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This publication is issued by the Oklahoma Conservation Commission, in cooperation with
the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, as authorized by Mike Thralls,
executive director. Copies have not been printed but are available through the agency
website, http://conservation.ok.gov. October 2011
Cherokee Sandy Creek Watershed
Dam No. 17M
Cherokee Sandy Creek Watershed Dam No. 17M, known as R.C. Longmire Lake, is located eleven miles east of Pauls Valley, Oklahoma.
The dam was constructed in 1989 by the City of Pauls Valley and the Garvin Conservation District with assistance from the Oklahoma Conservation Commission and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Watershed Program. The lake is named after the late R.C. Longmire, a long time Garvin Conservation District director and a strong supporter of the NRCS Watershed Program.
The lake has 900 surface acres of water and 15 miles of shoreline and was constructed for flood control, municipal water and recreational use. Recreational facilities include a pavilion, a boat ramp and dock, RV hookups, tent campsites, dump station, bathroom/shower, picnic tables, grills and swimming area. The lake has been designated as a trophy bass lake and is stocked with Florida bass and other species of fish.
The dam is one of 19 flood control dams in the Cherokee Sandy Creek Watershed, all in Garvin County. Flooding was a frequent occurrence in the 46,000 acre watershed prior to construction of the dams. From 1923 to 1942 there were 24 major floods (those where over 50 percent of the floodplain was flooded) and 57 smaller floods. Floods destroyed crops, eroded the land, washed out fences, roads, and bridges, and drown livestock. Damages totaled thousands of dollars each year.
The Garvin Conservation District requested the NRCS's assistance in 1958 in developing a watershed project to deal with the flooding and soil erosion. As the project was implemented by constructing flood control dams and applying conservation practices to the land, floods became less frequent and less severe.
The Cherokee Sandy Creek Watershed Project is one of 129 projects in Oklahoma that have been planned and implemented by local people with assistance from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Oklahoma Conservation Commission.
*2,107 NRCS-assisted flood control dams have been constructed in 61 Oklahoma counties. These watershed projects, that also include thousands of conservation practices, provide over $81 million in average annual benefits.
For additional information about watershed projects in the state visit the Oklahoma Conservation Commission website at: http://conservation.ok.gov or visit your local conservation district and NRCS office.
This is one of 2,107* examples of how local, state and federal government agencies have worked together to utilize the Natural Resources Conservation Service Watershed Program to address natural resource needs and improve the quality of life for thousands of Oklahomans.
Benefits Provided by the 19 Flood Control Dams in the Cherokee Sandy Creek Watershed
$1.3 million in average annual benefits from reduced flood damages
Flood protection for bridges and county roads
Flood protection for 160 farms and ranches
Impounded water has created fish and wildlife habitat, waterfowl nesting areas and livestock water
316 acres of wetlands have been created or enhanced
Sedimentation is reduced by 48,000 tons of soil annually
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