National Group Names Turkey Mountain A 'Hot Spot' Due To Visitor-Created Damage
TULSA COUNTY, Oklahoma - A nationwide environmental group is taking the lead on a campaign to clean up Turkey Mountain. The group says it's one of more than a dozen popular parks dealing with significant man-made environmental damage.
The River Parks Authority says Turkey Mountain is busier than ever but it's becoming a victim of its own success.
It seems like Turkey Mountain is always busy these days and that's usually a good thing, but Ryan Howell with the River Parks Authority says it's also led to trail erosion, wildlife problems, and a lot of littering.
"Every other week nowadays, there's an organization or a group of volunteers coming here just to pick up litter because people don't understand how to properly keep after themselves" said Howell.
That's why the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics has named Turkey Mountain as one of its "hot spots" for next year. Hot spots are popular parks dealing with a lot of visitor-created damage.
The organization is teaming with the River Parks Authority and the Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Coalition to host a series of public training sessions to teach people how they can lessen the negative impact they're having.
Robert Reese, with the Turkey Mountain Urban Witness Coalition, said "They'll basically coach us and train us on how to take it back to our people or people around and train them the same way."
Reese said they want people to keep enjoying the area while learning how their decisions impact Turkey Mountain in the long run.
"Instead of being reactive, it's more of a proactive approach to teach and educate people on proper trail use, the habitat they're in and how to leave it how they found it" said Reese.
The wilderness coalition says they'll start hosting those public training sessions sometime next year.