Orrick Chairman and innovative tech attorney Mitch Zuklie doesn’t name favorites when it comes to extraordinary rivers: “If a Chinook or steelhead calls it home, I am happy to be there.”
But he does have a special affinity for Alaska. “The first time I visited Alaska, about 20 years ago, I simply could not believe its scale. The epic rivers, mountains, and estuaries. The numbers of fish. It was and remains magical to me,” says Zuklie. “It was all the more impactful because of where I grew up: Connecticut. That state is about 100 miles by 70 miles, and its largest state park is about 4,000 acres. I grew up fishing for brook trout with a 2 weight rod on small streams, a far cry from the Nushagak, Kvichak or Susitna.”
Mitch joined Wild Salmon Center’s board in 2016 not only for his love of Chinook and steelhead, but because he was drawn to the organization’s science-based approach, its focus on strongholds for wild fish, and WSC’s “willingness to both listen to, and partner with, other organizations.”
It’s natural to focus on what is most at risk. But it’s far more efficient to preserve what is not already broken.
Wild Salmon Center is lucky to have Mitch’s thoughtful perspective on the direction of our conservation work. “It’s natural to focus on what is most at risk. But it’s far more efficient to preserve what is not already broken… even if it’s much harder politically to galvanize and sustain support for this proactive approach.”
In addition to the prudent reasons for Mitch’s support of Wild Salmon Center, there’s a deeper, more emotional reason as well: “I have a daughter, Hannah, who just finished her first year in college. And a son, Angus, who is about to be a senior in high school. As a result, I think about the question of legacy for the next generation often,” says Zuklie. “I’d hope that our legacy will be to develop a thoughtful playbook for responsible development.”