The Wild Steelhead Coalition is excited to announce that Lee Spencer has been awarded the 2018 Wild Steelhead Coalition Conservation Award. Unfortunately, we were not able to present this award to Lee in person. However, he was honored in absentia at The North Umpqua Foundation Annual Fundraising Dinner at the Steamboat Inn on October 20th. Copied below is the text of the speech read announcing Lee as the winner of this prestigious award.
Thank you for providing the opportunity for the Wild Steelhead Coalition to participate in your special event tonight. As lovers of wild steelhead, we are all kindred spirits in the future of these majestic wild fish and the spectacular places that nourish them such as the North Umpqua River. Your unwavering commitment to wild steelhead conservation and care for your river continues to be an inspiration to us and the impact of your tireless work resonates throughout steelhead country.
The Wild Steelhead Coalition is a grassroots organization founded by a dedicated group of conservation minded anglers concerned about the future of wild steelhead with a life size mission to increase the return of wild steelhead to waters of the West Coast.
Tonight, we are thrilled to recognize Lee Spencer, someone who embodies the virtues of the North Umpqua Foundation and Steamboaters, and honor him with the Wild Steelhead Coalition “Conservation Award.” This award is presented to an individual or group that, through their actions, have made significant and noteworthy contributions to the protection and propagation of wild steelhead. In receiving this award, Lee joins an exclusive group of steelhead conservation leaders that includes the venerable Frank Moore, Bill Bakke, Shane Anderson, and Bill McMillan.
Of the many steelhead conservation leaders doing critical work throughout the West Coast, Lee was selected by the Wild Steelhead Coalition’s board because of his tremendous contribution to wild steelhead protection in the North Umpqua and his unmatched dedication to the Big Bend Pool on Steamboat Creek. Through his years of stewardship and noteworthy observations of wild steelhead behavior, Lee was not only able to pen his seminal book “A Temporary Refuge” but also provided much needed refuge for the North Umpqua’s invaluable summer steelhead run.
Lee’s demeanor and unselfish attitude to share his knowledge and observations with kindness is exemplary in all who visited Steamboat Creek. In this world fraught with countless conservation challenges, there are some who speak up, fewer who act, and only a handful who do both. Fortunately for all of us, Lee Spencer has dedicated his life to both speaking and acting. Through his printed words and years of devoted action, Lee has been an educator, a champion for wild steelhead, and an inspiration for a new generation of steelhead advocates. The North Umpqua and the world are better places thanks to Lee’s selflessness as well as his dedication to wild fish and the waters they inhabit.
As a small token of our gratitude for Lee’s leadership and steadfast commitment, the Wild Steelhead Coalition is proud to provide a donation of $1,000 to the North Umpqua Foundation in Lee’s name and wishes. We hope you join us in celebrating Lee’s tremendous legacy as Lee’s good friend Tim Goforth accepts this honor on Lee’s behalf.
Sincerely with a better future for wild steelhead.
The Wild Steelhead Coalition
Founding Board Member