Oklahoma Land Access Program

Administered by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife, The Oklahoma Land Access Program (OLAP) provides financial incentives to landowners who allow public access for hunting, fishing, stream access, and wildlife viewing opportunities on private lands. The ODWC received a $2.26 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of the 2014 Farm Bill, through the Voluntary Public Access – Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP). In other states, VPA-HIP programs are successful at simultaneously rewarding conservation on private lands and providing more opportunities for sportspersons.

A core principle of the OLAP is to increase walk-in access opportunities for hunting, fishing, stream access, and wildlife viewing. This goal compliments a main tenant of the North American Conservation Model: that every citizen has an opportunity, under the law, to hunt and fish. The democratic foundation of this conservation model has made it the most successful in the world, and the OLAP will seek to increase access for multiple opportunities throughout the state and especially near metropolitan areas, for species with limited opportunity (like pheasant), and for controlled youth hunts. 

Another core principle of the OLAP is to include and reward conservation-minded landowners. American conservationist Aldo Leopold said that “Conservation will ultimately boil down to rewarding the private landowner who conserves the public interest”. The OLAP team met with landowner groups throughout the state to give them a major voice in how the program was designed, and the program is designed to give landowners the flexibility to maintain their current farming or ranching practices while providing sporting opportunities. Enrolled landowners will be compensated based on enrolled acres, location, access type, and contract length. Additional compensation is available for properties enrolled in conservation programs, such as CRP, to further reward landowners making efforts to conserve and sustain wildlife. In addition, a bonus is available to multiple landowners to form local cooperatives to provide multiple opportunities in an area.

Almost anyone who owns or leases land can qualify, and ideal properties include CRP-enrolled grassland, native rangeland, weedy crop stubble, forests, riparian corridors, wetland areas, and wildlife-friendly field buffers. Property boundaries are posted with signs, and parking areas will have informational signs indicating access dates and allowed activities. Enrolled landowners are accorded limited liability by existing state laws, and game wardens will periodically patrol OLAP properties. Landowners retain the right to temporarily deny access while ranching or agricultural activities are occurring. Access is limited to foot traffic only, and vehicles are prohibited.

No additional permit is required by sportspersons to access OLAP walk-in areas, however hunting and fishing licenses are required, respectively, unless a person is exempt. An online atlas of OLAP walk-in areas is available on the OLAP webpage, and sportspersons can stay up to date with property enrollment by monitoring the webpage, following the OLAP Facebook page, and/or subscribing to the OLAP email newsletter.

Opening September 1, 2017, the OLAP is a great way for landowners to earn extra income and support Oklahoma’s conservation heritage. 

Additional resources:
Oklahoma Land Access Program Facebook Page
Oklahoma Land Access Program Summary
Oklahoma Land Access Program Informational Flyer


This material is based upon work supported by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under number 69-3A75-16-513. All opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

RULES & REGULATIONS

Remember, your behavior will decide the future of these areas. The responsible behavior of hunters and anglers dictates the success of public access programs. OLAP encourages sportsperson to be safe, ethical, responsible, and courteous to assure the future of OLAP.

  1. Sportspersons must be safe, ethical, and courteous. Be courteous to fellow hunters and anglers and maintain safe distances while in the field.
  2. Crops and livestock. Remember, these areas are private property and a source of the landowner’s livelihood, treat the property with respect. Avoid causing damage to standing crops. If present, give cattle a wide berth to avoid disturbing them.
  3. Safety zones. Allow a safety buffer around fellow hunters, buildings, and livestock. Be aware of what lies beyond your target before shooting.
  4. Walk-in areas are for foot traffic only. Vehicular access is prohibited. Do not open gates and avoid stretching fences when crossing them. Parking areas will be designated on maps.
  5. Walk-in areas are for posted activity only. Any activities such as camping, horseback riding, dog training, or target shooting are prohibited on all OLAP properties. Fires and alcohol are prohibited.
  6. Observe and respect property boundaries. Make sure the land you are entering is posted with OLAP signs and consult the atlas. Straying off of an OLAP walk-in area on to private lands not enrolled is considered trespassing.
  7. Bag limits and creel limits are consistent with state wide regulations, unless otherwise stated. Be aware of special regulations, especially for ponds enrolled for walk-in fishing. Small impoundments often require unique management strategies to ensure continued success for anglers.
  8. Seasons are consistent with state wide regulations. However, the access dates determine whether sportspersons may access the property. These access dates are specified by the walk-in area category indicated on posted signs.
  9. Daily access is allowed from two hours before official sunrise to one hour after official sunset, unless stated otherwise. Some walk-in areas may be near a landowner’s home; please be respectful when accessing properties and minimize disturbance.
  10. Hunting and service dogs only. Dogs are allowed in walk-in areas for the pursuit of game only, with the exception of service dogs. Dogs shall not harass livestock, persons, or property. Horses are prohibited.
  11. Blinds. No permanent type blinds or stands. Sportspersons are limited to one temporary blind or stand.
  12. Right to deny access. Sportspersons must leave an OLAP property if requested by cooperator, Department representative, or law enforcement officer. Reasons for denial of access include criminal or destructive activities (cause), presence of Whooping Cranes, or agricultural/ranching activities.
  13. No littering! Pack it in, pack it out. If you see trash from another sportsperson, please remove it.
  14. Remove shotgun hulls. Spent shotgun shell hulls are unsightly and detrimental to the program. Leaving the land as you found it is imperative for program success.
  15. Properly dispose of carcasses. Do not leave carcasses or remains in parking areas, roads, or ditches. Field dressing is allowed.
  16. Respect the landowner’s privacy. Do not attempt to contact cooperating landowners for access to other tracts. Landowner enrollment in public access programs may be to avoid direct contact with sportspersons.
  17. Please report violations to a Game Warden.

 

WALK-IN AREA ACCESS TYPES

1. Walk-in Hunting Area: General
    Access Dates: Sep. 1 - Feb. 16
        -All legal means of take permitted.
        -Hunting only. All other activities are prohibited.

2. Walk-in Hunting Area: Archery/Shotgun Only
    Access Dates: Sep. 1 - Feb. 16
       -No shot size larger than BB.
       -No shotgun slugs.
       -Centerfire, rimfire, and muzzleloading rifles are prohibited.
       -Hunting only. All other activities are prohibited.

3. Walk-in Hunting Area: September Only
  
 Access Dates: Sep 1. - Sep. 30
       -Centerfire, rimfire, and muzzleloading rifles are prohibited.
       -Hunting only. All other activities are prohibited.

4. Walk-in Hunting Area: Spring Turkey
    Access Dates: Apr. 6 - May 6 (Statewide)
                           Apr. 23 - May 6 (Southeast)
       -Add-on option for Walk-in Hunting Area: General and Walk-in Hunting Area: Archery/Shotgun only.
       -Hunting only. All other activities are prohibited.

5. Walk-in Wildlife Viewing Area
    Access Dates: Annual
       -Hunting is prohibited.
       -Fishing is prohibited unless enrolled as a walk-in fishing area or stream access area.
       -Removal of animals, vegetation, minerals, fossils, and artifacts is prohibited.

6. Walk-in Fishing Area: Annual Access
     Access Dates: Annual
      -Hunting is prohibited.
      -Catch and release only.
      -Limit of 3 rods per person, 3 hooks per line.
      -Swimming is prohibited.

7. Walk-in Fishing Area: Seasonal Access
     Access Dates: May 7- Aug. 31
      -If concurrently enrolled as a Walk-in Hunting Area, hunting is prohibited from May 7 - Aug. 31.
      -Catch and release only.
      -Limit of 3 rods per person, 3 hooks per line.
      -Swimming is prohibited.

8. Walk-in Stream Access Area
     
Access Dates: Annual
     -If on foot or wading, sportspersons must remain within stream corridor.
     -Hunting is prohibited unless concurrently enrolled as a walk-in hunting area.

 

SIGNAGE

Information Signs:

The below signs are posted in the designated parking areas, as indicated on OLAP Map Directory under the "Maps" tab. Please note that the color of the sign corresponds with the color of property boundary on walk-in area maps. Areas that allow for spring turkey hunting are shaded green.

      

      

Boundary Signs

Please observe and respect posted boundary signs. Sportspersons are expected to observe and understand posted property boundaries and not tresspass on neighboring properties.

Temporarily Closed Access Sign

These signs will be posted when a Walk-in Area is temporarily closed to public access. Check the OLAP Map Directory under the "Maps" tab to check the status of walk-in areas prior to visiting. Temporary closure notices will be indicated in the OLAP Map Directory by 6:00 pm of the preceding day. Please note, not all reasons for temporary closure (wildfire, tornado, etc.) allow for the OLAP Map Directory to be updated the day before, but the OLAP staff will make every reasonable effort to provide these notifications in a timely manner.

 

 

 

The OLAP Map Directory is a web-app that can be accessed via desktop, tablet, or mobile devices. The app includes real-time maps of OLAP walk-in areas, including details such as parking areas, boundaries, access type, access dates, habitat descriptions, possible species present, and photographs. These maps will be updated by 6:00 pm of the preceding day to reflect temporary closure of specific walk-in areas.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE OLAP MAP DIRECTORY

 

Use the free ArcGIS Explorer App to bring the OLAP Walk-in Areas to your mobile device (data signal required). Once the app is installed on your device, search the Maps for "OLAP" and select the Public OLAP Web Map".

Please note: This app requires a cellular signal. This is the best option for viewing the OLAP Map Directory in the field.

Click here to download the free ArcGIS Explorer app.

Click here to learn how to use the ArcGIS Explorer app.

Garmin GPS and Google Earth Files (Coming Soon)

Download Google Earth .kmz and Garmin GPS.

PDF Files for Printing

Download the individual PDF file for printing. 


 OLAP ID: Craig_F001, Craig_F002, Craig_F003
 Walk-in Fishing: Annual
 Status: OPEN


 OLAP ID: Grant_H001, Grant_H002
 Walk-in Hunting: Archery/Shotgun Only (Sep. 1- Feb. 16)
 Walk-in Hunting: Spring Turkey (Apr. 6 - May 6)

 Status: OPEN


Harper_H001


Harper_H002


Harper_H003, Harper_H004


Harper_H005


Harper_H006, Haprer_H007, Harper_H009


Harper_H008


Haskell_H001: Removed from OLAP


 OLAP ID: Kay_H001
 Walk-in Hunting: Archery/Shotgun Only (Sep 1. - Feb. 16)
 Walk-in Hunting: Spring Turkey (Apr. 6 - May 6)
 Status: OPEN 


 OLAP ID: Kay_H002, Kay_H003, Kay_F001
 Walk-in Hunting: Archery/Shotgun Only (Sep 1. - Feb. 16)
 Walk-in Hunting: Spring Turkey (Apr. 6 - May 6)
 Status: OPEN 


Kiowa_H001
 Walk-in Hunting: Archery/Shotgun Only (Sep 1. - Feb. 16)
 Walk-in Hunting: Spring Turkey (Apr. 6 - May 6)
 Status: OPEN 


Logan_H001


 OLAP ID: Noble_H001, Noble_H002, Noble_H003
 Walk-in Hunting: September Only (Sep 1. - Sep. 30)
 Status: OPEN 

 


 OLAP ID: Noble_H004
 Walk-in Hunting: Archery/Shotgun Only (Sep 1. - Feb. 16)
 Walk-in Hunting: Spring Turkey (Apr. 6 - May 6)
 Status: OPEN 


Texas_H001


 OLAP ID: Woods_H001
 Walk-in Hunting: Archery/Shotgun Only (Sep 1. - Feb. 16)
 Walk-in Hunting: Spring Turkey (Apr. 6 - May 6)
 Status: OPEN 


Woods_H002

 

HOW DO I APPLY?

Landowners interested in enrolling can fill out an application and/or contact the OLAP biologist or technician. To qualify, the applicant must be the legal owner of record, representing the legal owner of record, or lessee with operational authority of proposed land for the extent of the contract. Applicant’s land must be accessible from a public road. The minimum parcel size for hunting properties is 40 acres. The OLAP biologist and/or technician can assist landowners with the application process.

ONLINE LANDOWNER APPLICATION

PRINTABLE LANDOWNER APPLICATION

An OLAP representative will visit the candidate property to assess habitat and suitability for the program. If the property meets requirements, the OLAP representative will draft a lease agreement that specifies terms, conditions, and compensation. The agreement is not active until both parties have signed.

Either party has the right to terminate the contract at any time, although early termination will result in a prorated payment. Additionally, if an enrolled property changes ownership, the OLAP agreement is terminated. The new owner has the option of renewing the lease in the following year.

COMPENSATION

Lease payments vary from $2-15/acre, depending on acreage, activities allowed, property location, and the duration of lease activities. 

Additional compensation is possible for:

· Cooperative enrollment among neighboring landowners. 

· Multiyear contracts.

· Concurrent enrollment in other conservation programs (CRP, WHIP, etc.). 

· Vegetation and land use practices.

Potential OLAP properties are scored on the aforementioned variables to ensure standardized compensation.

LANDOWNER LIMITED LIABILITY

Landowners enrolled in the program are accorded limited liability by the following state laws:

1. General Recreational Use Statute (§76-40.1). Applies to lands not being farmed or ranched.

2. Limitation of Liability for Farming and Ranching Land Act (§2-16-71.1). Applies to lands being farmed and ranched.

Essentially, these laws grant immunity from normal, non-negligent or intentional liability.

 

For more information, contact:

Jeff Tibbits
Wildlife Biologist (OLAP)

jeff.tibbits@odwc.ok.gov
405-535-7382

Kasie Joyner
Wildlife Technician (OLAP)

kasie.joyner@odwc.ok.gov
405-535-5681

 

 

 

 

Please check this page before visiting OLAP walk-in areas. Any information regarding temporary property disclosure will be posted by 6:00 pm of the preceding day. Please note that some reasons (e.g., wildfire, tornado, etc.) for temporarily closing access are not foreseeable and prior notice may not be possible.

TEMPORARY CLOSINGS

None currently.

NEW WALK-IN AREAS

09 SEP 2017
McIntosh_H001: Walk-in Hunting Area: Archery/Shotgun Only (w/Spring Turkey). 417 acres.
McIntosh_F001: Walk-in Fishing Area: Seasonal Access. 14 acres
McIntosh_F002: Walk-in Fishing Area: Seasonal Access. 11 acres

31 AUG 2017
Woods_H002: Walk-in Hunting Area: Archery/Shotgun Only (w/Spring Turkey). 1,520 acres.

REMOVED WALK-IN AREAS

19 SEP 2017
Haskell_H001 (Sans Bois OLAP): Walk-in Hunting Area: Archery/Shotgun Only (w/Spring Turkey). Removed from OLAP, no trespassing.

Follow the OLAP Facebook page to receive notifications about walk-in areas.

We want to hear from you! Please take a moment to anonymously rate the OLAP Walk-in Areas you have accessed. The OLAP depends on voluntary feedback from sportspersons to ensure that each walk-in area is providing an enjoyable outdoor experience. Please provide a separate rating for each time you visit an OLAP Walk-in Area. Click here to provide your feedback.