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Keystone Ancient Forest First In Oklahoma To Be Inducted Into Old-Growth Forest Network

Keystone Ancient Forest First In Oklahoma To Be Inducted Into Old-Growth Forest Network

The Keystone Ancient Forest in Sand Springs is getting some major national attention from nature enthusiasts.

On Thursday morning, the forest was inducted into the Old-Growth Forest Network.

The Old-Growth Forest Network is a national nonprofit that works around the country to preserve native, old-growth forests, something that's slowly diminished since Europeans first settled on the continent.

"An old-growth forest is a forest that has remained undisturbed at a large scale for a long time so it has had this chance to grow to its full ecological potential," said Sarah Horsley, the network manager for the organization.

Horsley said the Keystone Ancient Forest is a perfect example.

The forest in the southern portion of Osage County is untouched and is full of 500-year-old Cedars and 300-year-old post oak trees. It also has deer, mountain lions, bobcats, birds and butterflies.

Horsley said by now being a part of their network, they can ensure its protected from development and logging.

"Forests provide us education, a sense of peace, enrichment, exercise, incredible things," said Horsley.

The city of Sand Springs said the distinction could also help with tourism and teach visitors about Oklahoma's past.

"It's telling a story about the history of Oklahoma, the landscape here and some of the documentation in some of the storybooks that's been written,” said Jeff Edwards, Sand Springs Parks & Rec Director. “It's a special place."

The forest is free and open to the public.

The entire property is more than 1,300 acres.