Keith Shein

Cameron, Montana

Biography

I've been fishing the Madison River for over 30 years. Two years ago, I retired from full-time work as a teaching tennis professional, and my wife also retired. We realized a life-long dream of living in Montana and built a small, second home. Both my wife and I are writers, she working in short fiction, and I write poetry.

Why do you want to be on the Board of Directors for the Madison River Foundation?

To help protect and enhance the river.

What makes our mission meaningful to you?

The MRF has a mission statement to protect the river and the fishery. I'm an advocate of that goal.

What experience would you bring to the MRF board?

I've served on an HOA board and I've run a small business. I was self-employed all my working years and know what it means to be organized and competent. My over thirty years of fishing the Madison has only made me fall more deeply in love with it.

What interests you about our organization? Which aspect of our organization interests you most?

I am attracted to the independent, non-profit status of the MRF, situating it perfectly to be an advocate for the river and the environment.

What is your favorite project the foundation has worked on and why?

Three Dollar Bridge restoration and new walk-in access. These projects exemplify how the MRF can take meaningful steps toward restoring the river's health and increasing river access to anglers.

Do you support Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks recommendations for the Madison River Recreation Plan? Why or why not?

Yes, wholeheartedly and without equivocation. The river is being overfished and crowded by guides and anglers. Unchecked, commercial greed will push the river and the fishery to a breaking point. With no ability or expressed desire to regulate their own use, restrictions are absolutely necessary to protect the river's fish and the enjoyment of wade anglers who are crowded by the thousands of boats each season.

Do you support walk-in wade only sections on the Madison River? Why or why not?

Yes. There should be a section of the river that is wade only. The business model of the guides and outfitters are untenable, refusing any restriction on use and hopeful to increase use. Even if restrictions are applied, there will still be a great number of float trips per season, and it won't take too much time for commercial clients to realize that being the second, third, or even the fourth boat drifting a run is not going to offer good fishing. Clients will complain and guides will do the obvious: fish the wade-only section where there currently isn't much traffic, promising clients less contested fishing. No, let the guides keep to the portions of the river they currently crowd.

Do you believe that the fishery will be impacted by overuse?

Yes. It already has.

How important is advocacy on local, state, and federal policies to you?

Only to the extent that advocacy is toward the end of protecting the environment.

What experience do you have with fundraising?

None.

How would you plan to increase fundraising for the Foundation as Board of Director?

I'm not an expert on this.

How much time a month can you commit to meetings and serving the mission of the Foundation?

Whatever is required.