Statement from Executive Director
I work for California Trout to make California a better place for my kids, and for future generations. Traveling throughout California, I bear witness to an incredibly diverse and resilient landscape. The many people I meet along the way, from all walks of life, share those attributes of diversity and resilience. These attributes of our landscape and our people are what make our state a remarkable place to live.
As CalTrout enters its 50th year, we will ensure that CalTrout’s diversity matches the diversity of our state and the benefits of our work accrue equitably to all Californians.
Essential to our success, the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion are front and center in all we do. I, our staff, and our Board are committed to the long journey ahead of listening, learning and growing as we make California and CalTrout better places for all.
- Curtis Knight, CalTrout Executive Director
CalTrout commits to take action relating to diversity, equity and inclusion to achieve a more equitable, sustainable and effective approach to natural resource management.
CalTrout advocates for the protection of California’s watersheds because abundant wild fish indicate healthy waters and healthy waters benefit all Californians. We acknowledge the history of conservation and water management in California is characterized by the inequitable distribution of power and influence. Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other marginalized communities have been disproportionally impacted by the exploitation of California’s water and natural resources.
CalTrout believes resilience—social, organizational, biological—depends on diversity. Our work is better served, and the world made a better place, if we all embrace a more equitable approach to conservation.
Solutions to California’s complex fish and water issues require a diverse set of problem solvers, including historically marginalized communities.
CalTrout will partner and engage with a diversity of people, cultural experiences, and perspectives— to learn and incorporate needs from all stakeholders, ultimately creating solutions that last generations because the benefits are equitably distributed.
Diversity, equity and inclusion will join our commitment to science, landscape scale on-the-ground restoration driven by natural resource policy legislation, advocacy as a fundamental pillar of our strategy.
We believe marginalized communities should not solely bear the burden of advocating for their needs. CalTrout commits our successful 50-year legacy, successful track record and future efforts to stand in solidarity with those communities.
We commit to put these principles into action, recognizing that our efforts may be imperfect, and the journey may be long:
- Fostering an organizational culture based on respect for each person; on equity where everyone is treated in a fair manner according to individual needs; and on diversity that values individual differences in the workplace;
- Building and maintaining diversity in our workforce and board of directors through recruiting and hiring best practices;
- Engaging a diversity of youth in natural resource advocacy to build sustainable solutions for future generations;
- Deepening our understanding of and engagement in marginalized communities in California to ensure that our policy, advocacy and conservation projects include their ideas, knowledge, values, and needs.
- Increasing our understanding of and engagement with California’s diverse tribes. We share essential interests with Indigenous communities related to water and fish. We will strive to build these relationships and engage at the conceptual phase of project planning to create a shared vision;
- Advocating as a thought leader in conservation to other conservation organizations: agency partners, landowners, and stakeholders to recognize the value of the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Promoting these principles in the broader angling community in particular, including participants, guides and vendors.