FFI Conservation Overview
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Conserving Resources
for All Fish, All Waters


Founding members of Fly Fishers International understood that conservation of fishes and their habitats is fundamental to enduring opportunities to fly fish.  This vital need to conserve our natural landscapes…our lands and waters; habitats for fish, wildlife and ourselves …was and remains central to FFI’s commitment of preserving the fly fishing legacy.  Learn more about FFI's position on Public Lands and Waters.


Our Conservation Committee works with local clubs and councils; as well as, dozens of Conservation Partners to monitor environmental issues that may affect fishes and their habitats.  Each issue is evaluated from a scientific, economic and social perspective that is consistent with provisions of prevailing environmental law.  Our conclusions are provided as “public comment” where appropriate to assist public agencies in sound management and regulatory decision consistent with existing law.  We most importantly conduct these reviews and prepare comment in collaboration with our many Conservation Partners in order to speak soundly on behalf of science and the collective memberships and community we represent.  This provides a powerful voice for conservation and especially FFI members and community.

FFI's Conservation History 

Richard N. Williams, PhD

Several years ago, I was invited to contribute a chapter to a book exploring the relationship between fishing, particularly fly fishing, and conservation.  Sam Snyder, the book editor, knew of my work on salmon recovery and my previous book (Return to the River: Restoring Salmon to the Columbia River).

The resulting chapter examines the History of Conservation in FFI, its seminal role in the founding of FFI, its decline and rebuilding since 2000.  The book, released in late 2015 from the University of Chicago Press, is called Backcasts: Historical and Global Perspectives in Fly Fishing and Coldwater Conservation.

The chapter is my own view -- and occasionally opinions -- about FFI’s history relating to conservation.  I discovered many things during the writing of the chapter.  It has gone through several rounds of reviews, both within FFI, and from external reviewers, and has benefited from the reviews.  Please note FFI is referred to as FFF, which it was during the several years it took to write and submit the chapter.

Finally, the chapter benefited greatly from multiple interviews with Marty Seldon, Skip Hosfield, Ted Rogowski, Verne and Judy Lehmberg, Tom Jindra, Tom Logan, and Bob Tabbert, among others, all who have contributed greatly to IFFF’s conservation efforts and legacy.

I hope that you find the chapter interesting and even thought provoking.

Click here to download the full chapter. 

Questions may be directed to Dr. Williams by sending an e-mail to troutdna@gmail.com.

FFI Recognizes Contributors to Conservation

Fly Fishers International Awards Program has been developed to recognize those individuals, clubs and other organizations who have made outstanding contributions to the organization, our environment, fishery resources, angling literature and the fly tackle industry.  There are several conservation awards: 

  • FFI Leopold Conservation Award
  • FFI Conservation Award
  • Dr. James Henshall Warmwater Conservation Award

Click here to learn more about the awards process and criteria.


Please direct your inquiries to the FFI Conservation Coordinator.

E-mail:  conservation@flyfishersinternational.org

Telephone:  406-222-9369