Updated at 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 27, 2023
The natural resources community, along with many others, is feeling the heavy loss of Frank “Larry” Cassidy Jr., former Washington Game Commission member and northwest conservationist.
Cassidy was appointed to the Washington Game Commission, which became the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, in 1973 and served for 12 years. He spent four years as Commission Chair. Cassidy also served as a member of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council for 10 years and served as a U.S. commissioner for both the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission and the Pacific Salmon Treaty. He was a founding member of the Washington Anglers for Conservation Political Action Committee, a super PAC that supports fish- and wildlife-friendly candidates for public office in Washington.
Cassidy’s work laid the foundation for the Northwest Power Act, which put power generation and fish restoration on equal footing, created the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, and, to this day, directs some proceeds from power generation at dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers to work to restore fish and wildlife populations impacted by the federal dams. Larry's political influence was also felt at the Washington state level; several Governor's sought his advice on natural resource issues and demonstrated their confidence in him through appointing him to his many Commission and Council seats.
In 2021, Larry and his wife, Marilou, donated a piece of land on the Grande Ronde River to WDFW. The parcel adjoins the popular Snyder Bar public water access area and Cassidy was happy to see it become public so that others could enjoy the river as much as he did. At that time, we at WDFW had the privilege of sitting down with him to learn more about his work and some of his adventures on the Grande Ronde.
Cassidy remained active in various fish and wildlife organizations up until his passing on Jan. 19. It is difficult to match his commitment to not only fish and wildlife, but to those that appreciate the resource, Washington state, and the Grande Ronde River that he loved so much.