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We are TU: Meet Barbara Luneau

Barbara Luneau, Regional VP on the Colorado State Council.
All photos courtesy of Barbara Luneau

We care about clean water, healthy fisheries and vibrant communities. We roll up our sleeves to volunteer, we sit on our boards, and we strategize as members and leaders of staff. We want you to join us.  

Thanks to initiatives such as TU’s decades-old Women’s Initiative – now Diversity and Inclusion Initiative – and those of our partners, new groups have engaged in coldwater conservation and the sport of fly fishing. The aim of this blog series is to highlight these friends, in hopes of making many new friends of broad stripes. In this series you’ll meet people of diverse communities – our good ideas, what we have in common, and where we differ. Know someone we should feature? Nominate them here

Since it’s not possible to sit down and have coffee or spend an afternoon on the river to show you what we’re up to, a blog post will have to do. As you read, we hope you’ll consider joining us. We need your ideas to help make a bigger impact.   

Together, we’ll help protect the special places we love.   

Barbara’s nomination detailed a long list of activities she undertakes for TU. We were curious as to what motivates her to make time for all these events and responsibilities! Reviewing her answers, we’re moved by her motivations and convinced there’s a lot she can teach us.  

Introducing: Barbara Luneau. (Instagram @baluneau) 

Hometown/current town: Longmont, Colo. 

What’s your history with conservation? I grew up with a conservation ethic, and have always believed being a steward to the environment was important. I joined Trout Unlimited and started volunteering about 12 years ago. I have served as chapter secretary, president, and conservation chair. Through TU, I have engaged more directly in my community to be a voice for my home waters and contribute to restoration and water management issues. Currently I also serve as a regional vice president on the Colorado State Council and I am chairperson of our Headwaters (Youth Programs) Committee. I also serve as co-director of Colorado’s River Conservation and Fly Fishing camp.  

My present focus in conservation is mentoring youth and working to inspire the next generation of river stewards. 

I know better than to think things will take care of themselves, it’s our civic responsibility to engage and continue to protect what’s important to us.

Barbara Luneau

Briefly, what is your history with fishing? I moved to Colorado in 1987 and was first exposed to fly fishing then. I fished on and off for a number of years, but became serious about fly fishing in 2005 when faced with becoming an empty nester. I’ve been avid about fly fishing since then. My husband and I fish all over Colorado, and many places beyond. 

Describe one challenge you face & how do you overcome it. I think that my greatest challenge as a TU leader is inspiring leaders with a new face to step forward and take on expanded roles. I believe that if we want to be different, we have to look different from the top down. I’ve been addressing these challenges by seeking out people that don’t meet the typical TU profile and finding opportunities for them to engage that align with their personal goals and passions. I wouldn’t say I’ve overcome it, but I’m working on it. 

[Giving back] means doing the hard things, seeing a need, and using your skills to address the need while improving the organization for the next generation of leaders. 

Barbara Luneau

What does ‘giving back’ mean to you? For me giving back is having an impact that you don’t even realize. I see this all the time working with youth programs, particularly our camp for teens.  It means doing the hard things, seeing a need, and using your skills to address the need while improving the organization for the next generation of leaders. 

Describe a perfect day. A perfect day is taking my 4-year old grandson to the pond on a sunny afternoon and catching bluegills all day.  

What would you grab if your house was on fire? (Don’t worry! Your humans/pets are already safe!) I probably should grab my laptop and disks, but I’d probably grab my ukulele.  

If you could squeeze just one more thing into your regular routine, what would it be? More fishing days.  

What do you want to see in the future of Trout Unlimited or in conservation? I want to see TU continue to become a more diverse organization that is sought after as a conservation partner in home waters across the country. 

What is an example of something awesome you’ve seen that helps make conservation or fishing more inclusive to new groups of people? I think an invitation is an awesome opening for inclusiveness. Seeking out partnerships where both groups have something to gain seems to be powerful for many programs including youth, veterans, cancer recovery. 

Name a person you admire. Why do you admire them?  Jimmy Carter. He values people, dignity, and the outdoors. 

Why Trout Unlimited?   We humans are consumers of everything, TU is focused on conserving and protecting at the grassroots level, a person can really connect with their local community and water issues in their community through TU where ever your interests lie. As a TU volunteer, you can do a little or a lot, it’s fully up to you. Fly fishing is my meditation, and it’s better than it’s ever been because of actions that TU staff and volunteers take. I know better than to think things will take care of themselves, it’s our civic responsibility to engage and continue to protect what’s important to us. 

If you want to join Barbara and grow the community and work of Trout Unlimited, we encourage you to become a member! For a discounted first-time membership, click here: https://gifts.tu.org/we-are-tu