Service Award: Mike Thralls, 15 Years

At the April 2010 meeting of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission, Mike Thralls, OCC executive director, was recognized for 15 years of service to the state of Oklahoma. Ben Pollard, OCC assistant director, stated that Thralls had joined OCC in September 1997 and previous to that had been assistant commissioner for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry starting in March 1995. Pollard stated that since joining OCC Thralls had served under 12 conservation commissioners and worked with seven presidents of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts and three USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service state conservationists. During Thralls’ tenure the Locally-Led Cost-Share Program had been established as well as the watershed technician and watershed aide program to assist conservation districts with operation and maintenance of the state’s more than 2,100 upstream flood control dams. Last year the first-ever bond issue specifically to fund conservation projects had become reality. Pollard cited Thralls’ dedication to furthering the upstream flood control watershed program and water quality programs along with abandoned mine land reclamation and other conservation efforts. Pollard also cited Thralls’ credibility with the state Legislature in both the Senate and House of Representatives.

From left are OCC Area IV Commissioner Dan Lowrance; Governor’s Liaison Jeantte Nance; OCC executive director Mike Thralls; OCC Area I Commissioner and Chairman Matt Gard; and OCC Area V, III and II Commissioners Virginia Kidd, George Stunkard and Mike Rooker.