OKLAHOMA CITY — For more than half a century, Clark has managed the Clark Ranch in far northwestern Cimarron County. Conserving the soil has been a priority that sustains this productive ranch. His pasture and rangeland management includes rotational grazing, establishing permanent vegetation and controlling erosion to protect both land and water.
Clark’s education in range management coupled with his family’s history with the Dust Bowl led him to become a member of the Cimarron County Conservation District board of directors in 1966. Since that time, he has dedicated over 47 years to advancing soil stewardship. He helped develop the High Plains Five States Range Camp on his ranch to teach high school students the value of taking care of the land and hundreds of students from Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Kansas and Oklahoma have participated.
As a member of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission from 1978-1996, Clark and his fellow commissioners established the Blue Thumb project to provide statewide education on stream water health. He also served on Gov. Keating’s Animal Waste and Water Quality Task Force which authorized a cost-share program to help landowners install conservation practices that improved water quality and limited soil erosion. He helped the conservation district secure no-till drills and low-energy precision application nozzles for irrigation systems to change the way farming is done in the Panhandle.
“In his 84 years, I imagine Hal has tackled just about every challenge that land has to throw at him,” said State Conservationist Gary O’Neill. He points out that Clark continues to get up to check the cows and fences with a smile on his face.
—Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry
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