About Us

My name is Stephen Willis.  I founded the Friends of Lake Texoma State Park in June, 2008 to address the problems with the privatization of this sixty year old public park.  The Lake Texoma Messenger is the newsletter we created to inform our members and local businesses about the illegal privatization and the people behind it.

The “Friends” started as a grass-roots campaign to stop the Corps of Engineers from selling any more of Lake Texoma State Park or the adjacent shoreline park lands.  As a result of our organizing and hard work, the state and federal government have been stopped cold from any more park land liquidations here, although they continue across the lake in Denison, Texas with the Schuler Project.

Through several personal interviews in mid2008, the primary backers of the Pointe Vista’s park privatization were identified as former U.S. Congressman Wes_Watkins, former State Senators John Massey, Billy Mickle and Jay Paul Gumm, Pointe Vista owner Mark Fischer, and Durant realtor Martin VanMeter.

In 2008, Mark Fischer publicly stated, “We don’t have two million dollars for an  E.I.S. (Environmental Impact Statement), and we’re not going to do one!”

With this crucial information, over night the Friends created a letter-writing campaign to the Chief Environmental Officer at the Tulsa District Corps of Engineers. We demanded a full EIS on a proposed third land transfer to the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department (OTRD).

Since the Corps had failed to conduct a full EIS prior to the two land sales to Pointe Vista in 2008 (known as Areas A and B), they would now find a substantial obstacle to any more of their illegal land liquidations.

In January, 2009, Stephen Nolen at the Corps of Engineers issued an order for a full EIS to be conducted on the additional 1,022 acres proposed for transfer to OTRD before they could sell it to Pointe Vista.  An official EIS Scoping hearing was held in Kingston, OK on 9/22/2009. Pointe Vista spent the next few years promoting public involvement in the EIS process.

Surprisingly, less than two years later, the Tourism Department and Pointe Vista abandoned their EIS.  Regardless, Governor Mary Fallin and Tourism Director Deby Snodgrass continue to talk publicly about expediting the environmental review.  They have adopted a public relations campaign to create the public perception that Pointe Vista remains in compliance with environmental laws.  It appears that the state is encouraging the developer to begin construction prior to completion of the federal EIS.

The rest of the story is unfolding.  Stay tuned, and help us to Take Back The Park!!