Barb Daily, STIR Vice President was inducted into the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Hall of Fame by STIR President Denise Deason-Toyne, center, and Drew Edmondson, right.
Beth Rooney, past president of the Spring Creek Coalition, was honored with the Francie Fite Water Warrior Award. Left to right are Max McCullough, husband of the late Francie Fite; Rooney, STIR President Denise Deason-Toyne, and Drew Edmondson.
Save the Illinois River President Denise Deason-Toyne, right, presented the Northeastern State University Foundation with a donation of $14,500 for scholarships for students of the NSU Freshwater Studies Program. Left to right are former scholarship winners Viktoria and Keegan Stallings; NSU Foundation Director Peggy Glenn, STIR Treasurer Ed Brocksmith, and Deason-Toyne. Pictured in the foreground are Terri Fite, left, and Drew Edmondson.
STIR Honors River Conservationists
Save the Illinois River will recognize two river protection champions , Sept. 16, at its annual membership meeting and awards banquet in Tahlequah.
Barb Daily of Tahlequah, STIR vice president, and Beth Rooney of Tulsa, long-time Spring Creek Coalition president, will be honored at Sequoyah Outing Club, said STIR President Denise Deason-Toyne. Daily will be inducted into the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Hall of Fame. Rooney will receive the Francie Fite Water Warrior Award in honor of the late Frances “Francie” Fite of Tahlequah, a dedicated protector of the Illinois River.
Daily was elected to the STIR Board of Directors in 2010 and became vice president in 2015. She discovered the Illinois River and Lake Tenkiller on outings and moved from Tulsa to Tahlequah in 2009. Rooney is a retired computer analyst. She and her husband, Martin, fell in love with Spring Creek after purchasing land on the creek in 1999. She has served as SCC president 12 of the past 14 years.
STIR members will elect officers and directors and hear about the condition of the Illinois River from STIR co-founder Ed Fite, water quality manager of the Grand River Dam Authority. Former Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmonson will speak about Oklahoma’s federal court lawsuit naming Arkansas poultry companies for pollution of the watershed. A reception at the home of Paul and Bonnie Rowsey will precede the Ed Edmondson Awards Banquet at the Club House at 7 p.m. Edmondson, of Muskogee, served as STIR’s attorney, working without a fee.
STIR, Oklahoma’s only conservation organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of the Illinois River and Lake Tenkiller, works to safeguard water aquifers important to the river and lake. STIR was organized by Tahlequah area citizens in 1984 to oppose an Arkansas sewage plant. A lawsuit by Oklahoma and STIR resulted in a precedent-setting U.S. Supreme Court ruling, making upstream states meet the water quality standards of downstream states and setting in motion stringent Oklahoma water quality protection rules that included a limit on phosphorus.
For more information, see www.illinoisriver.org.