The Woodward News

Local News

March 19, 2013

Canton Lake group to meet

Woodward, Okla. — The Canton Lake Association (CLA) will hold a public meeting at Canton Elementary School Gym Complex on Thursday, March 28 at 6:30 p.m.

Interested persons are invited to attend for thorough discussions on future solutions to preserve Canton Lake water levels, recreation, and western Oklahoma streams and groundwater.

“Devastating actions have compounded Canton Lake’s present condition,” Tom Adams, a CLA board member said. “One issue for the patrons of Canton Lake and the CLA is Northwest Oklahoma citizens were left out of the process in the lake’s current federal water storage contract and the state water permit both which exist in perpetuity. When combined, these actions create an environment in which Canton Lake could literally be sucked dry.

“The primary goal of the CLA is to affect change in the contracts, permits and water laws that enable this to happen to Canton Lake. Another goal of CLA is to give the public a voice in present and future policymaking decisions both at the federal and state level. We simply cannot allow a catastrophe like this to repeat again and again at our lake.”

“The current and future status of our rivers and lakes including challenges brought on by the ongoing drought will be discussed,” said CLA President Jeff Converse. Legislators including State Senator Bryce Marlatt, State Representative Mike Sanders, board members and representatives from a strong conservation group known as Oklahomans for Responsible Water Policy (ORWP, www.orwp.net), and others from various state, federal, and tribal agencies will participate. Additionally, Northwest Oklahoma Alliance (NwOA), a group composed of municipalities, businesses and organizations will speak on a northwest Oklahoma water plan. Discussion and ideas from the general public will be encouraged.

“Representatives from ORWP speaking at the meeting is extremely significant,” said Adams. “The ORWP brings experience to the Canton Lake situation in the form of extensive knowledge of state water law and permitting processes. ORWP has been heavily involved with the Choctaw and Chickasaw Tribes in southeastern Oklahoma in the battle over Sardis Lake and the interstate battle over water between Oklahoma and Texas. Now ORWP is ready to help the Canton Lake community.”

For further information including how to join the association, go to a blog at www.cantonlakeassn.org or write to Canton Lake Association, P.O. Box 693, Canton, OK 73724.

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