NFS Welcomes Jennifer Fairbrother's Return in an Exciting New Role!

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Welcome Back, Jennifer! Native Fish Society excitedly announces Jennifer Fairbrother's return in a new role!

In the note below, Jennifer outlines her new role, mission, and goals, inviting you to join hands in this collective effort for the future of our native fish and the homewaters we all love.

Dear Native Fish Friends,

I'm thrilled to share that I’ve returned from an extended family leave and am back working with the Native Fish Society team as we advocate for free-flowing rivers and abundant wild fish. In order to bring additional focus and capacity to our efforts and better leverage my policy expertise, I’ll be stepping into the newly formed role of Legislative and Policy Director! 

In the start of 2024, I'm eager to focus my efforts on two key areas: reforming operations at federally owned and operated dams in the Willamette basin, and serving as NFS's representative and advocate in the Oregon state legislature, including the upcoming short session.

Diving into Dam Reforms

For too long, outdated dam operations have hindered the health of native fish populations in the Willamette Valley. My goal is to work collaboratively with stakeholders to find solutions that meet the critical needs of the Willamette’s threatened spring Chinook salmon and winter steelhead. We must ensure these dams operate in a way that respects the ecological balance of the river and allows native fish to thrive.

We’re committed to moving the ball forward on removing hydropower production at these dams. This effort is crucial in shifting the balance towards more fish-friendly water management practices that prioritize fish passage. The tiny amount of power produced at these dams is coming at a huge cost to everyone, fish and people included. 

At the same time, I’ll be exploring ways we can support and minimize impacts to communities while we make the transition to more sustainable operations. And I’ll work to secure dedicated funding for the implementation of the upcoming Willamette Biological Opinion (BiOp) that will be the foundational plan for fish recovery in the basin. This strategic funding is essential for executing conservation actions that will stem the tide of decline and put the Willamette’s fish back on the road to recovery.

Making a Splash in the Legislature

In the halls of the Oregon State Capitol, I'll be a strong voice for native fish and the communities that depend on healthy waterways. I'll closely monitor legislation and policies that impact wild fish populations, advocate for science-based solutions, and work to advance policies that align with the NFS’s mission.

The upcoming short session this February presents a crucial opportunity to make meaningful progress. I'm excited to engage with legislators, stakeholders, and community members to champion policies that safeguard the future of native fish in Oregon.

Our Fish and Rivers Need You! 

I'm deeply grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this vital work. But the NFS team can’t do it alone. We’ll need your voice as we advocate with legislators and decision-makers. Together, we can create meaningful change. 

Our work is more than just conservation; it’s about fostering a relationship between people and the natural world that is respectful, sustainable, and deeply rooted in the understanding of our interconnectedness.

I am eager to embark on this new phase of the journey with all of you, drawing strength from our shared passion for the wild rivers and the native fish of the Pacific Northwest. Let us continue to work together, advocate fiercely, and be the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.


In solidarity and with great hope for the future,

Jennifer Fairbrother


P.S. I encourage you to stay connected with the Native Fish Society through our email list, website, and social media so that you can stay apprised of upcoming opportunities to show up and speak out on behalf of our wild fish and rivers.

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