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Board of Directors

bios of WFC board members



Graham MacKenzie, President

Graham has been a long-time supporter of Washington Trout/The Wild Fish Conservancy.  His interests in fish conservation began in the mid to late 1980’s.  He received a B.S in Zoology from Western Washington University in 1996 focusing on aquatic entomology and an M.S in Forest Ecosystem Science in 2001 when the Center for Streamside Studies existed within the College of Forest Resources at the University of Washington.  His work there focused on the transfer of marine derived nutrients from Coho salmon carcasses to caddisfly larvae via the Oomycetes (water molds) that colonize dead and dying salmon.  Graham has since worked at Weyerhaeuser as an aquatic biologist responsible for the company’s stream typing program in Washington State.  He has extensive experience conducting juvenile salmonid population and habitat surveys for both internal and cooperative research purposes.  Having a personal connection to people with disabilities, he currently works for the Auburn School District as a special education paraprofessional.

Graham has been an avid fisherman all his life and enjoys salmon and steelhead angling of various techniques.  His keen awareness of the dynamic nature of riverine systems has allowed him to be successful in these endeavors.  Aside from fishing in both fresh and saltwater, Graham also enjoys music, an occasional opera, tinkering with vintage Volkswagens and gardening.


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Hugh H. Lewis, Secretary/Treasurer

Hugh Lewis is an avid conservationist and a founding member of Wild Fish Conservancy. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California and obtained a law degree from the George Washington University. He has retired from the practice of law and now spends much of his time working on conservation issues affecting fish, birds and the natural environment. He lives with his wife in Bellingham, Washington, where he also builds bamboo fly rods, plays jazz flute and enjoys spending time with his grandson.



Candace Beardslee

Candace Beardslee is an internationally recognized artist/metalsmith. She is a founding member of Wild Fish Conservancy and was a founding member and past Trustee and Conservation Chair of Northwest Women Flyfishers. She has served on City of Duvall committees overseeing sewer issues and Comprehensive-Plan revisions, as an appointed member of the Washington Fisheries Management Task Force, served on the citizens advisory committee for the 2006 King County Flood Hazard Management Plan, and was chair of the Seattle Metals Guild Symposium committee for several years.

Candace received a BA in art education from Central Washington University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Washington. In addition to her board duties, she designs the Wild Fish Journal, the annual newsletter of the Wild Fish Conservancy, and is a full-time studio artist. She lives in Duvall with her husband Kurt.



Dr. Stephen Conroy

Dr. Steve Conroy is a Senior Ecologist with the King County Department of Transportation where he directs fish passage restoration projects, conducts research on the reconstruction of steep stream reaches, and provides biological support in policy and regulation development. Dr. Conroy has been a researcher at Case Western Reserve University, the University of Washington, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He has been a Senior Ecologist with the King County Department of Development and Environmental Services, and a past Director of Science and Research at Wild Fish Conservancy.

Dr. Conroy earned an Honors degree in Biochemistry and his PhD in protein chemistry from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. He has authored peer-reviewed scientific/biomedical publications as well as articles about ecology and wild-fish conservation.



Vance Jennings

Vance Jennings is an avid outdoorsman, angler, and conservationist. He has been teaching English and theatre for the Naches Valley School District for over 20 years, and has maintained a long-term involvement with the Warehouse Theatre Company in Yakima, Washington. Vance earned a BA in Education in English and an MA in Education as a Reading Specialist from Central Washington University, and holds an administrative credential from Heritage College. He lives in Yakima with his wife, Sandy.


Dr. Skalski

Dr. John R. Skalski

John Skalski is a fish and wildlife biometrician who looks for statistically rigorous ways to study the effects that humans can have on natural systems. His methods have been used to do everything from assess the health of salmon populations to determine the impacts of nuclear energy installations, wind facilities, hydroelectric projects, oil spills, and coal fire plants on fish and wildlife communities, and have led to regulatory changes in both the oil industry and commercial fisheries.

Dr. Skalski’s research interests include assessing anthropogenic effects on wild populations by using carefully crafted field experiments, advanced demographic analysis, and modern advances of animal tagging studies. These efforts involve interdisciplinary teams of biologists, engineers, resource managers, and biometricians working collaboratively to resolve important and often very costly resource management programs.

Dr. Skalski is the co-founder of Columbia Basin Research. He and the CBR staff possess extensive experimental and impact assessment experience, population modeling, demographic analysis, and over 40 years of experience analyzing complex environmental data. CBR has led the field in developing advanced statistical capabilities and software that improve the precision, cost effectiveness, and interpretation of large-scale impact assessment and demographic studies of mobile species.

In addition to his research, Dr. Skalski has a distinguished record of public service, having designed experiments and developed sampling protocols for many state, federal, and First Nation governmental studies. He is a professor emeritus at the University of Washington and a member of the American Statistical Association, the Wildlife Society, and American Fisheries Society.

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Dr. Jack Stanford

Jack Stanford is Professor Emeritus at the Flathead Lake Biological Station of The University of Montana, where he has worked since 1972. He has graduated 13 PhD and 28 MS students and published over 220 scientific papers. Professor Stanford is most noted for his long-term studies

in the 18,200 km 2 Flathead River-Lake Ecosystem in Montana and British Columbia that demonstrated the 4 dimensional nature of rivers, ecological connectivity of aquatic systems, and food web cascades caused by introduction of nonnative species. In 1999 Dr. Stanford began long term research on a suite of observatory salmon rivers in Kamchatka, Argentina, Alaska, and Washington, Montana and British Columbia. The research focuses on cross-site comparisons of salmon and steelhead phenology, adaptation and productivity and relationships with brown bears and other consumer species. Professor Stanford has served on many national and international science review panels and editorial boards concerning issues such as climate warming, endangered species and water quantity and quality. He was elected a Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science in 2000. In 2004 Professor Stanford received the Award of Excellence of the Society for Freshwater Science, and in 2011 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for River Science. He resides on the Twisp River, Washington, with wife, Bonnie.


JimJim Lichatowich

Jim Lichatowich worked for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife for the first half of his career holding positions of Chief of Fisheries Research and Assistant Chief of Fisheries. In 1991 he became an independent consultant. Since1991, he has served on ten independent scientific review panels covering a geographical range from the Skeena River In British Columbia to the Sacramento River. He served for ten years on the Independent Scientific Review Panel and four years on Oregon’s Independent Multidisciplinary Science Panel. In addition to several peer reviewed papers and book chapters, Jim has written two books: Salmon without Rivers: A History of the Pacific Salmon Crisis and Salmon, People, Place: A Biologists Search for Salmon Recovery.


Dr. Richard N. Williams

Rick Williams is a fisheries ecologist and Research Associate in the Department of Biology at The College of Idaho. His research and consulting activities focus on the conservation of native steelhead, redband, and cutthroat trout in western North America.

Rick has been active in Columbia River salmon recovery issues since 1987. Rick and colleagues published a book on Pacific salmon recovery (Return to the River 2006) that describes the century-long decline of Columbia River salmon and steelhead and proposes a new approach to their restoration

Rick is a Life member of Fly Fishers International (FFI) and Trout Unlimited (TU). He serves as the Senior Conservation Advisor for FFI and is a certified Master Casting Instructor (1998) and a Two-Hand (Spey) Casting Instructor (2007).  Rick is also active in Scouting, serving as Eagle Advisor in a Boise troop, as the Western Region Conservation Representative, and as a member of the National Hornaday Committee and National Conservation Task Force.

Rick and his family (Shauna, 20-year old Christopher, and a black Labrador) live in Eagle, Idaho. Family interests include hiking, river rafting, and trout fishing in the summer, steelhead fishing and bird hunting in the fall, and skiing and bonefishing in the winter months.

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