Trout Unlimited’s Conservation Heroes in Oregon

Following on the latest post from Kyle… this comes from Tom Wolf, Chair/Executive Director of the Oregon State Council of TU.

As many of you know, The Tualatin chapter Trout Unlimited , lead by their conservation director Michael Ellis, last year started a drive to collect Christmas trees and then deliver them down to the coast to place in off-channel projects in the Necanicum river basin. They did fairly well and continued the program this last holiday season. The improvement in numberof tress was very encouraging and they picked up some good press on the event. An editor with the magazine “Field and Stream” got a hold on this story , took great interest in it and decided to make the projects leader, Michale Ellis, “Field and Stream” Conservation hero of the month for April. And I applaud and congratulate Michael-his work on the coast , especially with this Christmas tree project, has been amazing. He has committed himself selflessly to the coastal work. He is a great Oregon TU hero.


His award got me to thinking, that though it is great that a TU member from Oregon is going to be featured in a national outdoor magazine, I should mention many other great TU heroes in this state. Just a few I might name are-

Dick Hollenbeck, Clackamas chapter president and Oregon Council vice-chair. To mention all that Dick has done over the last several years would take a long email but to name a few are, leading the State Council Restoration Project efforts, help drive and lead the Clackamas chapter/Oregon Council youth camp every summer, being TU’s representative on PGE Clackamas Fish committee, lead the Clackamas chapter in restoration on the basin, in charge of TU booth at the Sportsman show and much , much, much more.

Terry Turner, Clackamas chapter officer and State Council secretary. Terry is a co-leader on the OCTU/Clack chapter youth camp, is the TU representative in working on restarting Salmon Watch, maintains Oregon Council website, helps with Oregon Council state project, helps with chapter work-whatever the council or chapter is doing, Terry is there to help.

Jeff Horton- Clackamas chapter officer- Jeff helps with the state project , kid’s fishing camp, is one of the 2 co-leaders of Clackamas/Tualatin chapter outings, and is always available for any chapter or council event.

Mike Gentry- Tualatin chapter president and OCTU board member- Mike has effectively lead the chapter the last few years, especially as the chapter has committed to leading the TU projects on the caost. He also was the chair of the Oregon Council banquet/auction at TU Annual meeting in Bend in 2011, a very successful event.

Hank Hosfield, Tualatin chapter board member and past president of the chapter. Hank has been heavily involved in TU cahpter events for the last 12 years and has been very instrumental in making the Tualatin chapter the dynamic success it is today.

Jim Fenner, Oregon Council Treasurer and Tualatin chapter board member. Jim has been a hard working member of the Oregon Council and Tualatin chapter, who within the last 2 years taken on the difficult task of being the Oregon Council treasurer and all the myriad of duties that includes.

Dave Moldal, Tualatin chapter board member and Oregon Council advocacy director. Dave has stepped up to work with the council chair on strategy of Oregon Council during the 2013 Oregon Legislative session, helping to plan and lead TU’s work on our 2 top issues, a large-woody-debris bill and a suction dredge mining ban bill. He is also a vital board member of Tualatin chapetr, helping with redesigning their website.

Andy Andrews, Tualatin chapter board members. Andy has been a dynamic co-leader of Clackamas/Tualatin chapter outings, a vital link to bring new leadership into TU ranks in Oregon and provide important social needs for TU leaders. Andy’s fantastic cooking skills have also graced many of the outings, kid’s camp and Oregon Council state project helping to improve the quality of those events.

Ted Brownrigg, Deschutes chapter president and OCTU board member. Ted has lead the Deschutes chapter for several years now and has done a fantastic job of getting the Deschutes chapter more involved in local issues and working with Darek Staab, TU staff, on many restoration projects in the basin. Thanks to leadership of Ted and hard work of many of it’s members, the Deschutes chapter has become a conservation leader in the upper Deschutes basin.

Gabe Parr, Deschutes chapter officer. Gabe does outstanding work on website, Facebook and Twitter communication for the Deschutes chapter. He is avery adapt at all levels of communication and knows how to use them effectively for the cause of conservation. He also leads the Bend Casting Club, a vital way to reach a different demographic of fishers .

Michael Tripp, Deschutes chapter conservation officer and OCTU board member. Michael has been instrument on many environmental issues in the upper Deschutes basin. He is leading efforts to monitor and manage the city of Bend’s efforts to use Tumalo Creek as a water source. He has worked very hard with National staff on the Crooked river hydro power issues and other concerns. In short whatever conservation issue that effects salmonids in the basin, Michael is working on it.

Karl Mueller, Oregon NLC rep, McKenzie chapter president and OCTU board member. Karl has been the leader of many efforts in the upper Willamette area over the last several years. He has lead efforts to limit hatchery stocking on the McKenzie river and help in the recovery of wild spring chinook ,on the McKenzie also- the last viable population of wild spring chinook left in upper Willamette basin. He is also the point person in Eugene area for any conservation issue which comes up.

All these people, whose brief descriptions of the work they are doing doesn’t do them justice. And there are many other chapter/council leaders who I should name in commendation for the outstanding job they are doing: Dave Tenney, Ron Reinebach, Jerry Lorang, George Wilson, Erle Norman, Jeff Price, Bill Schoen, Philip Chang, Judith O’Keefe,Michael McLandess, Roger Rudolf, Herb Blank, Matt Stansberry, Cole Gardher, Paige Wallace, Todd Mullen, Moon and Monica Mullen, plus many, many more.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention past TU leaders such Alex Barkume, John Scherner, Eric Thompson, Rod Lundberg, and others who have helped make TU the power it is now in Oregon. And finally a specially acknowledgement to Paul Vitello, past Clackamas chapter president and OCTU vice-chair. Without Paul’s leadership and drive , OCTU would be a shadow of what it is today. When he moved back east, he took an unique presence we can never truly replace.

So all these people are heroes… heroes who may never be mentioned in national magazine but are champions of conservation work here in our wonderful state. No one will probably know them outside our small circle but they are true heroes none the less.

Better still, they are MY heroes.

-Tom Wolf

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