Bulldog PAWS of Okmulgee awarded
To help support the growth and development of K-12 mentoring programs in Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence has announced the recipients of its 2023 Boren Mentoring Initiative start-up and opportunity grants totaling $22,500.
Start-up grants of $3,000 each have been awarded to the James Booth Foundation Mentoring of Oklahoma City, an athletics-driven mentoring organization; and the Bulldogs PAWS of Okmulgee, which will use funds to launch an after-school mentoring program serving students in Okmulgee Public Schools. Start-up grants are awarded to organizations in their first three years of operation and are designed to encourage communities to establish quality youth mentoring programs.
Eleven opportunity grants of $1,500 each were awarded to existing mentoring programs to help fund programming, training, materials or other needs that advance excellence in mentoring for K-12 students. Recipients are the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Literacy Center of ALVA; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma in BARTLESVILLE; Bruins on the Run of BARTLESVILLE; The Lowe Family Young Scholars Program of BARTLESVILLE; BEST! Mentoring of CACHE; Volunteers for Youth Pal+ Program of CLAREMORE; One True Light Inc. of DUNCAN; Gentlemen and Generals of LAWTON; and Lincoln County Partnership for Child Well Being programs in AGRA, CARNEY and MEEKER Public owners, which seeks to unlawfully regulate every creak, stream, and pond in America,” Mullin said in an emailed statement.
Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Rodd Moesel said that it’s encouraging to see limits on the EPA’s reach on waters of the United States.
“Farmers and ranchers are the original stewards of the land, and they have a generations-long commitment to the responsible use of our natural resources, including water,” Moesel said.
“Oklahoma agriculture producers need to be regarded as trusted partners in ensuring environmental quality, and we hope today’s ruling is the first step to creating a national framework that will consider our industry’s commitment to responsible water use and water quality to empower our farmers and ranchers to continue raising food, fiber, and fuel,” he said.
The Oklahoma delegation was unified in efforts to overturn the Biden Administration’s efforts to expand the federal government’s jurisdiction over bodies of ‘water in the United States’ (WOTUS) since the House passed a resolution to block Biden’s new rule. Every Oklahoman in Congress ended up voting for that resolution.
Oklahoma and 25 other states blocked the new water rules back in April. The majority- Republican House and Congress wanted to keep the definition of federal waters the same as it was under former President Donald Trump: bodies of water that are navigable.
Earlier this year, Sen. James Lankford (R-Oklahoma City) released a statement on the topic of the Clean Waters Act saying that it’s not about clean water, but about federal government control.
“We can protect our water without giving near total control of our land to the Washington bureaucracy,” he said.
Although Oklahoma’s delegation agreed with the decision helps private landowners, the EPA indicated its disappointment.
“The Biden-Harris Administration has worked to establish a durable definition of ‘waters of the United States’ that safeguards our nation’s waters, strengthens economic opportunity, and protects people’s health while providing the clarity and certainty that farmers, ranchers, and landowners deserve,” EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan said in a statement.
“A common sense and science-based definition of ‘waters of the United States’ is essential to building on that progress and fulfilling our responsibility to preserve our nation’s waters,” he added.
— Gaylord News is a reporting project of the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication. For more stories by Gaylord News go to GaylordNews.net.