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An Oklahoman who has dedicated his life to preserving the Illinois River and its tributaries received a big honor on May 17.

Ed Fite received a lifetime achievement award from the River Management Society in Boise, Idaho. Fite has been the Director of the Scenic Rivers Commission since 1983.

Ed Fite Receives National Award

He says he was raised with a passion for rivers and is dedicated to improving our state’s river tourism and beautification.

The criteria for the award is as follows:

1.      Outstanding Contribution to River Management Award (open to all)

This award recognizes someone with longer tenure in their career with a history of accomplishments (as opposed to more recent accomplishments highlighted by the River Manager of the Year Award). Please consider your nominee’s length of tenure or the longer-term impact of their contribution in this category, and focus on their list of accomplishments related to the bullet points below.

1)      Advanced the field of river management through contributions in areas such as science, education, interpretation, research, and/or law enforcement;

2)      Developed innovative (or creatively adapted) river management strategies and techniques (i.e. established unique river partnerships, envisioned and implemented river restoration programs, created visitor use management strategies, etc.);

3)      Advanced river management as a science and as a profession by improving communication between individuals and groups involved in river management (i.e. developed conferences, established collaborative partnerships, utilized social media to increase awareness, etc.)

4)      Provided opportunities for increased awareness by citizens and river visitors of their role in caring for rivers and watersheds; and/or

5)      Was an outstanding advocate for and promoted professional river management and outdoor ethics.

Congratulations to Ed Fite for being a wonderful advocate in protecting Oklahoma’s natural resources! To learn more about the Scenic Rivers Commission, visit their website at or visit the River Management Society’s website here.

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