KGOU

Chickasaw National Recreation Area

Kids from a local youth organization laugh and splash in cold, spring-fed pools at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area near Sulphur, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The National Park Service turns 100 this year, and many states are celebrating top-tier environmental landmarks that are a big source of local pride. About half the U.S. states don’t have a national park — including Oklahoma.

That wasn’t always the case, and the story of what happened illustrates a changing view of what national parks are for.

Cory Moates, owner of Moates Excavating, left, and Tim Kent, environmental director of The Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, inspect ongoing chat disposal from a site near Quapaw. The pit is the top of a collapsed mine near Picher.
Rip Stell / The Journal Record

Monday The Journal Record published its Tribal Economic Impact issue, a deep dive into how Oklahoma’s federally recognized Native American groups fund their services and contribute to Oklahoma’s economy.

Dick Duhn, owner of Arbuckle RV Resort, said business was down more than 50 percent during the government shutdown.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The U.S. government shutdown in October 2013 was the culmination of a national political fight over federal budgeting, but its effects were felt far from Washington, D.C., including at two federal park sites in Oklahoma.

Sulphur, Okla. relies heavily on the tourism revenue it gets as a result of being attached to the Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge, which was shutdown for the first half of October along with the rest of the country’s national parks and wildlife refuges.