preservation Committee. “She has displayed the principles that were so important to John, notably that we are temporary stewards of the land for the benefit of future generations.”

In 2000, Wyckoff became the state’s first landowner to utilize recently-passed legislation which adopted national standards for conservation easements. Wyckoff and her brother, Roger Lloyd, donated an easement protecting 800 acres of their 1,200-acre ranch near Barnsdall to the Trust for Public Land.

Easements preserve open space by restricting subdivision and commercial or large-scale residential development. Easements also keep land in private ownership and can provide for the continuation of farming and ranching operations. The specific terms of an easement are negotiated between a willing landowner and a conservation nonprofit or public agency.

Until last year, Wyckoff served as Curator for the Philbrook Museum’s Native American collection and created its Native American outreach program. She is the author of four books and was the recipient of the 2002 Oklahoma Nonfiction Book Award for Woven Worlds: Basketry from the Clark Field Collection. Wyckoff received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Yale University.

“Lydia has set an example for others to follow by being the first to take advantage of a 1999 state law that allows (conservation) easements,” said Horne. “Such generosity and futuristic thinking will allow others in time to secure their livelihood from this protected land.”

The award’s namesake, John Dunkin, was owner and manager of the Rafter D Ranch near Hominy and Dunkin Farms in Wagoner County. He was recipient of the 1998 Environmental Stewardship Award by the National Cattlemen’s Association and the 1992 Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Outstanding Site Conservationist Award. Dunkin was appointed by Governor Keating to the state Animal Waste and Water Quality Protection Task Force.

Dunkin was quoted in 1998 as saying “The bottom line is that each generation is nothing but the steward for that period. I’ve always believed it has been a blessing for me to do what I love to do.”

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 1.5 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. The John Dunkin Memorial Farm and Ranch Preservation Award was established after Mr. Dunkin’s death last year. It is intended to honor the individual or organization that best displays the principles of preserving the state’s farm and ranch lands for future generations.

Dr. Wyckoff resides in Barnsdall on her ranch and has two children, Barbara Wyckoff Baird and Christopher Wyckoff. She serves as a member of the Trust for Public Land’s Advisory Board.

“Lydia Wyckoff loves the ranching profession, values open spaces, and has thoughtfully protected her land in perpetuity,” said Horne. “She fully embodies the principles of land stewardship that the John Dunkin Award is intended to honor.”