Last weekend, the Western Regional Meeting for Trout Unlimited was held at the Red Lion in Spokane, WA. As a first-time attendee of a regional meeting, the chance to meet TU staff and grassroots leaders from around the Western US was nothing short of inspiring. Over 70 chapter presidents, council chairs, and National Leadership Council reps made it to Spokane to reconnect and learn more about how to become a better grassroots volunteer for coldwater conservation.
Rob Masonis, Vice President for Western Conservation, gave an overview of Western TU, with the takeaway that TU is growing exponentially, and doing more for fish than ever before. Western TU staff positions have doubled since 2008 and Rob expects the organization to continue growing in the future.
Following Rob’s talk, TU Staff put on a number of informative and useful breakout sessions designed to help chapter leaders increase membership, recruit and train board members, attract diverse audiences to TU’s mission and goals, and plan and fund restoration projects. We also heard a number of updates on projects across the West, from Yellowstone Lake native trout conservation to TU’s role in taking down the Elwha dams. In all, the weekend was a great chance to connect with like minded conservationists, get caught up on TU’s activities, and gain inspiration and ideas to take home to our local chapters.
In the most recent issue of Trout, TU’s quarterly newsletter, President Chris Wood called on current TU members to resolve to double the organization’s membership over the next five years. As supporters of Trout Unlimited and all things coldwater conservation related, we urge readers of this blog to become members of TU and get involved with your local chapter. In the Eugene area, contact Karl Mueller, President of the McKenzie River and Upper Willamette River Chapter at firstname.lastname@example.org. Folks in the Corvallis area can contact Kyle Smith, President of the newly formed Blueback TU Chapter at email@example.com.