You can see photographs taken by our photographers from events and happenings going on around the county every week in the newspaper or by clicking on the pictures link below.
We make short videos featuring lead stories, such as Alfalfa County Commissioners' meetings and county events. You can see the latest videos by clicking on the videos link below.
Cherokee Messenger & Republican
A new face at the Great Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge brings experience to the manager position.
Shane Kasson started Nov. 3 at the refuge. Before coming to northwest Oklahoma, Kasson served almost eight years as the manager of San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge at Coastal, Texas.
Kasson was no stranger to Oklahoma, he obtained his bachelor’s degree in fisheries and wildlife biology from Northeast State University at Tahlequah.
After graduation, he attended Oklahoma State University and received a master’s degree in wildlife and fisheries ecology.
While in college he was a member of the college fish and wildlife club. That club took him to Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge to plant trees. Which later led into him volunteering and eventually an internship.
The 16-year veteran of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service served as an assistant manager at Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge and Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge.
With his knowledge and history of Oklahoma, Kasson felt familiar to the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge. He had been here before to dig salt crystals and drive through the refuge auto tour.
Also during his time as manager, he had met with managers from across the nation to discuss ideas for the refuges.
The job of manager is not a simple description. It deals with the program oversight for everything the refuge does from public use to biology.
It is also about being a community contact for local leaders. The job requires working with the community and making the refuge function within the community.
Refuges across the nation that are close to bigger cities have seen an increase but rural refuges have seen some decrease.
“It depends on what they offer. This refuge attracts people because of the unique habitat and crystals,” Kasson said.
Kasson plans to get a better understanding of the public use program that the refuge offers, like the trails and overlooks, to see how they can be improved.
“I want to see that we have a good safe facility for people,” said Kasson.