The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation released a new logo last week, and unsurprisingly, the reaction on social media was mixed.
Some people loved it. Some people hated it. Some hunters and fishermen liked the white-tailed deer and white bass images in the new logo, but objected to the scissor-tailed flycatcher, as the agency is largely funded through the sale of fishing licenses. hunting and fishing.
Others on social media assumed the department spent millions on the new logo and questioned why that money wasn’t used for wildlife projects like buying more trout for winter fishing grounds.
The Wildlife Department, which had operating expenses of $55.7 million in the last fiscal year, did not spend millions on the rebrand.
The agency contracted Idea Ranch of Tulsa to research and create the new logo at a cost of $94,800. The Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps the agency on projects, donated $10,000 toward the rebranding.
The Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission, which oversees the agency’s budget, has authorized another $100,000 to replace the old logo with the new one on items such as signs, uniforms and decals on agency vehicles.
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An outdated logo
Micah Holmes, deputy director of education and information for the Department of Wildlife, said the old logo was immediately swapped for the new one on the agency’s digital platforms, but it will be replaced elsewhere over time.
Some of this will happen through wear and tear, such as updating wildlife management area signs only when they need to be replaced anyway, Holmes said. In other cases, the agency could simply place a sticker of the new logo over an old one on a property entrance sign, for example, he said.
The old logo, which is basically the image of the state flag in the shape of a shield, was created in 1965. Holmes said the agency felt it was time for a change.
“We felt that the logo was dated, that it probably didn’t have the recognition that we thought it did,” Holmes said.
“We at the Department of Wildlife are very loyal to that logo. That’s what we wear over our hearts, literally. So, we love it, but we wanted a company to help us find out if the public recognizes our logo and identifies with it.” in the same way”.
It turned out that the public did not.
Idea Ranch, which has other outdoor activity companies as clients, learned through its surveys that few people recognized the Department of Wildlife’s logo when the agency’s name was removed. The old logo also did not reflect wildlife conservation other than the agency name.
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An outdoor sensation
Idea Ranch created four logos for consideration, with the one selected being the overwhelming choice among public focus groups and a committee of Department of Wildlife staff.
The new logo is in the shape of an arrowhead to represent the state’s Native American tradition and heritage. White-tailed deer, largemouth bass (the state fish), and scissor-tailed flycatchers (the state bird) represent three of the most recognized wildlife species in Oklahoma.
Those images also represent the agency’s three wildlife management areas: game, fish, and non-game species, wildlife not hunted for food or sport, such as bats, butterflies, and most birds.
The scissor-tailed flycatcher is one of the state’s most iconic and easily recognizable images, Holmes said. And it also represents non-game species that are also part of the agency’s mission, he said.
“We’re not just hunting and fishing,” he said. “We manage all the wildlife in the state. It would have been incomplete not to have a species like that.”
The colors of the new logo also have more outside air than the previous logo.
“Many of our (outdoor enthusiasts’) favorite time of year is fall,” Holmes said. “Those are fall colors. And we wanted earth-toned colors, a little muted.”
The new logo is part of a rebranding effort by the Department of Wildlife, Holmes said.
“It’s not just about the logo,” he said. “It’s just one piece of many different things that represent the brand… The idea is to be consistent in everything we do in front of the public.”
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Bat recommended to be included in the list of endangered species
The US Fish and Wildlife Service wants to reclassify the northern long-eared bat as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
The bat, now listed as threatened, faces extinction due to the spread of white-nose syndrome, a deadly disease that affects cave-dwelling bats across the continent.
The northern long-eared bat can be found in parts of the Ozark Highlands and Ouachita Mountain regions of eastern Oklahoma.
Reporter Ed Godfrey searches for stories that impact your life. Whether it’s news, outdoors, sports, whatever, he wants to report it. Do you have a story idea? Contact him at [email protected] or on Twitter @EdGodfrey. Support his work and that of other Oklahoma journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.