Trout Unlimited’s Equity Practice

For 60 years, Trout Unlimited has engaged millions of people in our ambitious mission to conserve, protect and restore coldwater fisheries. We rely on local participation to inform our science, advocate for trout and salmon and restore rivers and streams. The engagement of diverse, whole communities is critical to ensuring that robust populations of trout and salmon once again thrive in their native range.

Our impact has been meaningful, but achieving our mission remains impossible without the unencumbered participation of all people. We can, and will, do better. Identifying and addressing inequities and building space and support for all people to participate in our mission work will make our organization and the communities in which we work stronger, more durable and more sustaining.

Our journey

TU’s emerging equity practice draws from the experience of TU’s decade-old Diversity and Inclusion Workgroup and is intended to be a transparent and inclusive process that supports and informs TU’s mission and vision. The word “practice” is intentional and represents TU’s intent to practice our values not just profess them in a “plan.”

The following definitions, core principles and other writing used to describe the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion to TU are a reflection of where TU is today. As our equity practice as individuals and as an organization deepens—and we learn more about ourselves and each other, discover our blind-spots, and expand our worlds—so too is our understanding of TU’s mission, purpose and the opportunity to evolve our work. As the individuals who make up the organization (board, staff, volunteers, members, partners) grow and change as a part of our equity practice, we anticipate that the language used to describe our work will change. It is iterative and evolving. We invite you to be a part of this growth and evolution.

What diversity, equity and inclusion mean to Trout Unlimited


The range of identities, characteristics, experiences and perceptions including, but not limited to: race, ethnicity, culture, gender, geography, age, religion, political affiliation, ability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, language and physical appearance.

We acknowledge that individuals and groups affiliate with multiple identities. We believe that building space and support for these differences strengthens our organization.


Is the experience of fair and impartial treatment, access to opportunity, and support. Equity necessitates:

Trust in and acceptance of the inherent value of all people. 

The identification and elimination of barriers, organizational procedures and processes that prevent full and fair participation.


Is the practice of building and maintaining equitable, welcoming environments in which all feel respected, supported, valued, heard and seen.

An inclusive climate consciously seeks out, invites and creates space for engagement with all people, and offers respect in words and actions.

Core principles

We act with respect and humility, acknowledging that many underrepresented communities and peoples have a long, rich history of watershed tending and stewardship, and we seek to learn from and better incorporate these perspectives.

We seek to understand how all people relate to and engage with coldwater fisheries and their watersheds.

We approach difference with curiosity and not judgement in order to broaden TU’s organizational perceptions.

We foster lasting relationships and in doing so build spaces where individuals and communities are valued, heard, respected, and empowered.

We perpetuate equitable and inclusive systems that engage all people in TU’s mission work.

We understand that TU’s equity practice must permeate every level of TU’s operation including staff, board, chapter and council volunteers, donors, and beyond. Equity is the responsibility of everyone in the organization.

We are accountable and will work relentlessly and courageously towards transformational change.