Retired U.S. Forest Service Hydrologist Dick Dyrland looks out onto the East Fork Lewis River in August 2018. Dyrland has been outspoken about concerns over the deterioration of the river, which recently has been the focus of a partnership formed specifically to improve conditions in the lower watershed with regard to bacteria and temperature issues.

Those concerned over the water quality of the East Fork Lewis River will have a chance to learn about recovery efforts and ask questions during a town hall meeting at the La Center Grange June 3.

The Washington State Department of Ecology recently announced the meeting that will run from 6 to 8 p.m. at the grange, 328 W Fifth St., La Center. The department intends for the meeting to raise awareness, share information about water quality and landowner resources to help with water cleanup, and answer questions from the public.

“This meeting is a good way for landowners to learn how they can help improve water quality in the East Fork Lewis River,” Ecology Water Quality Specialist Devan Rostorfer said in the announcement. She has been coordinating the East Fork Lewis River Partnership, a group including Ecology and other stakeholders in an effort to improve the river.

The announcement noted that the East Fork Lewis River is on the state’s polluted waters list for elevated water temperatures and problems with fecal coliform bacteria. The partnership had its first full meeting in February, following the publishing of a source assessment report in 2018 which showed the problems the river faces.

Multiple East Fork Lewis River Partnership members are expected to attend the town hall, according to Ecology’s announcement. The department noted it has reached out to landowners in the watershed to find and fix water quality programs, encouraging the public to report environmental issues online (at https://ecology.wa.gov/About-us/Get-involved/Report-an-environmental-issue) or by phone at (360) 407-6330.

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