Oklahoma lawmakers eliminate Scenic Rivers Commission

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State Capitol

TULSA, Okla. – Gov. Mary Fallin has passed a law that will eliminate a commission that has focused on preserving an Oklahoma river for nearly 40 years.

The Tulsa World reports that the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission will be eliminated July 1. Its staff and responsibilities will shift to a division of the Grand River Dam Authority.

The commission was created in 1977 to carry out the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Act. Its responsibilities included protecting, enhancing and preserving the Illinois River and its tributaries, Barren Fork Creek and Flint Creek.

The commission’s longtime executive director, Ed Fite, told legislators in March that the best way to save the organization’s mission would be to disband and reorganize it under the authority.

The two staffs met Thursday to begin working on the transition process.