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Since his retirement as an agriculture teacher at Harrah Public Schools, Jack Gorczyca is dedicated to running his farm full- time. His land in Konawa, OK has been in his family for four generations. And for many of those years, the family land had saltwater erosion and scarring that dates back more than 60 years. The area of barren, dry land served as a stark reminder of a time long before today’s oil and natural gas regulations and voluntary environmental stewardship measures.

Jack, along with his son Thad who lives on the land and is also an ag teacher, had wished for a way to clean up the land and make it safe and useable for their livestock for decades, but knew the job was far beyond their means. Thanks to friend Darryl Mackey of Mackey Drilling Services, Jack reached out to the OERB and got the wheels in motion to restore the land to its original beauty and make it productive once again – at absolutely no charge to the Gorczyca family or tax payers.

Jack’s land was surveyed and contractors through the OERB determined excavation was the best solution. A pond for cattle and wildlife was put in place of the once eroded spot. Though it was a massive undertaking, the crew of bulldozers, backhoes and dump trucks completed the pond in less than three weeks.

“They did an amazing amount of work in less than three weeks. And there was absolutely no charge. The OERB took care of it, one hundred percent.

—Jack Gorczyca, landowner, Harrah, Oklahoma

Jack’s restoration is one of more than 16,000 abandoned or orphaned well sites, that have been restored at no cost to the landowner or taxpayers thanks to Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas industry. The OERB is voluntarily funded by Oklahoma oil and natural gas producers and royalty owners and are able to restore well sites without charging landowners a dime due to these contributions. Since 1993, the OERB has committed more than $113 million to cleaning up abandoned well sites in Oklahoma. 

  “Now, we’ve got a pond that’ll last for generations. We can take care of our cattle, and the wildlife – it’s just a great deal.”

—Jack Gorczyca, landowner, Harrah, Oklahoma

If you know of an abandoned well site like Jack’s, please register it at www.oerb.com/well-site-clean-up/register-a-site. Continue to stay up-to-date with the latest on restoration stories and other news about Oklahoma’s oil & natural gas industry at EnergyHQ.com.