Illinois River watershed informational meeting set for May 18

EPA finalizes guidelines to ebb Illinois River, Tenkiller Lake pollution



The Oklahoma Conservation Commission (OCC), in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Division (NRD), has rescheduled the second in a series of public meetings to update the watershed-based management plan for the Illinois River Watershed.

The January meeting had been postponed due to inclement weather and will now be held May 18, 2023, in West Siloam Springs, Oklahoma.

The Illinois River and its tributaries have a variety of uses set forth by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, including fisheries, recreation, navigation, drinking water and agricultural water supplies, and aesthetics. The watershed-based plan’s goal is to protect and improve water quality in streams and other water bodies by addressing non-regulatory issues through voluntary activities or practices.

The OCC and Arkansas NRD held the first stakeholder meeting in October 2022 and hosted more than 60 attendees. The second and third meetings will be focused on conservation practice implementation, at which input from landowners about those practices will be requested. This feedback is critical as it will help guide resource allocations to improve water quality listed in the plan.

The meeting is open to the public and will provide an overview of the watershed management planning process. Stakeholders will discuss water quality issues, conservation practices, the current state of the watershed, and the next steps in developing the management plan.

The meeting is set for May 18, 2023, from 2:30-4 p.m. at the Cherokee Casino and Hotel, located at 2416 US-412, West Siloam Springs, Oklahoma 74338.

Source: press release