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Dear %%First Name%%,

Leaders Only ToolsThere are more than 3,500 volunteers like you currently listed as chapter or council leaders in the Leaders Only Tools section of the TU website.

That's a veritable army of dedicated volunteers who help manage our more than 420 chapters and councils and marshal over 750,000 hours of time spent volunteering on local projects and programs each year!

But, we also know there are many more out there who serve on your boards, chair a committee or run special events that you hold who are not currently listed as volunteer leaders.

We're hoping to change that and are asking all of you to please login to the Leaders Only Tools section to review your chapter and council leaders listing online to make sure that all of your volunteer leaders are properly listed.

Here's a quick video on how to find, view and update your leaders list: Click here to watch video.

If you have trouble logging in, or viewing and updating the leaders list, don't hesitate to contact your Volunteer Operations Staff to help you walk through the process.

Listing all chapter leaders - even committee chairs and members - is important for many reasons, including:

  • It gives these leaders access to the wide range of tools and resources available in the Leaders Only Tools section on the TU website.
  • It signs them up for this Lines to Leaders monthly email and for special notices we send to specific leaders holding roles such as Membership Chair or Youth Education Chair, for example.
  • It also gives them access to the popular Leaders Forum so they can connect with their peers in chapters and councils across the country!

Please review your leaders list this week, and be sure to add and update leaders who are missing so they don't miss out.

On Tuesday, March 6 we'll be holding a special online training, New Volunteer Leaders Orientation, where we'll cover many of the roles and responsibilities as well as the tools and resources available to all chapter and council leaders. Click here to register for the training, and be sure to spread the word among your local leaders.

You can also view a range of other training opportunities and recordings of past training calls online at

Thanks for all you do for TU in driving our work forward on your local streams!

Jeff Yates
Director of Volunteer Operations


Nick Halle Promoted to Volunteer Operations Coordinator to Support Our Chapters and Councils

Nick HalleWe're excited to announce that Nick Halle, who has recently been serving as our Membership Services Coordinator, has been promoted to the Volunteer Operations team.

As the new Volunteer Operations Coordinator, Nick will be working directly for you, our volunteer leaders, to make sure you have the tools, resources, guidance and support you need to grow your chapter or council and expand your impact on our mission locally!

He will also be a primary point of contact for all of your needs, and specifically can be reached for help or with questions on:

Please join us in welcoming Nick to the Volunteer Operations team, and don't hesitate to reach out to him at or (703) 284-9425.


Join Fellow TU Volunteer Leaders and Staff for a Weekend of Conservation and Camaraderie

Regional RendezvousSpend a weekend at one of our regional rendezvous and you're sure to leave inspired and empowered by learning from and talking with some of TU's most dedicated volunteers, members, supporters and staff.

Enjoy hands-on trainings and presentations on important conservation topics such as climate change and native trout as well as workshops designed to help you bring TU's mission to your favorite, local stream.

TU's regional rendezvous are occasions to celebrate all we are accomplishing together and to commit ourselves to the important work ahead. They also offer opportunities for fun and camaraderie with excellent fishing opportunities, evening social activities and networking throughout.

Open to all volunteer leaders, members and supporters, details on the regional rendezvous are available online at

Join hundreds of TU members like you at one of these great gatherings:


Plan A Spring Event to Connect Your Members and Community to Local Conservation

Nothing beats a day of planting trees, picking up trash or celebrating fish passage on a local river that you love. That's true for all of us as TU volunteer leaders, and also for our 300,000 members and supporters across the country - as well as the countless community members who have not found their way to TU yet!

This spring is a great time to connect your members to a meaningful conservation project, and to introduce TU to your local community and there are several great ways to tie your local event to a larger national, or international, celebration.

World Fish Migration DayWorld Fish Migration Day - April 21
World Fish Migration Day is a one-day event to create worldwide awareness of the importance of freshwater migratory fish and open rivers. It is a global initiative which your chapter can connect with to sponsor or join an already planned local event where you highlight fish passage issues on a local stream, celebrate a dam removal or culvert modification that allows for better fish passage, or raise awareness of the threats that in-stream barriers pose to the health of our rivers and the freshwater species that rely upon them for survival.

Your local event could include a range of activities such as: field trips, events at a school or aquarium, the opening of fishways, races, food festivals, etc... There's an entire suite of resources available online to help you plan, post and promote your local event, and you can email Josh Royte for direct support and guidance in planning your local event.

Earth DayEarth Day - April 22
There's no introduction needed to Earth Day, an annual celebration which has become part of our national heritage and conservation ethic.

Harnessing the public awareness around Earth Day and using it to drive interest in your local chapter event is an easy win to reach deep into the community and engage TU members and non-members alike!

This year's Earth Day theme is "End Plastic Pollution" and one of the easiest things your chapter can do is to plan a streamside trash cleanup along one of your local rivers. All you need is a location with good parking, two-to-three volunteers willing to be on site with trash bags and smiles to hand out and direct volunteers and a way to cart off all the trash you collect from in and along the river!

Reach out to local partners such as watershed associations, land trusts and your city and county conservation staff for help spreading the word - or signing up to join an already planned local effort. You can also register your event with the Earth Day Network to reach local volunteers through their promotion.

Arbor DayArbor Day - April 27
Arbor Day is an annual observance that celebrates the role of trees in our lives and promotes tree planting and care. It was first celebrated nationally in 1872 and has become a national community service day for many organizations - including TU chapters.

Arbor Day is a great day to plan a chapter tree-planting project along a local river, to connect your Trout In the Classroom students to the rivers through a youth program or field trip, or to partner with other local organizations to plant trees in your community.

The Arbor Day Foundation offers an incredible array of tools to help you plan a tree-planting event or other Arbor Day celebration, and you can also watch this TU training video on Planning A River Restoration or Cleanup Event for more ideas on how to run a successful event.


Applications Open for the TU Teen Summit - Deadline is March 12

Youth ProgramDo you know an exemplary teen involved with TU? If so, they may be eligible to attend TU's national Teen Summit, a leadership conference for young anglers and conservationists.

Check out this video from last year's Summit made by the teens that attended!

The Teen Summit is a 3-day educational retreat designed for young women and men that have been involved with Trout Unlimited through a regional youth camp or chapter. Teens tackle relevant issues facing TU as an organization as well as coldwater conservation issues. At the Summit, teens foster a community of young, like-minded anglers that want to spread their love of fly fishing to other teens across the country.

This year's location is in the Shenandoah Valley area of Virginia at Graves Mountain Lodge. Teens will participate in a host of local conservation tours and activities; meet with local anglers and scientists; and get lots of time to hang out, tie flies, and go fishing!

Applications and an FAQ and fact sheet for TU's national Teen Summit are available online at Not all teens who apply are accepted to the summit.

Approximately 25 applicants will be accepted based on five criteria:

  1. Involvement with TU chapter or camp
  2. Leadership potential
  3. Commitment to conservation
  4. Love of the sport
  5. Strong references

Contact Headwaters Staff for more information or to learn how you can support the Summit.

Not ready for the Summit? If you know a young person that is interested in learning to fly fish or wants to get involved with Trout Unlimited, a regional youth Trout Camp is a great start. Go to for more information and check out the list to see if there's a regional camp near you!


Valley Forge Chapter Launches Mobile App to Reach Members and Grow It's Community

Youth ProgramThe Valley Forge Chapter in Pennsylvania is always looking for ways to grow its reach and improve the way it communicates. As the board was looking to reach and engage a younger, more diverse membership, it decided to try a new tactic, developing a mobile app to promote its chapter, their events and be ready and available in the palm of anglers' hands 24/7!

Working with HipChime Mobile Apps, the chapter was able to quickly and easily develop an app based off their current website, and launch it within a matter of weeks. The app allows them to post and share events and photos, send notifications and has some pretty neat features, including GeoFence, a tool that allows them to send notices to those with the app on their phone based on a specific geographic boundary - so they can send a message to everyone volunteering at a chapter cleanup, or fishing on a chapter trip, etc...

The nearby Doc Fritchey Chapter in Pennsylvania is also planning to launch their own app after seeing the Valley Forge one in action.

Check out the Valley Forge app by going to the app store on your smart phone or tablet and searching for "Valley Forge Trout Unlimited". You can download it for free, kick the tires, and discuss with your chapter or council board if a mobile app is a good step to bring your communications into the next generation.

To learn how your chapter can create its own app - as well as how to use advertising and sponsorships to cover the costs of developing it - email Jack Clarkson at HipChime for support.


Two New Policies Approved at the February Board Meeting

At the TU national board of trustees meeting in February, two new policies were approved which apply to our chapters and councils and our volunteers and staff. All TU policies can be found in the Tacklebox at

Anti-Harassment Policy
As previously mentioned in Lines to Leaders, TU has a longstanding commitment to a culture and environment that respects the dignity and worth of each individual. Inappropriate behavior and unlawful harassment create conditions that are wholly inconsistent with this commitment. The purpose of the policy is to foster an environment that is free from all forms of harassment, whether that harassment is because of race, color, gender, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law. The new policy lays out the definitions of harassment, reporting procedures, investigative steps that will be taken and the procedure by which complaints will be resolved. Click here to read the TU Anti-Harassment Policy.

Illegal Substance Policy
The new TU Illegal Substance Policy addresses a newer concern related to marijuana, which while legal in some states is illegal under federal laws. As a condition of receiving federal grants, TU certifies that it is in compliance with all federal laws. Therefore, Trout Unlimited, its chapters, and its councils shall not knowingly accept contributions from known marijuana industry members or which otherwise originate from any source or activity prohibited by law. For the same reason, Trout Unlimited, its chapters, and its councils shall not allow the use of marijuana or other illegal substances at any of their events even in states where the sale or use of marijuana is legal under state law. Click here to read the TU Illegal Substance Policy.

If you have questions about these, or other TU policies, please contact your Volunteer Operations Staff.


All web conference trainings are held at 8 p.m. EST unless otherwise noted. Contact Jeff Yates to register.
Oct 1:
Annual Financial Reports Open
Nov. 15:
Annual Financial Reporting Deadline


The online leader Tacklebox – – offers a wide range of resources and guides for chapter and council leaders. Some of the most often used resources include:


The online leader Training Video Library – – has recordings of past online trainings, as well as a some simple "how to" videos designed to help volunteers access the online tools available to them. The training videos include:


Chapter & Council Contract Guidelines
TU chapters and councils routinely enter into contracts to further their conservation work. Many of those contracts, especially those involving stream-improvement or other construction work, have risks for the chapter or council involved and, in some instances, for the national organization, as well. In 2013, the Board of Trustees adopted a policy and prepared a correlating guidance document requiring that the following categories of chapter and council contracts be submitted in draft form to Volunteer Operations staff for review:
1. Any proposed contract under which a chapter or council agrees to indemnify anyone unless the proposed indemnification language limits the indemnification obligations to the acts and omissions of the chapter or council that are covered by TU's insurance.
2. Any proposed contract involving the removal or repair of any dam, any work on abandoned mines, and any work on possibly polluted sites.
3. Any proposed contract with a federal agency when the amount of the contract is $100,000 or more.
4. Any proposed contract with a state agency.
5. Any proposed contract involving a public road or highway or involving a railroad right of way.
For contracts involving uninsured or excessive risk, the Board of Trustees has formalized a process for review involving senior staff and members of the Legal/ Risk Management Committee. To review this process document or to download a copy of the "Contract Guidance for TU Chapters and Councils" document, visit the online Tacklebox, under "Important TU Policies."

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