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Kyle Smith

Snake River Director

Background: Kyle joined American Rivers in 2022 where he leads the development and implementation of American Rivers’ strategy to recover the lower Snake River through the removal of four federal dams.  Having grown up and attended college in Eastern Washington, Kyle has a deep connection with the lower Snake River basin and is committed to finding durable salmon recovery and river restoration solutions.

Prior to American Rivers, Kyle served as the Community Engagement Coordinator for the Oregon Department of Forestry, where he played a senior leadership role creating strategies to improve outreach and strengthen partnerships, and co-chaired ODF’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council. Before that, Kyle was Oregon Field Coordinator with Trout Unlimited, where he was part of a coalition that passed the Oregon Wildlands Act which created the 30,000-acre Devil’s Staircase Wilderness and protected over 250 new Wild and Scenic River miles across the state. 

Kyle is an avid angler and hunter, with a passion for following bird dogs over steep, rocky country in search of Alectoris chukar.


  • BS in Environmental Science and Regional Planning from Washington State University (Go Cougs!)
  • Masters of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University in the City of New York
  • Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Oregon

Favorite River: How do you choose just one?!  Grande Ronde, Snake, McKenzie, Elk River

Favorite River Story: All my best stories involve rivers and are best related over a campfire and a cold beverage.