I’m a Self-Interested Conservationist at Heart


I admit it. I’m a self-interested conservationist. My love of fishing, whitewater boating and simply put, enjoying the joy brought by rivers. My desire to learn about everything from the life cycles of fish and wildlife, how, when and why aquatic bugs hatch, and the power of a river at flood stage to both destroy and create are all expressions of my self-interest.

I admit it. This self-interest led me down a path to want to passionately protect rivers. Sometimes it’s alright to do the right thing for the wrong reason. After eight years on this path for American Rivers in the Pacific Northwest, I was recently asked to take over as Director of our Go Wild! Initiative, which not only has the pithiest campaign name at American Rivers but strives to protect our most outstanding rivers nationwide.

We use tools like the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and the Clean Water Act. I feel privileged to take over this initiative because it is at the core of why American Rivers was founded 35 years ago this week, to take a stand and say some rivers are just too valuable and too beautiful to destroy.

We’ve come a long way in the past four decades, major obsolete dams are being removed such as Marmot Dam (watch the YouTube below) in Oregon and Milltown in Montana (Denver Post article), but unfortunately there is a wave of new threats to our best rivers nationwide.

New dams are on the drawing board (Divide Develops Over Dam). Logging proposals in our most cherished watersheds are in the pipeline (learn more: Save the Wild Rogue). Once again we need to stand up and say some rivers are just too valuable and beautiful to destroy.