Senate Ag Committee Chairman Murdock Pushing Bill to Prohibit Land Purchases by Wildlife Commission
Oklahoma Farm Report
13 Mar 2019
A bill limiting how much land the Wildlife Conservation Commission can purchase is awaiting a vote by the full Senate. State Sen. Casey Murdock, R-Felt, is the principal author of the measure, which would prevent the Commission from buying more land than they sell each year. Senator Murdock is the Chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Wildlife Committee.
“The Wildlife Commission is buying land in rural Oklahoma, but when land is owned by the state or U.S. government, there are no families living on it—their kids aren’t going to attend the local school. They aren’t spending their money in the local businesses in nearby towns. It’s an economic drag on rural Oklahoma,” Murdock said.
Murdock said under his legislation, the Wildlife Commission would still be able to lease land. He noted that lease money is paid to landowners who are farmers and ranchers who then spend that money in their local communities.
“Private landowners also pay property taxes that fund our schools, hospitals, county roads and bridges,” Murdock said. “These are dollars that go every day to support our local communities.”
Murdock said over the past 20 years, 1.5 million acres of agricultural land has been lost due to urban sprawl and government land grabs—about 175 acres a day. The Wildlife Commission currently owns 350,000 acres and leases 1.2 million acres. As the population grows farmers and ranchers in Oklahoma continue to feed and clothe the state, nation and the world on less and less land...