After leaving Crag, Chuck Brushwood, a former intern, became a Fish and Wildlife Policy Analyst for the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. He is working to protect native fish, their habitats, and healthy aquatic ecosystems.
Chuck Brushwood’s interest in environmental law grew out of his love for wild landscapes and wild critters. He grew up playing in the woods, lakes, and rivers and is passionate about doing what he can to enjoy and protect what’s left of these special places. Chuck learned about Crag when Ralph Bloemers came to his law school to talk about the work Crag was doing to protect public lands, fish and wildlife, and livable communities. The specific areas of environmental law that Chuck was and still is passionate about are water law, wildlife law, and public lands law and policy.
The main projects Chuck worked on during his time at Crag related to sustainable development, Measure 37, coastal law, and National Forest protection and management. “Crag taught me that the most effective advocates are passionate about their work and that working hard doing what you believe in can be incredibly rewarding.” There is one key takeaway from his time at Crag, a bit of advice that Ralph gave him and that he is reminded of from time-to-time. Chuck paraphrased: “it is better to under-promise and over-perform than the other way around.” Chuck says it seems obvious but it’s surprisingly under-applied in his experience.
After Chuck left Crag he graduated from the Willamette University College of Law in 2008, took and passed the Washington State Bar, was admitted to practice law, and in the spring of 2009 was hired by the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation as a Fish and Wildlife Policy Analyst, a position he still occupies. In his current role, Chuck works on a variety of fish and wildlife-related issues with a particular focus on the federal Endangered Species Act and salmon and steelhead recovery. Over the past six years he has worked on a number of projects and efforts but highlights include having negotiated and drafted a long-term water lease agreement with an irrigation district to restore instream flows for the benefit of Endangered Species Act listed steelhead, worked with the National Marine Fisheries Service to facilitate the Tribes’ reintroduction of ESA-listed spring Chinook into historic habitats in the Okanogan River where they had been extirpated, and helped to implement a number of aquatic and riparian habitat quality improvement projects. Since the fall of 2009 he has also served as Board President of the Cascade Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group, a small nonprofit dedicated to native fish, protecting and improving their habitat, and community outreach and education about the importance of healthy aquatic ecosystems.
Chuck loves living in rural north-central Washington where he enjoys hiking, mountain biking, fishing and hunting, and cross-country skiing. He also enjoys gardening and raising a few chickens and goats on his little farmstead. Chuck is especially enthusiastic about whitewater rafting having recently rowed a 16-foot raft down the Wild and Scenic section of the Snake River. He’s currently scheming with his compatriots to make a Middle Fork, Main Salmon, or Colorado River trip happen in the relatively near future.
McKenna Ganz is a pre-law junior at Duke University. She interned with the Crag Law Center in the summer of 2015 as part of the Duke Engage Portland program. She is majoring in Global Culture, Media, and Political Conflict with minors in Economics and Global Health.