Landowner of the Year 2010 - Jim Wolfe
Red River Ranch
Tillman Co. landowner Jim Wolfe was recently awarded the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Landowner of the Year Award.
Through the Landowner of the Year program, the Wildlife Department selects a landowner who has gone above and beyond to improve their property for wildlife habitat.
Wolfe owns the Red River Ranch, about 1,000 acres bordering the Red River in Tillman County characterized by rolling sandhills and thoughtful management efforts.
Wolfe received his award at the July meeting of the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission. By his side as he received the award was Red River Ranch manager Lloyd Kelly, who plays a vital role in management project completion on the ranch.
After purchasing his ranch, Wolfe sought technical advice from a range of conservation agencies to help him improve his property for wildlife.
“With 95 percent of Oklahoma in private ownership, it’s vital that our landowners be a part of the wildlife equation,” said Mike Sams, private lands senior biologist for the Wildlife Department.
Wolfe has taken advantage of several programs including the Department’s Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program, Deer Management Assistance Program and the Federal Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program. Wolfe has installed fencing to protect riparian areas, including more than a mile-long stretch of creek important to hundreds of wild turkeys. The creek portion of Wolfe’s property is critical winter habitat for the local turkey population, providing winter roosting to an estimated 400 turkeys.
Wolfe has managed cattle grazing on his property to complement his wildlife management goals. He has installed wood duck boxes, created clearings and restored roost sites for turkeys and worked to increase forage on his ranch through soil disturbance, among other efforts.
Because of its southwest location in the state, the property has the distinction of being one of the few properties in Oklahoma to document the presence of javelinas, also called peccaries.
“This is an important recognition that we give to landowners, and Jim is very deserving,” Sams said.
To learn more about wildlife conservation and landowner programs operated by the Wildlife Department, log on to wildlifedepartment.com.
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Photo Caption: Tillman Co. landowner Jim Wolfe (center) accepts Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Landowner of the Year Award from Alan Peoples, chief of wildlife for the Wildlife Department (left) alongside ranch manager Lloyd Kelly (right). Wolfe has taken advantage of several programs and management techniques to make his Red River Ranch an example of good habitat management in Oklahoma.