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Longtime CELP Friend John Hollowed Passes



By Steve Robinson

John Hollowed, a longtime friend of CELP, passed away on February 21, 2023. I worked with John for more than 30 years. His role as Senior Policy Analyst at the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission was jam packed with achievements in environmental protection and restoration, particularly in water management. I often called on him for support in my efforts as a state and federal lobbyist and tribal public relations manager. I referred to him frequently as my “go to water guy.” He never let me down.

John was highly intelligent and devoted to environmental work. More importantly, he was a great family man. A husband. A father. A brother. A grandfather. He was my spiritual brother, and I will miss him. At the same time, I know his work will have positive impacts for many years to come. His coordination with and support for CELP, for example, will long be remembered.

John was born on May 10, 1957, and grew up in Itasca, Illinois. His mother passed away when he was 12, so his five brothers and sisters became his primary support group. He was a multi-sport star athlete in high school and, with his sights set on achieving a strong education he earned a degree in biology from the University of Illinois, a master of science degree in oceanography from Old Dominion University and a law degree from Seattle University.

He was an amicable, well-traveled guy. When he and the love of his life, Anne, settled in Seattle he thought he was in heaven. And when he served as fisheries manager for the Yakama Nation he found his niche. He was on a solid path as an absolutely fearless supporter of tribal rights, ultimately joining the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission. He became a world class environmental advocate for both land and water protection and restoration.

A key example of his extraordinary service reached the United States Supreme Court in 2018 when the high court affirmed a decision made by the Ninth Circuit. It was the environmental facet of the U.S. v. Washington Decision known as the Culvert Case. It was John’s vision and research that helped make that happen. And it was a decision that will lead to enduring environmental protections for generations to come.

At NWIFC he served as Director of Habitat Services, Senior Policy Analyst and legal advisor. But such titles always paled in comparison to the good he did. He was a giant in his chosen profession.

John and Anne raised their children to appreciate the natural world as much as they have. He was a great outdoorsman. He loved to hike, camp, fish, hunt, and ski, but more than anything else, he loved to sail. He considered the San Juan Islands one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and he sailed there often. He was a true Northwesterner who touched the lives of many, many people.

He is survived by his wife Anne; three children, three grandchildren, his five siblings and a large extended family. He was preceded in death by his parents Robert and Maureen Hollowed.

May he rest in peace.

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