The Spanish were the first to explore the region in 1541. The U.S. acquired most of Oklahoma in 1803 from France. Set aside as Indian territory in 1834, the region was divided into Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory on May 2nd, 1890. The two were combined to make a new state, Oklahoma, on November 16th, 1907.
Grasses grow in abundance in Oklahoma. Bluestem, buffalo, sand lovegrass are native. Deciduous hardwoods stand in eastern Oklahoma, and red and yellow cactus blossoms brighten the area in the northwest. The western prairie fringed orchid has been listed as threatened.
The white-tailed deer, Rio Grande wild turkeys, pronghorn antelope, elk, and a few herds of American buffalo (bison) inhabit the region.
Among the state’s 19 endangered or threatened species of wildlife are three species of bat (big-eared, Indiana, and gray), bald eagle, whooping crane, red-cockaded woodpecker, Eskimo curlew, and Neosho madtom.
Go Green Oklahoma is a government initiative that helps to reduce the carbon footprint by reducing paper consumption.
Ethical corporate behavior is being encouraged across the state to promote, create and maintain a healthy environment to enrich lives. The state is supporting and driving green services and products and providing a clean, healthy environment to its citizens while providing a high-quality lifestyle. Some of the initiatives that have been implemented by the state include: green power sourced from sustainable wind power; use and purchase of Energy Star Certified products and appliances; switching from incandescent to CFL; using LED and CFL lighting; promoting native plant landscaping; installation of automatic lighting with a view to save on energy and cut down power consumption; use of properly timed and metered landscape water use; use of high quality insulation combined with high efficiency HVAC systems that keep buildings cools in the summer and warm in the winter; encouraging group transportation, thus saving energy by combining trips and reducing personal car use; using high efficiency laundry machines and dishwashers; reducing paper use and increasing reliance on digital communication; reducing and eliminating the use of disposable items; use of green fabrics and floor coverings; use of zero-voc or low-voc paints; avoiding greenhouse gas emissions by recycling tons of waste instead of sending it to the landfill; and exploring new technology regarding design and operation, including green building, lighting systems, daylighting, HVAC, and insulation.