Oklahoma and Arkansas to hold 3rd meeting to discuss Illinois River watershed

Another meeting will be held this month as Oklahoma and Arkansas work on updating the watershed-based management plan for the Ilinois River Watershed.

It will be the third in a series of public meetings to be held by the Oklahoma Conservation Commission in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Division.

The meeting will be held August 10, 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.

Both the Oklahoma Conservation Commission and Arkansas NRD were reported to be appreciative of the overwhelming turnout of nearly 100 stakeholders for the second meeting in May and are hopeful for such great continued participation. The third meeting will focus on watershed modeling and anticipated outcomes of conservation practice implementation.

Continued input from stakeholders about those practices will be considered, so it is critical for anyone interested to attend as it will help guide resource allocations to improve water quality into the future.

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 the development of the management plan.

The meeting is set for August 10 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will be held at the Cherokee Casino and Hotel located at 2416 US-412, West Siloam Springs, Oklahoma, 74338.