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Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Piedmont-Surrey Gazette PiedmontNewsOnline.com

Hunting leases provide additional revenue
Submitted

Oklahoma landowners can do more with their property than just farm it. Leasing land for recreational hunting can provide a little extra cash in the pocket, labor resources for their land, perhaps a few new friends and a reduction in trespassing, said Dwayne Elmore, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension wildlife specialist. "Leasing for recreational hunting has become a major source of

revenue for landowners," he said. "In fact, in many areas, revenue generated from hunting leases has surpassed lease rates for more traditional agriculture production." While leasing land for hunting seems very simple, there are some precautions that need to be considered by landowners to have a successful lease. It is important for a landowner to carefully screen and select good lessees to reduce liability. To do so, it is advised that landowners should take

time to visit with potential lessees. The lease also should have conditions for termination, a legal description of the property, rights granted or withheld, terms of payment, effective dates, liability waivers and acknowledgements of risk, Elmore said. An example of a draft lease agreement is available in the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Fact Sheet NREM-5032 located at http://okla.st/ NREM5032pd£

Property owners should consider leasing their private land for reasons besides revenue. "Often, services provided by the lessee are of greater value to landowners, particularly older or absentee landowners who may not be able to take care of the land as they would like to," Elmore said. "Many lessees would be willing to offer labor in exchange for access to private land." A final consideration for landowners is the compatibility of a lease

with current land management. Management for wildlife can be very compatible with cattle and agriculture production, with the primary consideration of having abundant native habitat. "Introduced pastures are much less productive for wildlife, and will almost always yield much lower lease rates," he said. "Cultivated agriculture land can provide good wildlife habitat, and hence good lease rates, assuming that most of the landscape is still in native

habitat." Local natural resource conservation offices can help landowners determine the proper stocking rate for certain land obj ectives. "Farmers can help diversify their farm income by maintaining wide fence rows and field corners in native range or forest," Elmore said. "Having larger blocks of native habitat between fields also will increase the value of this land for lease hunting."

Tech tool helps with storm recovery
Submitted

AT&T announced today that it is partnering with Recovers to provide a virtual clearinghouse for assistance and resources in the wake of the Moore, Okla., tragedy. Recovers provides a localized web presence that allows donated resources such as food, clothing and volunteers

to be effectively deployed directly to the people and places affected by the devastating tornado in Oklahoma. Effective immediately, affected residents of Moore can text their needs to (405) 652-0949. This service, powered by AT&T technology, connects disaster survivors who do not have Internet access to Recovers. The

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needs are stored in a private database at http:// Moore.Recovers.org where requests can potentially be satisfied by non-profits, churches and individuals. The service offers tools to catalog and organize donation items, volunteer skills and provides a hub from which help can be deployed to some of the people in Moore who need it the most. It does not replace the necessary time and resources that will be required for recovery, but is intended to help provide the most good at the right times and places. Prior to the availability of the text message op-

tions, survivors requesting assistance would need access the Internet. Developers at the AT&T Foundry, the company's emerging technology laboratory, designed and developed the framework for Recovers to utilize text messaging less than a day after first contacting Recovers. More importantly, within 24 hours after setting up the service, three affected residents in Moore had already used the app to request assistance. "The tragic events of last week have affected all of us deeply and given many people from the Oklahoma City area and surrounding communi-

ties and states the desire to help. Recovers is an additional tool that will complement the excellent work many organizations like the Red Cross, the United Way and many others are providing," said Glenn Lewis, Mayor of Moore. AT&T is providing free Wi-Fi, Uverse video and broadband service at various shelters, community centers, libraries and multi-agency resource centers in and around the affected area. AT&T employees have been generous; additionally contributing more than $100,000 toward the cause and the company will continue to explore additional

opportunities for providing assistance. "Our company has operated in Oklahoma for more than 100 years. This is our home. It is not just our duty to help our neighbors in a time of need — it is our privilege. We stand with the many organizations and individuals working to demonstrate the resiliency and ability to recover that make Oklahoma the special place it is," said Bryan Gonterman, President of AT&T Oklahoma. Recovers works with municipalities, insurance and utility companies, mitigating risk and saving time and reducing payout.

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State gas prices plummet
Oklahoma's gasoline price average for a gallon of self-serve regular has dropped for eight straight days after hitting its 2013 high of $3.92 on May 21. Even so, 32 states have a lower statewide gas price average today than Oklahoma. After 17 straight days of increases, the national average price at the pump has now fallen for seven consecutive days, keyed by price drops in the Midwest, including following the breakneck run-up due to low gasoline supplies and significant refinery maintenance. While national gasoline markets have been driven by regional supply and production issues, West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices remained relatively flat in recent weeks.

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