Even after more than four decades in wildlife conservation, I don’t have a lot of friends that put “conservationist” in the signature block of their emails. But Marshall Seedorff does. I like that. He says it’s something he takes a great deal of pride in. And he should. Marshall and Sammie Seedorff are straight-up conservationists. And they’re the owners of Wild Rivers Coffee Company in Dripping Springs, Texas.
From the get-go, Wild Rivers was about selling great coffee and supporting conservation. Marshall and Sammie partnered with 2% for Conservation, a great outfit in Manhattan, Mont. They took their belief in preserving wild places and wild things and made it part of the business model. So, with every bag of coffee they sell, a portion of the proceeds comes back to a specific conservation organization near and dear to their hearts. Buy a bag of their Signature Blend coffee beans with the trout on it and you’re giving to Trout Unlimited. Buy a bag of their Guatemalan coffee beans with the bear on it, you are giving to Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. You get the idea.
Their belief in the protecting, reconnecting, restoring and sustaining America’s watersheds runs deep. When I asked them about their own home waters, they were quick to point out the great (if limited) trout fishing on the Guadalupe River below Canyon Lake. But they were even quicker to point out that every water is somebody’s home water, and that they’d fished a host of American rivers and come to love each one of them. And that brought us to TU’s Lower Snake proposal.
When they heard about TU’s proposal, Marshall and Sammie immediately signed on in support. They had fished the Snake and knew its history and its potential. The Snake River is the largest tributary of the Columbia River, flowing more than 1,000 miles from its headwaters in Wyoming to the confluence with the Columbia at the Tri-Cities in Washington. The Snake Basin is home to 50 percent of the current cold-water habitat for Pacific salmon in all of the lower 48, and once produced 40 percent of the prized chinook salmon and over half of the steelhead in the Columbia River Basin. Now, salmon and steelhead runs returning to Idaho, above the four dams on the lower Snake River, aren’t strong enough to sustain their dwindling populations.
For a young family like theirs, the notion of losing salmon and steelhead runs in this iconic American river is simply unacceptable. These fish are too special, this place is too special for us to sit by and watch as these fish simply disappear. “Wild Rivers Coffee is with Trout Unlimited all the way on this proposal,” Marshall says. “We believe these fish are a legacy for our children and future generations of Americans to enjoy and pass on. That’s what conservation is all about.”
Wild Rivers Coffee Company
Marshall and Sammie Seedorff
Dripping Springs, TX 78620