There was a press release yesterday introducing the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition to the media. TUWC is a group of concerned citizens who use or have interest in Turkey Mountain, as well as other existing urban wilderness area in the Tulsa area--but 98% of the interest has thus far been aimed at Turkey Mountain (and rightly so.) I thought the write up by the Tulsa World was well written, and the group was presented in a fair manner.
KOTV News on 6 was there as well, and their story has not yet aired.
Fox 23 was also there and asked a few more pointed questions as to TUWC's position to the proposed Simon Outlet Mall. In all honesty, the announcement of the mall proposal was a wake up call, and got several of us on edge and willing to roll up our sleeves--myself very much included. But the TUWC has chosen to take a softer more neutral approach, striving for a voice in the proceedings. The Fox 23 reporter asked if there were plans to protest with signs and such. That is not TUWC's intent.
One thing that did bother me in the Fox 23 story is the map they showed on the area. Again, the map shows Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness all to the east of Elwood. They show a large square of land between what they call the Wilderness Area and the mall site. To Joe TV Watcher, it seems as though the mall and the Urban Wilderness are about a mile apart. WRONG again. But only users of the area (hikers, mountain bikers, trail runners) know that. There are as many miles of trails WEST of the Powerline as there are to the EAST.
About this land in between. It is owned by a wonderful Tulsa Philanthropist George Kaiser (GKFF), who states that it will not be developed commercially. And let's not forget the Westside YMCA. There are a lot of trails on their property. And they are as concerned as I am about having a mall built just up the hill from them.
So Joe TV Watcher, the mall DOES affect the Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness just like a huge Wal-Mart would affect your back yard if it were built right next to your fence. I just wish these maps they show on these news clips would show that.