Fisheries Lost a Champion, I Lost a Friend

Jim Crenshaw, longtime President of CSPA, suddenly and unexpectedly passed away Thursday, November 28.  He had spent Thanksgiving Day with family, the evening with close friends, returned home and passed in his sleep.  Jim’s death is a grievous loss to those of us at CSPA, his myriad friends and the environment.  Arrangements have not yet been finalized.

Jim had a zest for life and a passionate commitment for whatever he undertook.  He never did anything halfway: whether it was motorcycling racing, rugby, whitewater kayaking or fighting for fisheries and the environment; he was always fully committed.  And he traveled widely in pursuit of his passions.

A fly fisherman from the age of eight, Jim took over as President of CSPA from founder Roy Haile in 1981 and incorporated the largely volunteer organization in 1983.  Over the next four decades, he supervised CSPA’s involvement in literally thousands of formal water rights, water quality, hydropower, environmental review and rulemaking proceedings to protect fisheries.  He launched an enforcement campaign that led to more than seven hundred lawsuits to enforce environmental laws enacted to protect fisheries and water quality.  A campaign that resulted in cleaner waters, heathier fisheries and, since CSPA cannot accept penalty funds from enforcement efforts, more than eight million dollars directed to foundations for distribution to other worthy environmental organizations.

Mere words cannot describe what Jim Crenshaw meant to CSPA and to me.  He recruited me to CSPA in the mid-1980s and for more than thirty years served as a close friend, confidant, mentor and inspiration. He was an activists’ activist: loyal, contagiously funny and relentlessly fierce in protecting fisheries.  The environment had no better friend and its despoilers no greater foe than Jim Crenshaw.

CSPA extends its deepest sympathy to Jim’s family, including his sons William and David.  It is particularly tragic that Jim was a week or so away from experiencing the birth of his first grandchild.  Jim’s legacy will be cherished and serve as a beacon for CSPA’s continuing commitment to protect fisheries, water quality and the environment.

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