Bommer Selected to Head Umatilla Field Office

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378--5212
Michael Bommer, (541) 564-8616

For Release: October 27, 2004

Michael Bommer has been selected to manage the Bureau of Reclamation's Umatilla Field Office which is responsible for the oversight of water deliveries to about 50,000 acres of farmland in the Hermiston, Oregon area.

Bommer joins Reclamation after working several years operating a private residential contracting business in Portland, Oregon. He will manage 15 employees and be responsible for the overall operation of water management issues related to the Umatilla exchange program. The field office area includes portions of the Columbia River south to Echo, Oregon, and from Cold Springs Reservoir to the east to Boardman, Oregon, in the west.

Bommer, who joined Reclamation on October 18, says he believes in establishing and maintaining a positive working relationship both with employees and members of the public.

"I think it's important to work with an open mind and objectivity," Bommer says. "As manager, I think it is vital to recognize and nurture the strengths, abilities and accomplishments of fellow employees."

He also served as City Manager for the City of Ferndale, California. His experience in natural resources and recreation in the private and public sector will benefit him in Reclamation's overall mission.

"Michael Bommer comes to Reclamation with many years of experience both in local government and private enterprise," said Ron Eggers, manager, Lower Columbia Area Office in Portland. "I am confident that he will help us all work through the complex issues at the Umatilla Field Office."

The Umatilla Field Office operates and maintains the Umatilla exchange program, established to benefit the anadromous fisheries in the Umatilla River. The exchange program includes pumping plants, canals, and other facilities that serve Hermiston, Stanfield, and West Extension irrigation districts. Under a "bucket for bucket" exchange, water is delivered to irrigation contract holders from the Columbia River instead of the Umatilla, allowing more water to remain instream for fish.

When he isn't busy on the job, Bommer says he enjoys working with adopted horses his family has rescued and spending time with his family. He moved to the area with his wife, Johanna; his daughters, Ashley, Megan, and Chelsea; sons, Garrett and Dallas; and grandson Brenner.

# # #

Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.