Action Alert Update: Oklahoma SB 1488


SB 1488 has now morphed into an anti-public lands bill

Thanks to a groundswell of action by Oklahoma Quail Forever members, SB 1488, which sought to create a new class of lifetime hunting and fishing licenses for large landowners, is no longer in play as it was originally written. However, the fight is far from over, as SB 1488 has now morphed into an anti-public lands bill that could severely limit future land-acquisition plans by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation by requiring Senate approval for all future ODWC land purchases.

See also: Bill Threatens Oklahoma Hunting Traditions

On Tuesday SB 1488 went through several language changes in committee. The bill’s new author, Senator Casey Murdock (R-Felt) removed the lifetime license language and replaced it with language that prohibits ODWC from buying or selling land without Senate approval. 

This would have a potentially chilling effect on the addition of any new ODWC-purchased public hunting and fishing opportunities in the state of Oklahoma by adding an unnecessary bureaucratic and inherently political layer to the process that could directly endanger the future growth of the state’s outdoors recreation legacy. By requiring Senate approval for all future ODWC land acquisitions and sales, SB 1488 could take science and needs-based land-acquisition decisions out of the hands of wildlife professionals and place those decisions into the hands of professional politicians.

We need your help! Currently the bill is still in committee but needs only eight signatures to go to the full Senate for consideration. If you value Oklahoma’s public land and want future ODWC land-acquisition decisions to stay fully with the state’s wildlife professionals rather than given to its politicians, please contact your elected representatives to voice your support for Oklahoma’s public lands as well as your continued concerns with SB 1488.

Here’s the link to contact your local legislators.