Logan Layden

Reporter for StateImpact Oklahoma

Logan Layden is a native of McAlester, Oklahoma. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2009 and spent three years as a state capitol reporter and local host of All Things Considered for NPR member station KGOU in Norman.

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The current Lee Creek Reservoir near Van Buren, Ark.
Logan Layden / StateImpact

In Oklahoma, the natural beauty of Lee Creek — one of the state’s scenic rivers — is protected by state law. In Arkansas, Lee Creek is an important water source for fast-growing Fort Smith. Now, Fort Smith has a plan to turn Lee Creek into Oklahoma’s next lake, and reignite a dispute that was settled more than 20 years ago.

An active aggregate mining operation near Mill Creek, Okla.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

South-central Oklahoma — where the sensitive Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer provides water for thousands of Oklahomans — is home to some of the highest quality limestone in the country, and the ground holds vast supplies of the silica sand used by the oil and gas industry in the hydraulic fracturing process.

Oklahoma Gas & Electric's coal-fired Sooner Plant in Red Rock, Okla.
StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Gas and Electric — the state’s largest utility — and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt fought the EPA’s new Clean Air Act regulations for years before being left with no choice but to comply.

Attendees listen as former Missouri state senator Wes Shoemeyer speaks against Amendment 1 at the Missouri’s Food for America sign-making event at Café Berlin Friday, June 27, 2014 in Columbia, Missouri.
KOMUnews / Flickr

Oklahoma voters have at least a year before seeing for and against state questions on the ballot in November 2016. But you might want to get used to hearing this phrase now: right-to-farm. It’s a divisive national issue that’s made its way to the Sooner State, and puts agriculture at odds with environmentalists and animal rights activists.

A bill to study the possibility of moving water from eastern Oklahoma — where it’s abundant — to western Oklahoma — which has been suffering under half a decade of drought — has residents in the east worried about what transferring water out of their area would mean for their own water supply and the tourism so many communities there rely on. 

monarch butterfly
David Levinson / Flickr

Habitat loss and the use of herbicides to kill butterfly-preferred milkweed plants have caused the monarch butterfly population to drop by 90 percent over the last twenty years, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Now, the race is on to save the monarchs through the newly announced National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Monarch Conservation Fund, a partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

A grounded boat dock at Canton Lake, where Oklahoma City got billions of gallons of water in early 2013.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The latest update of the U.S. Drought Monitor shows 98 percent of Oklahoma experiencing at least abnormally dry conditions. As has been the case for the past five years, the worst of the drought is being felt in western Oklahoma, while the abundant waters of the eastern half of the state remain relatively unscathed.

The word 'state' has been removed from the park's entrance sign.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma is facing a budget hole of more than $600 million dollars. And what looked like state agency cuts of 6.2 percent earlier this month, could double to around 12 percent to fill the gap.

To deal with the cut, the Tourism and Recreation Department is considering state park closures, and it wouldn’t be the first time.

Oklahomans for Responsible Water Policy board member Chuck Hutchinson speaking to the Wilburton, Okla. 20th Century Club Feb. 10.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

After 5 years of drought, Oklahoma’s dwindling water resources have the attention of state lawmakers. There are competing bills to study moving waterfrom southeast Oklahoma to the Altus area, and to encourage self-sufficient,regionally based plans to meet future water needs.

Oklahoma State Capitol
Joseph Novak / Flickr

Oklahoma lawmakers filed more than 2,000 bills for consideration during the 2015 legislative session, which runs from February to May.

StateImpact’s coverage of the Legislature will focus on bills that concern energy, the environment, natural resources and the economy.

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