Hochatown Wildland Urban Interface (WUI)

Vegetation Management Project

What is WUI?

The wildland/urban interface (WUI) (pronounced wooey) is a geographic location where structures and vegetation merge in a wildfire-prone environment.

The heavily forested tourist mecca of Hochatown around Broken Bow Lake in McCurtain County is in the WUI.  The area is growing rapidly to accommodate tourists, largely from nearby Dallas. The luxury cabin community is expanding at an incredible rate. More than 1,500 cabins dot the wildland-urban interface (where the forest meets communities) around Broken Bow Lake, one of Oklahoma’s most popular and scenic lakes.  Beavers Bend State Park is also a major attraction. Much of the appeal of the cabin community is the forest. Privately owned commercial cabins and hundreds of private residences are dotted through the forested lands surrounding the community. U.S. Forest Service will only conduct activities on public lands.

What’s Going On?

The Forest Service has developed a proposed project called the Hochatown Wildland/Urban Interface (WUI) Vegetation Management project.  
Across approximately 6200 acres it could:

What's Included in the Proposal?

Improve Forest Health Conditions

Vegetation Management - The Forest Service is increasing the scope of management on lands received in a land exchange in 1996. Many stands of trees are thick, overgrown and have been exhibiting forest health issues, such as bug infestations. Commercial timber harvests would reduce the vegetation, which also serves as fuel for a wildfire, and allow new growth to sprout. Different types of harvests mimic natural events, such as fires or tornadoes, and create/improve habitat that wildlife use for cover and food.  These projects also return revenue to local counties to be used for roads and schools.

Forest Health - Hochatown Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) and Vegetation Management Project from Forest Service on Vimeo.

Decrease Fire Risk

Creation of Firelines - Fire lines are areas which are cleared of vegetation in the hopes of stopping or slowing a fire. A fire line may also be called a firebreak, in reference to the idea that it is meant to break the path of the fire, giving firefighting personnel a chance to get the fire under control. In the Hochatown WUI proposal, firelines would be created between the national forest and private property.

Wildfire - Hochatown Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) and Vegetation Management Project from Forest Service on Vimeo.

Increase Wildlife Habitat

Vegetation management and fireline creation achieve only a part of the objectives.  Remaining actions that would increase wildlife habitat include vegetation management along rights-of way via spraying, erosion control/pollinator seeding, and creation of wildlife ponds.  These important actions would increase wildlife abundance/viewing opportunities for residents and visitors.
Wildlife - Hochatown Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) and Vegetation Management Project from Forest Service on Vimeo.

For Additional Information:

For additional information on this proposed project, call or stop by:
Oklahoma Ranger District Office
111 South State Hwy 259A
Broken Bow, OK  74728
(580) 494-6402
To be added to the mailing list to receive future information about this, or other, proposed projects, call the office, ext. 0.  
To find more information on this project, logon to https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=52139