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.

Ways To Connect

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

On Nov. 24, the U.S.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) at an impromptu news conference during climate talks in Copenhagen in 2009.
Andrew Revkin / Flickr

The Republican wave that put the party back in full control of Congress also put Oklahoma U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe back in charge of the Senate committee that oversees the country’s environmental policies.

la vaca vegetariana / Flickr Creative Commons

Since the federal Clean Water Act first became law in 1972, there’s been confusion over which bodies of water qualify for protection under its provisions. Enter the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the U.S. rule, which means to bring clarity to the situation.

IndiaWaterPortal.org / Flickr Creative Commons

The anti-fluoride movement is gaining steam in the U.S. And with celebrities like Ed Begley Jr. and Rob Schneider on board, how could it fail? 

But the debate over whether fluoridation benefits communities’ dental health or amounts to the forced medication of the masses isn’t why Oklahoma towns like Lawton, Purcell, and Fairview stopped adding the chemical to their water.

Jack Barrett, owner of the BDC Gun Room in Shawnee, Okla., shows off a new shotgun model popular with hunters.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Nearly a quarter of a million hunters are set to grab their guns and stalk through Oklahoma’s woods when deer gun season opens the week before Thanksgiving, according to Micah Holmes with the state Department of Wildlife Conservation.

“There’s more deer hunters out in the woods on opening day of deer gun season than there is at Lewis Field, at the OU football stadium, and at the Tulsa football stadium combined,” Holmes says.

Robert Moore, general manager of the Marshall County Water Corporation, addresses a panel on local planning for future droughts at the 35th annual Oklahoma Governor's Water Conference in Oklahoma City Oct. 22.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Drought — and how to deal with it — was the central theme of the annual Oklahoma Governor’s Water Conference last week in Oklahoma City, where water experts and authorities discussed issues ranging from crop management to what Las Vegas can teach Oklahoma about water conservation.

Oklahoma Water Resources Board Executive Director J.D. Strong made the point again this year: The future looks like the past — hotter and drier — and no one should be surprised.

U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla. 2) addresses attendees during the 2014 Governor's Water Conference while U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla. 3) and U.S. Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla. 5) look on.
Congressman Markwayne Mullin / Facebook

The annual Governor’s Water Conference continues Thursday in downtown Oklahoma City.

Wednesday water experts and authorities discussed crop use and what Las Vegas could teach Oklahoma about resource management.

Oklahoma Water Resources Board Executive Director J.D. Strong says the state is learning to adapt to this new – and dry – normal.

Steel Plant, Anshan, Liaoning, China, February 2009.
Sonya Song / Flickr

In May of last year, it looked like impoverished areas of eastern Oklahoma would be getting a lifeline. Coal mining, once a vital industry there, was on a comeback thanks to increasing international demand. The prospect of hundreds of new jobs had people in the area excited when StateImpact first visited Heavener, but things have changed since then.

Homeowner Larry Huff holds a shard of Eastern Red Cedar, the handiwork of an Oklahoma County program that clears the flammable tree from private property.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The eastern red cedar tree’s bad reputation for fueling wildfires, hogging water, and disrupting ecosystems in Oklahoma is drawing the attention of state lawmakers, but so are ways to put the tree to use, like to help fight cancer.

Gypsum embedded in the landscape at Gloss Mountain State Park in Major County.
Chip Smith / Flickr

Here’s what seems like a mundane factoid about the Sooner State: Oklahoma leads the nation in gypsum mining.

Mildly interesting, right? Actually, it’s fascinating, as The Oklahoman‘s Mike Coppock explains:

The next time you bit down on a Twinkie, know there is a good chance part of it was mined out of a mesa south of Little Sahara State Park.

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