OKLAHOMA CITY – Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman recently appointed Sen. Josh Brecheen to serve as Vice Chairman of the Tourism and Wildlife Committee.
“Tourism is the third largest industry in our state. The citizens in southeast Oklahoma understand better than anyone the important role tourism plays in our state,” said Brecheen. “From water consumption value to recreational use, many homes and businesses in our district depend on the sustainability of Lake Texoma, Blue River, McGee Creek Lake, the streams and rivers that feed them; not to mention the wildlife and fish habitat sustained by their existence.”
Brecheen noted that Lake Texoma is facing a critical phase with the 2014 contractual obligation concerning the Pointe Vista project and his new position will prove useful in educating the Commissioners of the Land Office (CLO), which is made up of mostly statewide elected officials, on how the project is affecting citizens in the area.
“I’m very pleased to now be in a position that will provide constituents with greater influence at the Capitol as the 2014 contract timeline for the Point Vista project unfolds,” said Brecheen. “Given that this contract was implemented prior to my election and is under the authority of the CLO, I plan to use this new committee assignment to ensure that agency fully understands the hardships already incurred by our area over the past several years and do my part to ensure this understanding impacts future CLO decisions.”
Brecheen acknowledged the importance of tourism revenues to southeast Oklahoma.
“We have so many tourist attractions in our district from state parks, rivers, lakes and wildlife management areas to museums, battle fields and other historic sites that help bring in much needed revenue. That revenue helps support local families and communities, so it’s imperative that we protect these natural resources and tourist attractions.”
The wildlife aspect of the committee is also important to the Coalgate Republican.
“As a rancher and lifetime hunter, I am well aware of the role wildlife plays in impacting family budgets, businesses and our highly prized way of life. I look forward to providing our area hunters, fisherman, farmers and ranch land owners with more input on decisions impacting them,” said Brecheen. “I look forward to working with Tourism Commission Chairman Lt Gov. Todd Lamb, Tourism Director Debi Snodgrass and Senate Tourism and Wildlife Committee Chairman Sen. Harry Coates in preserving these most vital parts of our state’s economy.”
Brecheen will also be serving on the Education, Veterans and Military Affairs, and Public Safety Committees as well as the Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety and Judiciary.