Patsy Ishiyama - CAST Profile
Although I’m a California native, I think of my home water as the Henry’s Fork in Idaho, where I’ve gone for years with my family. I started fly fishing here in the early 1990s, and it was in these waters that I came to understand that standing knee-deep in a river, birds circling overhead, could change your perspective on what matters in the world.
My love of this place led me to Trout Unlimited. When I first started fishing, I kind of took our trout streams and rivers for granted. I didn’t realize how fragmented and degraded many of our rivers had become.
I view trout and salmon as our indicator species. And no matter how you look at it, trout and salmon face a precarious future in the West, due to drought, climate change and other pressures. Unless we act—and act now—we could lose 40 percent of our habitat for trout by the end of the century, according to some models of climate change.
The next 10 years are critical, scientists tell us. This is where the rubber hits the road for conservation organizations. TU, in my view, has quietly been one of the best models for bringing stakeholders together—landowners, ranchers, agencies and local communities—to figure out cooperative, pragmatic solutions. TU brings grassroots leaders, smart staff and rigorous science to bear on issues, whether it’s restoring home waters, protecting public lands, or navigating the complexities of water policy.
Time and again, I’ve seen dedicated TU staffers and volunteers break down barriers and win over skeptical partners. It gives me hope that we can move past the bitter conflicts that have played out on the Klamath River in my home state, and so many other places nationwide, and find collaborative solutions that work for people and fish.
If any organization can make that happen, it’s TU.
The CAST campaign is a bold initiative that builds on 50 years of success and dramatically expands TU’s ability to take action on rivers across the country. I’m proud to be a part of this landmark effort, and to stand alongside the thousands of TU volunteers who are quietly reminding the world that the conservation movement began with anglers and hunters working to protect the places they know and love.