Statement of Michael L. Connor, Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, on the Death of Craig Bell, Executive Director of Western States Water Council

Media Contact: Dan DuBray, 202-513-0574
Nellie Drumheller, 202-513-0568

For Release: June 15, 2009

Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor has issued this statement on the passing of Western States Water Council executive director Craig Bell:

"Craig Bell's experience, calm mediation skills and keen insight will be missed by those who served with him in the water community. "Craig and I closely collaborated during my time on Capitol Hill and, most recently, in my first weeks as Commissioner. I relied on his counsel. Craig was always low-key but, simmering beneath that calm exterior, you knew he was looking ahead - searching for new ways to meet future water needs and tackle the current challenges facing western water management.

"Of course, this is a tragic blow for his family, but also for the many friends and colleagues who knew first-hand of his hard work and dedication to the challenges of providing water to the West."

Michael L. Connor was selected by President Barack Obama to serve as the 18th Commissioner of Reclamation. He was sworn-in by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on June 1, 2009.

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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.