With the last parcel of the Drummond Flats Wildlife Management Area now in the hands of the state, conservationists, sportsmen and state employees gathered at Drummond Flats WMA Aug. 10 to celebrate the acquisition and commemorate a volunteer who helped make it happen.
Ducks Unlimited purchased 125 acres of privately owned wetland basin set amidst the wildlife area two years ago, handing it off to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation this summer. With that, the entire Drummond Flats management area of nearly 5,000 acres, is under ODWC’s management.
DU and ODWC have been working for years to acquire privately held parcels in and around the flood-prone ecosystem. Though a relatively small swath, the last 125 acres of wetland basin were “key to the whole puzzle” of the Drummond Flats management area, ODWC employees said.
The amount of wetland in the area ebbs and flows depending on rainfall but can reach up to 4,000 acres during periods of extreme flooding. This propensity for retaining moisture makes the Flats a popular stop for migratory birds along the way to their seasonal destinations. In turn, hunters flock to the spot as well.
Members of Ducks Unlimited and the ODWC met off of Oklahoma 132 outside the town of Drummond to reveal a new plaque at the conservation site, and to dedicate the project to former Ducks Unlimited volunteer Charles “Skip” Hurlburt, who died in the fall of 2015.
An avid sportsman, Hurlburt served as the Oklahoma DU chairman for three years, raising big money for wetlands conservation work. Shortly after Hurlburt’s death, a tribute dinner was held to honor him, raising another $75,000 in his name. Those funds, along with contributions from the Treeman Family Foundation, were used to buy the final acreage.