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Celebrating Bowman Dam’s golden anniversary

The City of Prineville will hold a celebration on Thursday to mark the occasion

by: PHOTO COURTESY OF OID - The history of Bowman Dam will be celebrated this Thursday at the City Hall Plaza.

Thursday will mark the golden anniversary of an integral piece of history in Crook County — one that has supported irrigated agriculture and has prevented floods since 1962.
   The City of Prineville will celebrate Bowman Dam’s 50-year event at the City Plaza on Thursday.
   “It’s a good time to remind people why the dam was built,” said Crooked River Watershed Council representative Chris Gannon.
   A group from the Bureau of Reclamation will be in the area during the week to help celebrate. Prineville Mayor Betty Roppe will provide opening remarks, Pacific Northwest Regional Director for the Boise Bureau of Reclamation Lorri Lee will be the keynote speaker, Oregon State Representative Mike McLane (R-Dist. 55) will speak about history, and closing remarks will be provided by Ochoco Irrigation District (OID) Assistant Manager Russ Rhoden and Crooked River Watershed Council representative Gannon.
   “I think the highlights are the certainty that the Bowman Dam and Prineville has given our local community — particularly OID and the contract holders,” said Rhoden.
   A non-technical report was developed by members of OID and the Crooked River Watershed to showcase the economic benefits provided by Bowman Dam since construction, and will be available at the presentation Thursday. The main theme of this publication and the message at the celebration will focus on the support of irrigated agriculture and the prevention of floods in the Crooked River Valley. The intent will be to look back over the 50 years to celebrate the benefits and quantify the economic impacts created and delivered over this period.
   Ochoco Irrigation Manager Mike Kasberger said that they want to emphasize and celebrate all the benefits that irrigation has provided throughout the years.
   “Crops and families and a community have been built around that irrigation,” said Kasberger.
   He added that previous to 1960, Prineville experienced some severe floods, and the flood control component has prevented this from happening since 1962.
   Adding to these benefits of Bowman Dam are recreation such as boating and fishing — as well as the parks associated with the dam.
   “It’s celebrating the project and a time that we look back at those who were responsible for even bringing the project here,” noted Rhoden.
   He added that the two men who spearheaded this project included Judge A.R. Bowman and previous irrigation manager LaSelle Coles.
   “They are true pioneers in the Crooked River Basin for Prineville and the community.”
   The Bowman Dam Golden Anniversary Celebration will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m., on Thursday, Oct. 4, at the Prineville City Hall Plaza. For more information, call City of Prineville at 541-447-5627 or OID at 541-447-6449.