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Commentaries and editorials

Stebbings Named Northwest RiverPartners
Interim Executive Director

by Matthew Weaver
Capital Press, October 24, 2023

"I would encourage everybody who benefits from the lower Snake River dams
to be as vocal as the folks who would like to see them removed,"

-- Kurt Miller, executive director, Northwest RiverPartners

Adult Runs to Idaho of Salmon and Steelhead (1962-2022) counted at highest dam of their migratory route. Northwest RiverPartners has named Heather Stebbings its interim executive director until a permanent replacement for the departing Kurt Miller is found.

Stebbings departed the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association in August after 15 years, including the last two as executive director. She remained involved as a consultant amid ongoing federal mediation in long-running litigation over the fate of Snake River dams.

Neil Maunu replaced her as executive director at the waterways association.

Miller departs Nov. 30 to be the new executive director for the Northwest Public Power Association.

Stebbings begins at Northwest RiverPartners Nov. 15. She estimated it will take six weeks to three months to have a permanent director is in place.

She decided to leave the waterways association to become a consultant, and does not intend to seek the RiverPartners executive director position permanently, she said.

"I won't be looking for that type of full-time position," she said.

Stebbings said her first task will be meeting with Miller and the RiverPartners board to identify priorities.

"RiverPartners has been just a tremendous advocate for the river system as part of the mediation process," Stebbings told the Capital Press.

The federal mediation ends Oct. 31.

"As that unfolds in the next several weeks, I imagine that will play into what I'm working on there," Stebbings said.

Stebbings said her message to farmers while at Northwest RiverPartners will be the same as it was at the waterways association.

"We need your voice at the table, we need you to be active in support of the dams and river system, and all the different values they provide, from transportation to hydropower to irrigation to recreation," she said. "We need all those voices there in support of the river system. So keep fighting the good fight."

Related Sites
Failures to Incorporate Science into Fishery Management and Recovery Programs: Lessons from the Columbia River by James Lichatowich & Richard Williams, American Fisheries Society Symposium 2009

Matthew Weaver
Stebbings Named Northwest RiverPartners Interim Executive Director
Capital Press, October 24, 2023

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