Former WDFW Commissioner Donates Acreage Along Grande Ronde
THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
A donation of land by Larry and Marilou Cassidy is providing improved access to the Grande Ronde River in southeast Washington for members of the public.
Cassidy, a western Washington resident with property in Asotin County, has a long history of conservation and public service in our state. His property that adjoins the popular Snyder Bar public access area, managed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), had been in his family since 1979. Cassidy has long allowed members of the public to use the site to access the river but recently decided to donate the land when property line questions arose.
“I said, ‘I’m not sure (about the property lines) either, but I’ll tell you what. I’ll make it easy on you’,” Cassidy said. “I’ll give you the property. And so, we decided to donate it.”
Today, that land is known as Cassidy Hole and a plaque has been mounted on a large boulder along the shore of the river to recognize the contribution. Cassidy’s donation is significant for the unique access it provides to the Grande Ronde River for people, especially those fishing.
“It’s elbow to elbow here during the steelhead season,” Cassidy said. “It’s a very popular spot. There isn’t much else to access the river in this area.”
Cassidy served 12 years on the Washington Game Commission- which later became the Washington State Fish and Wildlife Commission– between 1973 and 1985. He also spent ten years on theNorthwest Power and Conservation Council and recounts a conversation with Rep. John Dingell, a Democrat from Michigan, from when he was on the commission.
“On our way up the highway, he said, what’s the answer to this fish issue?,” Cassidy said, referring to the loss of fish to hydroelectric dams. “I said, if we don’t do something about it- we don’t make fish equal to the generation of power- we’re going to lose them. It’s just that simple.”
That conversation contributed to improvements to the Northwest Power Act protecting, mitigating and enhancing fish and wildlife of the Columbia River Basin affected by the construction and operation of hydroelectric dams while providing for adequate, efficient, economical, and reliable electric power supply for the Pacific Northwest.
Cassidy is still active in various fish and wildlife organizations today. When he can, he also still enjoys time in southeast Washington and on the Grande Ronde River.
“We are extremely grateful to Mr. Cassidy for this donation. He has spent a lifetime devoted to the conservation of fish and wildlife in Washington and throughout the Pacific Northwest,” said WDFW Eastern Region director Steve Pozzanghera. “This exemplifies his love of our natural resources and his support for the people that enjoy them and is just one of his many acts of selflessness.”
“It’s a beautiful place,” Cassidy said. “We’ve had a lot of adventures on the Grande Ronde River.”
Cassidy shares some of those adventures and memories, as well as thoughts on his years of conservation work, in a new WDFW video.