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Anne Marie Emery
BHRA Executive Director


It is with great pride that the Bighorn River Alliance (BHRA) shares the many ways it takes lead to protect and preserve the Bighorn River through its first comprehensive annual report. This report will be a new addition to our annual membership and donor communications and will work to inform our supporters of the organization’s fiscal health, its annual accomplishments and programs, and mission-driven focus moving forward. We are thrilled to debut this new metric of growth with you!

When I began working as the organization’s first executive director, I accepted the position understanding the complex landscape in which the Bighorn flows, and the difficult position the organization was in as a result. At that time, there seemed to be more problems than solutions. The river was experiencing consecutive years of sustained, high river flows,  wild trout health and populations were declining, and the organization that people were turning to for help was struggling to respond due to limits in organizational capacity, donor support, and lack of river baseline data. However,  it is within the spaces of high water and hardship that tippet is tested, and good things rise. 

Fast forward to today, the BHRA has evolved into a respected organization comprised of a full-time staff, led in service by a talented board of directors, and supported by nearly 1,000 generous members nationwide. Together, the Alliance has organized in true benefit to the Bighorn River and its wild trout. This is due to generous donor after generous donor stepping up to invest in the Alliance and its growth, helping create a strong basis from which we can preserve and protect.   In result of this growth, BHRA perpetuates its mission into actionable, forward-thinking programs. From establishing long-term monitoring programs that track river health over time, to implementing large-scale restoration projects- such as Side Channel Reactivation- we work to build upon the resilience and knowledge base of the Bighorn River in care of today’s issues and tomorrow’s benefit.  Tomorrow matters. Since I started with the Alliance, I have encouraged its members, staff, contractors, and board members to think “for the future” when it comes to Bighorn River conservation. What actions taken today will position us to preserve and protect in the context of climate change, increased resource use, and competing interests? While these are tough discussions to have, the Alliance recognizes that through addressing hard topics, we work not only in the best interest of the river, but also in preservation of our donors’ legacies.As you wade through this report, we hope you experience pride at what you make possible.  More importantly, we hope you find security. Security in knowing that the waters and trout that are important to you and your experiences are being protected and preserved with a long-term vision that is in the care of all of us working together for the benefit of tomorrow.  You are the Bighorn River Alliance. 

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