Our mission

Basalt to Breakers is a locally based nonprofit focused on Oregon Native Trout conservation. We pursue conservation through our three core values: Education, Engagement, and Exploration. Each of our initiatives apply these three core values to help our communities access these fisheries and protect the resources required for our fisheries to be preserved for the future.

Our vision

Our core values are focused on Education, Engagement and Exploration. Through these values we aim to create a more sustainable future for Oregon's Trout Fisheries. As anglers, ecologists and stakeholders, we believe our approach to encouraging connection will create a significant long-term difference in the future of angling and resource management within Oregon and beyond.

green trees beside river during daytime
green trees beside river during daytime

Like everything else, we started as an idea

Our story starts with our Executive Director, Max McCool. Max is an Oregon Native that grew up fly fishing the diversity of rivers Oregon has to offer. While fishing throughout the Western US one summer, he noticed that many states had already established Native Trout Challenges to display their fishing opportunities, and aid in conservation. Given his background as an ecologist, and his passion for fly fishing, Max established Basalt to Breakers to help promote the great fisheries of Oregon, and aid in the long term conservation of native trout we all love. After reaching out to a few people to help support the vision of Basalt to Breakers, we established fiscal sponsorship with the Oregon Wildlife Foundation - a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization - to help make the challenge a reality. Currently we are expecting to formally launch the challenge in early 2024. Be sure to follow us on social media for updates.

green trees on mountain near body of water during daytime
green trees on mountain near body of water during daytime

Meet our Executive Director

Max McCool

Max is an Oregon Native that grew up fly fishing the diversity of rivers Oregon has to offer. He first learned to fly fish at 4 years old and 20 some years later, is still just as passionate about it. He has spent many summer fly fishing throughout the Western US with his family and enjoys working to protect Oregon native trout. He has been involved in conservation work for years, working with government regulators and individuals to create policies aimed to promote engagement and sustainability for the future.

Max holds his B.S. in Environmental Management from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and is currently completing his M.S. in Environmental Science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. In his previous roles, he has worked with agricultural professionals, academics, corporate sustainability teams and landowners to create a more sustainable future.

In his free time, you can find him tying flies, waist deep in some Oregon river, watching college football, or playing with Pismo - his dog and adventure friend.

Max McCool

Executive Director

- Additional Team Member descriptions coming soon

Indigenous Land Acknowledgment

Given Basaslt to Breakers' focus on recreation and Oregon's native ecosystems, we want to formally acknowledge the indigenous tribes and bands that have been with the lands that we inhabit today throughout Oregon and the Northwest since time immemorial and continue to be a vibrant part of Oregon today. We would like to express our respect to the First Peoples of this land, the nine federally recognized tribes of Oregon: Burns Paiute Tribe, Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua & Siuslaw Indians, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation, Coquille Indian Tribe, Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Tribe of Indians, and The Klamath Tribes. We also express our respect for all other displaced Indigenous peoples who call Oregon home. We acknowledge that our challenge operates throughout the traditional homelands of these tribes and recognize and honor the ongoing legal and spiritual relationship between the land, plants, animals, and people indigenous to this place we now call Oregon. The interconnectedness of the people, the land, and the natural environment cannot be overstated; the health of one is necessary for the health of all. We commit to engaging in a respectful and successful partnership as stewards of these lands.