EUGENE, Ore. -- The Long Tom Watershed Council has received the Department of the Army Outstanding Civilian Service Award for its dedication to improving water quality and reviving fish and wildlife habitat while being mindful of channel maintenance and flooding concerns. In addition, former LTWC board member and active participant Tony Stroda has been awarded the Department of the Army Commander’s Award for Public Service.
Executive Director Dana Dedrick and Stroda, one of the founding members of the Council, traveled to Portland June 13 to receive the awards from Col. John Eisenhauer, commander of the Corps’ Portland District, in a ceremony attended by over 200 people.
Stroda received the Commander’s Award for Public Service for his excellent leadership and efforts as a liaison between the Corps’ Willamette Valley Project and the agricultural community. Stroda also helped establish the Long Tom Watershed Council, which has been a key partner of the Corps’ efforts in the Long Tom River basin. Recently, Stroda, his brothers and the Council hosted a series of meetings with Corps employees and partners to discuss the Willamette Valley Project’s operations and stakeholders’ hopes for the future. The Corps recognizes Stroda and the Council for their collaborative approach to solving difficult resource issues, and Stroda’s continued support of Corps projects.
The Long Tom Watershed Council has been an outstanding partner in the Willamette Valley Project’s efforts to communicate with land managers, farmers and environmental groups. The Council has been instrumental in the cultivation of relationships and communications between the Corps and area stakeholders. In addition, the Council sought and obtained two grants to improve resource conditions and fish and wildlife habitat in or around Corps property. One project improves habitat near Fern Ridge Reservoir for rare plants like the endangered Willamette Daisy. The second grant allowed the Council and Corps to work together to improve passage for native fish around a Corps structure on the Long Tom River.
Kat Beal, terrestrial stewardship manager for the Willamette Valley Project, said, “Managing water resources in an increasingly complex environment requires cooperation and collaboration. The Long Tom Watershed Council and Mr. Stroda have consistently been willing to engage with us to share their expertise and understanding. We can’t do what we need to without folks like them.”
“The watershed council is in a unique position to build partnerships with private landowners and agencies and improve habitat on and near working farms,” said Dedrick. “We really appreciate the recognition from the Corps and are proud that we are able to augment their work on the Willamette Valley Project.”
The Long Tom Watershed Council is a local community nonprofit, and has worked within Lane and Benton Counties for over 15 years to bring in grant funding that helps local land owners and managers improve conditions for fish and wildlife. The mission of the Long Tom Watershed Council is to improve water quality and watershed conditions in the Long Tom River basin through education, coordination, consultation, and cooperation among all interests, using the collective wisdom and voluntary action of our community members. For more information on the Long Tom Watershed Council visit http://www.longtom.org.
The Willamette Valley Project’s 13 dams contribute to a water resource management system that provides flood risk management, power generation, water quality improvement, irrigation, fish and wildlife habitat and recreation on the Willamette River and many of its tributaries. Since their completion, the dams have cumulatively prevented more than $22 billion in flood damages in the Willamette Valley. For more information, visit http://go.usa.gov/TMq3.