Currently, a new forest is quickly emerging over the last 70 years. It was not present during the time Irving was here. Scattered across Oklahoma in a three to four million-acre range are redcedar forests, which have popped up in ever increasing numbers after wildfires were largely contained or eliminated. Many ranchers have had their rangelands overwhelmed by what many call an "invasion" of redcedar. This incursion is causing a long-term change in our forestland and rangeland ecosystems.
Hardy prairie grasses and periodic wildfires once relegated cedars to the more remote limestone outcrops and protected canyons. Passive land management, over-grazing livestock and suppressing wildfires have transformed much of Oklahoma into the ideal nursery for cedar seedlings.
Redcedar has many commercial uses. Seventeen sawmills have opened across the state to utilize the products these trees provide, which include: cedar oil, litter box chips, lumber for hope chests, and insect repellent.