See the 2018 Oklahoma Poultry Waste Report STIR Save the Illinois River Inc.
24369 E 757 Rd. (918) 284-9440 Tahlequah, OK 74464-1949 www.illinoisriver.org firstname.lastname@example.org
December 5, 2020
Secretary and Commissioner Blayne Arthur
Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry
2800 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Dear Secretary and Commissioner Arthur,
Save the Illinois River, Inc., STIR, is greatly disappointed that your agency has apparently decided not to produce and distribute to the public an annual report on the production of poultry waste in the Illinois River watershed. We are also concerned that this information may not be available for the Spavinaw-Eucha watershed.
Water conservationists, including STIR members, anticipate this annual report so that we can study trends in poultry production in the Illinoi River watershed. We also study Arkansas’ poultry production report which is now being finalized. Our members who live at Lake Tenkiller depend on the data because of the phosphorus loading to Tenkiller caused by chicken manure.
Because this report is in the public’s interest, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry has a duty to compile the report even if the current state laws do not specifically require it. The report also in the interest of best management of the Waters of the State of Oklahoma. We feel that staffing problems that may have been caused by the corona virus, although regrettable, are not sufficient cause to withhold the report. Other state agencies, and my own organization, have continued to meet our obligations to our public despite the virus threat.
The primary source of pollution in the Illinois River watershed is phosphorus. The primary source of this nutrient is from nonpoint sources. Animal feeding operations, mainly poultry farms, are the primary sources of phosphorus and bacteria from animal feeding operations.
STIR urges you to reconsider any decision to withhold the most current report. We urge you to make the most current data available to the public even if you decide not to produce an official summary report on poultry waste production in the Illinois River watershed.
Save the Illinois River President
Copies: Rep. Bob Ed Culver, Senator Dewayne Pemberton, STIR Counsel Bob Kellogg, Secretary of Energy and Environment Kenneth Wagner, Conservation Coalition of Oklahoma members. “Clean Water is Northeastern Oklahoma’s Future”