Tille Bishop, former Mesa County commissioner receives Aspinall Award

The Colorado Water Congress honored Grand Junction resident Tillie Bishop, a former Mesa County commissioner and state lawmaker, with one of its highest awards Friday, the Wayne Aspinall Award.

“This is the highest award you can get within the water community,” Bishop said. “It’s a tribute to Wayne Aspinall for all his years of public service.”

Bishop said he was grateful to have his work during his 28 years in the state House and Senate recognized, including funding small water projects across the state.

“To have this come from the Colorado Water Congress and to be among some of the most distinguished people in the water community is a great, great honor,” he said.

Grand Junction City Council member Linda Romer Todd, who nominated Bishop for the honor, said he deserves it for all the work he has done throughout his public career to protect and conserve western Colorado water.

“Tillie really has achieved the honor of being a true water buffalo,” she said.

She said Bishop joins the ranks of former Rep. Ray Kogovsek, D-Colo., and Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, as winners of the award.

The award is named for Aspinall, who served in Congress from 1949 to 1973 and championed the construction of water projects. One of Aspinall’s most significant accomplishments in Congress was the 1956 Colorado River Storage Project Act. The bill created dam and water-reclamation projects throughout the West, including the Glen Canyon Dam, which created Lake Powell.

A memorial to Aspinall in Palisade bears one of his most famous quotes: “In the West, when you touch water, you touch everything.”


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