2024 Conservation Grantee Named

Winchester Dam, photo by Native Fish Society

The Flyfisher Foundation met last month to score the applications for this year’s conservation grant. Foundation President Janet Arenz announced that this year’s grantee will be the Crag Law Center for their proposal to help fund their efforts to address the mismanagement of Winchester Dam on the North Umpqua River.  Per their application,  “Crag Law Center (Crag) is a nonprofit public interest environmental law center providing free and low-cost legal services to people working on the ground to protect our communities, wild places, and climate in the Pacific Northwest. Crag is legal aid for the environment.”

Crag has joined forces with a coalition of conservation and river advocacy groups including Native Fish Society, WaterWatch of Oregon, The Steamboaters, The North Umpqua Foundation, and Umpqua Watersheds to apply pressure via legal means to require the owners of the Winchester Dam to comply with state and legal laws regarding dam operation. The owners of the dam have violated multiple regulations, including last year’s disastrous dam repair work that resulted in the killing of more than a half million Pacific Lamprey.

The coalition’s ultimate objective is removal of Winchester Dam. The Flyfisher Foundation will grant Crag Law Center $20,000 for their work to help force the dam operators to follow the laws intended to protect the North Umpqua and its fish. This is the first time the Foundation has provided a grant to a law entity. You can read their proposal here to understand the importance of their work in taking negligent dam operators to task.