Salute to Ron Stork - 30 years of dedication to California's rivers

On August 22, Friends of the River will be celebrating Ron Stork's 30 years of hard work and dedication to protecting California's rivers! It's a well deserved tribute.

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Ron Stork points to a chart showing water releases from the Oroville Dam.

 (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Much of Ron's work has been behind the scenes, in the important but no so sexy alphabet soup world of government acronyms like FERC, FEMA and CVPIA. Earlier this year, however, Ron received nationwide attention when it was revealed that he had warned authorities a decade ago that the spillway at Oroville Dam was unsafe - albeit to no avail.  

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In Ron's first year at Friends of the River, Donald Hodel, Ronald Reagan's Secretary of the Interior, shocked the conservation world by proposing that Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Valley be restored. Then San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein was not amused, and declared Hetch Hetchy to be the City's "birthright". Some environmentalists praised the proposal, while others openly (but incorrectly) questioned Hodel's motives.  

Ron, with his photographic recollection of Hodel's proposal and insight into its politics, has provided Restore Hetch Hetchy with wise counsel as we push our campaign forward.

Ron is a veritable encyclopedia, and is always willing to help colleagues at other conservation organizations - including Restore Hetch Hetchy. He is also a consumate professional, who rarely raises his voice and advocates by sticking to facts while avoiding hyperbole.

We need more Ron Storks, not only in the conservation movement, but in the broader world of public policy as well.