[Ok-sus] NEWS RELEASE: Oklahoma Water Pioneer Award

Robert Hathorne Robert.Hathorne at Conservation.ok.gov
Wed Oct 22 20:07:44 UTC 2014


Contact:
Robert Hathorne | Public Information Officer
Oklahoma Conservation Commission
405.437.9171 | @conservation_ok

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Distinguished Conservationist Receives Water Pioneer Award

Photos and PDF: http://bit.ly/PioneerThralls

OKLAHOMA CITY, (October 22, 2014) - Mike Thralls, recently retired Oklahoma Conservation Commission executive director, received the Oklahoma Water Pioneer Award at the Governor's Water Conference hosted by the Oklahoma Water Resources Board at the Cox Convention Center.

Since 1985, the award has been presented annually to honor Oklahomans who have made significant contributions in the planning, development, management and conservation of Oklahoma's water resources. During his 17 years of service to the Conservation Commission and on his own farm, Thralls has made considerable contributions. His vision led to the creation of the state's first Locally-Led Conservation Cost-Share Program, enabling almost 10,000 Oklahoman's to participate in voluntary natural resource conservation since 1998. He also oversaw establishment of the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, which has improved water quality in northeast Oklahoma by planting 107,773 trees that filter water runoff from 9,588 acres of land.

"Mike's public service to Oklahomans has manifested in many ways throughout his long and distinguished career," said OWRB executive director J.D. Strong. "The Oklahoma Water Pioneer Award has been awarded to a renowned group of Oklahomans, who just like Mike, have gone above and beyond to ensure that all Oklahomans have access to clean water resources for many decades to come. Having worked alongside Mike for many years, it is an honor for me to be a part of recognizing his dedication and service to Oklahoma's water users."
Past award recipients include Senators Henry Bellmon and Robert S. Kerr, Governors Raymond Gary and George Nigh, and former Conservation Commission executive directors Mason Mungle and Leonard Solomon.

Thralls retired in Sept. 2014 after 17 years as Conservation Commission executive director. He continues to utilize and promote conservation practices beneficial to water quality and soil health on his farm in Billings, Oklahoma.

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Established in 1937 during the Dust Bowl, the Oklahoma Conservation Commission is a non-regulatory agency working with 86 local conservation districts and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to educate and assist the public in implementing voluntary conservation practices on their land. We strive to conserve and protect natural resources for the continuity of the land, heritage and future of all Oklahomans.
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