FFI Conservation Overview
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Conserving Resources
for All Fish, All Waters


Fly Fishers International is dedicated to the protection and conservation of aquatic habitats and fly fishing opportunities, and strategically partners with conservation organizations to create a stronger voice for all of us. FFI’s Conservation Committee, along with our members, clubs, and councils, take action at a national, state and local level that have a direct impact on important conservation issues. FFI continues to play a role in the preservation of Bristol Bay, the protection of the Boundary Waters, the restoration of the Florida Everglades, and conservation of countless other rivers, streams, estuaries, and ocean resources that our members enjoy across the globe.

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