CSPA is pleased to announce that CSPA’s Executive Director Bill Jennings has been elected to the California Outdoor Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2022.
Fighting to protect fisheries and water quality for over 25 years, Bill has chaired CSPA since 1988. He is a Board Member of the California Water Impact Network and Restore the Delta. Between 1995 and 2005, he served as Deltakeeper. He was a founder and Chairman of the Committee to Save the Mokelumne.
Bill has received numerous previous acknowledgments, including:
- The International Conservation Award from the Federation of Fly Fishers;
- The Director’s Achievement Award from the Department of Fish and Game;
- The Conservation Achievement Award from the California-Nevada Chapter of the American Fisheries Society;
- The Quality of Life Award from the Land Utilization Alliance; and
- The Delta Advocate Award from Restore the Delta.
In addition, the Outdoor Writers Association of California recognized Bill as Outdoor Californian of the Year, and the Delta Fly Fishers selected him as Fly Fisherman of the Year. His success in achieving the historic cleanup of Penn Mine on the banks of the Mokelumne River led to awards to both the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance and Committee to Save the Mokelumne by the California Water Policy IX Conference.
Under Bill’s leadership, CSPA has become a leading actor in California water policy and fisheries protection through “in-the-trenches” engagement with regulators. Over the past thirty years, CSPA has had a consistent presence, most often by Bill personally, in proceedings before the State Water Resources Control Board and regional water quality control boards. Bill’s insistence on technically competent advocacy, combined with his willingness to litigate to enforce standards and laws, has made CSPA a voice for anglers far greater than CSPA’s modest organizational structure would suggest.
Less known about Bill are the years he spent fly fishing and traveling in Yosemite and Yellowstone national parks, and many of the other major and not-so-major fishing and outdoor venues across the western United States. As with many of the most effective fisheries advocates, he is strongly motivated by personal connections to the places he defends.
To win induction into the California Outdoors Hall of Fame, nominees must be named on 60 percent of ballots. Voters include previous inductees and major figures in the outdoor industry. Anybody can nominate a candidate. To be considered, a candidate must meet two achievements. They must have: 1) have inspired thousands of Californians to take part in the great outdoors and/or conservation, and 2) taken part in a paramount scope of adventures.
Usually, the induction ceremony is held at the end of January. However, due to the ongoing COVID pandemic, it has been delayed. When a day and time for the induction ceremony is selected, CSPA will post an announcement.