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Dear [%first_name%],

National Conservation AwardsOn Friday night, at TU’s 2017 Annual Meeting in Roanoke, we celebrated and honored some of our organization’s incredible volunteers and partners.

Choosing winners from our more than 3,500 active and dedicated volunteer leaders is always a difficult task – and we know so many more are deserving of the same recognition – but I think you'll agree with us that those honored represent the best of what TU is as a conservation organization, as a youth and environmental education powerhouse and as a community of anglers who share a passion for fishing and conservation.

This year's winners are:

Chapter Awards:
Gold Trout Award: 167 – Maryland Chapter (MD)
Silver Trout Award: 017 – Kalamazoo Valley Chapter (MI)

Volunteer Awards:
Distinguished Service Award for Leadership: Jim Hopkins (SC)
Distinguished Service Award for Leadership: Rich Thomas (NJ)
Distinguished Service Award for Communications: John Doss (AZ)
Distinguished Service Award for Youth Education: Mack Martin (GA)
Distinguished Services Award for Veterans Services: Jim Lanning (PA)

Partner Awards:
Conservation Professional Award: Madeleine Lyttle (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)
Corporate Conservation Partner: Telos Corporation

We also announced the inaugural Jack Williams Award for Applied Conservation Science in honor of TU's Senior Scientist who is retiring this year. This year's winner, Joe McGurrin, is retiring after a 26-year career with TU.

I encourage you to read the powerful stories and celebrations in this year's 2017 National Conservation Awards booklet. It's an inspiring read and reminds us of just how much we can accomplish together.

Thank you for all you do as a TU Volunteer Leader!

Jeff Yates
Director of Volunteer Operations


Tell the EPA to Maintain the Clean Water Rule and Protect Bristol Bay

TU Teen SummitTU's Headwaters staff had a great time at this year's Annual Meeting in Roanoke.

In addition to amazingly informative and collaborative National Leadership Council and Headwaters sessions, we had the opportunity to talk at length about our new fundraising initiative, the GRTU Tomorrow Fund.

The Tomorrow Fund was started through an initial donation by the Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited (GRTU) Chapter in Texas meant to challenge other TU chapters, councils, and donors to also step up and give. Our goal is to raise $40,000 per year via the Tomorrow Fund so that TU's national youth programs can be sustained well into the future.

Why is the GRTU Tomorrow Fund so important? Because Headwaters provides resources to volunteers, educators, and young people that are passionate about TU’s conservation mission, and staff generate all program dollars through grants and donations. This transformative collaboration between GRTU and Headwaters will ensure that TU passes on our heritage of coldwater conservation to the next generation! To find out more, email

Since our announcement in the June Lines to Leaders, even more chapters and councils have stepped up to the challenge. The Pennsylvania Council has contributed $2,000 of matching funds, while the state of Oklahoma has collectively given $1,500 through the Indian Nations Council, Oklahoma chapter, and 89er chapter. The Wyoming council answered the call with $500 and our friends in the southwest of the Old Pueblo chapter in Arizona stepped up with $1,000. We are now up to $7,750 total contributions which have been matched by GRTU for a total of $15,500!! Can you help us get to $40K by 2018?


TU Costa 5 Rivers Native Odyssey Cross Country Dream Trip Ends in Washington D.C.

TU Costa 5 Rivers Native OdysseyStudents from the TU Costa 5 Rivers Native Odyssey trip recently wrapped up their whirlwind adventure with a trip to Washington D.C. and the TU national offices.

Completed during the course of summer 2017, the Native Odyssey was a cross-country “dream trip” that involved five college students from the 5 Rivers program who were selected, via a video contest, to explore eight western states in eight weeks and pursue wild and native trout on remote public lands. Watch this great video of their trip.

During their recent visit to D.C., the students presented to the senior leadership of the US Forest Service and also paid Capitol Hill visits to their elected officials to stress the importance of public lands.

A big thank you to all of the hard-working TU staffers and US Forest personnel who made this advocacy trip a reality–we couldn't have done it without you!


Save Bristol Bay: Send Comments to the EPA, Get Engaged, Donate & Buy Bristol Bay Sockeye

Save Bristol BayTrout Unlimited has been overwhelmed by the unending dedication of our volunteer and the chapters and councils they run to protect and conserve fish habitat throughout the country.

In Bristol Bay, salmon are counted by the million, trout are measured by the foot, and emerald rivers run red with sockeye salmon strutting their spawning colors.

For more than a decade the proposed Pebble Mine has been front and center in the angler’s fight to protect the true fishing gems of the world. Trout Unlimited has asked you and your chapter or council to take action before and in light of the Environmental Protection Agency’s current comment period regarding removing protections for Bristol Bay, now, we find it important to ask again.

Bristol Bay is not just home to 30 inch rainbow trout and some of the last strong salmon runs. It’s home to the world’s last wild sockeye salmon factory where 14,000 Americans are employed every year, millions are contributed to our economy, and native cultures still thrive all because salmon are still there; and we NEED to protect that.

Please consider taking the following personal steps, and sharing this message with your chapter members encouraging them to do the same:

  1. Learn about the issues at
  2. Send in a comment to the EPA at
  3. Sign up for emails from the Alaska team at
  4. Like the Save Bristol Bay Facebook page at
  5. Make a donation to the Save Bristol Bay initiative at
  6. Buy Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon and support the fight (details below)

Pride of Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon

TU members around the country can now order delicious, sustainable Bristol Bay sockeye salmon and have it delivered right to their front door. Pride of Bristol Bay, a TU business member, is generously donating 10% of all profits to TU's Save Bristol Bay program. The visionary partnership will help safeguard Bristol Bay’s clean, fish-filled waters and wild salmon from the Pebble Mine. Buying from Pride of Bristol Bay is a delicious and easy way to support our work to ensure this national treasure is around for future generations to use and enjoy.

To reserve your share go to: (Use code bristolbayforever for a discount of $1.00/lb until 11/1.)


Deadline to file Your Chapter & Council Reports is Nov. 15 – Special Online Training Oct. 18

The Annual Financial Report form has opened and is available online in the Leaders Only Section on for treasurers and other chapter officers to complete. Beyond simply recording the revenue and expenses of our chapters, the Annual Financial Report and the Chapter Effectiveness Index questions on the form help tell the powerful story off all that we accomplish together each!

Please take the time now to go to the website and ensure you can log in to the Leaders Only Section so that you're ready to go once you are ready to file your chapter's report. If you encounter difficulty logging in, please email Jeff Yates at to get you up and running.

If you've never completed an annual financial report you'll want to read the Annual Financial Report and IRS Memo and you won't want to miss the special training on filing the report and meeting all IRS requirements which is being offered as an online webinar on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 8:00 p.m. Click here to register for the special training.

Please read the "How to Count a Volunteer Hour" guidance document, and share it with your chapter board members, so they can accurately report back their volunteer hours for the year.

Please be reminded that filing an annual financial report does not satisfy filing requirements for the IRS. TU is a publicly supported 501(c)3 organized under a group exemption and because of this the IRS requires that each chapter and council have their own employer identification number (EIN) and file their own tax forms with the IRS. Your IRS filings will be due on or before Feb. 15.


Supplemental Accident Insurance: Policy Covers Your Events, Members and Volunteers

Did you know that TU offers additional accident insurance for chapters and councils that will extend $25,000 or $50,000 of medical coverage per participant per accident for all TU sponsored events, including youth camps?

This type of coverage is not included in the general liability policy provided for free to all TU chapters and councils, but can be helpful in instances where a person is injured at a TU event. Example: If a TU member or non-member volunteer is walking along the side of a river in the course of a TU work project, and they trip on a log and are injured, the additional accident insurance would be available to help cover eligible medical expenses incurred while treating the injury.

The cost is $115 per chapter or council for $25,000 of coverage or $155 per chapter or council for $50,000 of coverage. The insurance term is based on TU's fiscal year and runs from October 1 to September 30 of. Also included with the medical coverage is $15,000 of accidental death and $25,000 of accidental dismemberment. (Note: This year's premiums reflect a $5 increase in the rate.)

Each chapter and council must opt for the coverage themselves – meaning a council cannot file for all the chapters in their states with a single payment. Any chapter or council interested in enrolling in additional accident insurance should fill out the Accident Insurance Application, and return it with your check.


All web conference trainings are held at 8 p.m. EST unless otherwise noted. Contact Jeff Yates to register.
Nov. 6-12:
Embrace A Stream Challenge Online Competition
Nov. 15:
Deadline for All Chapters / Councils to File Annual Financial Reports
Feb. 15:
Deadline for All Chapters / Councils to File IRS Form 990, Form 990EZ or Form 990N
Jan. 26-27:
Mid-South Regional Rendezvous: New Braunfels, Texas
April 27-29:
Western Regional Rendezvous: Keystone, Colo.
May 18-20:
Southeast Regional Rendezvous: Davis, West Virginia
June 8-10:
Northeast Regional Rendezvous: Lake Placid, N.Y.
Sept. 19-22:
2018 Annual Meeting: Redding, Calif.


Help TU Improve Our New Member Recruitment
Trout Unlimited offers a special incentive to our chapters to recruit new members locally by providing you the opportunity to recruit new TU members at half-price ($17.50) and receive a rebate ($15) for every person you bring into our organization. Unfortunately, fewer than 2,000 new members are recruited to TU in this way each year, and we want to grow that figure - and our TU community.
Please answer the following brief survey to help us improve this important New Member Recruitment program.
Click Here to Take the Survey
If you would like to start recruiting new members today for your chapter, simply use this special link to ensure your chapter receives the $15 rebate for every new person you bring into our organization.


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:


We want our volunteer leaders to know what their members are receiving from TU in the mail and will begin sharing this through "In the Mail" each month in Lines to Leaders. This month, the featured mail campaign is our Calendar Mailing which includes a donation request.
We welcome your feedback and want to remind you that we are grateful for the gift of your time as a volunteer leader and your membership support. We appreciate your donations to TU beyond your membership dues, but also hope you'll view our appeal mailings as an effort to keep you connected to the inner-workings of our development work as a volunteer leader.
Together, through on-the-ground, local efforts and nationwide focus, we are making our rivers and streams healthier homes for trout. Thank you!


Embrace A Stream

Support local stream and river restoration today by making a tax-deductible gift to Embrace A Stream, TU's oldest member-led conservation program. Since 1975, Embrace A Stream donations have helped raise more than $4.4 million for local conservation projects led by TU chapters and volunteers.

Ⓒ 2017 Trout Unlimited - all rights reserved.

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