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President’s Beat

Messages from the President of Rocky Mountain Flycasters.

President’s Message
State of the Chapter - President Dick Jefferies

Delivered at the Annual Meeting May 20, 2015

01-1959TroutMags
Fifty six years ago on the banks of the Au Sable River in Michigan, sixteen anglers united by their love of trout fishing gathered at a private home. They were growing ever more concerned about how their fisheries, and the waters that support them, were being managed. The result of that meeting in 1959 was the formation of Trout Unlimited.

From the beginning, TU was guided by the principle that if we “take care of the fish, then fishing will take care of itself”. And that principle was guided in science. TU’s first President said, “One of our most important objectives is to develop programs and recommendations based on the very best information and thinking available. In all matters of trout management, we want to know that we are substantially correct, both morally and biologically.”

From that unassuming beginning we have grown into a nationally recognized and respected cold water conservation organization. Today we are still guided by the principle “take care of the fish, then fishing will take care of itself”. Equally relevant today, science now provides evidence to support what we have always known. “If it is good for fish, it is good for people.” Adherence to those core values has enabled TU to create a strong track record of conservation achievements. Perhaps TU’s greatest strength is that it works at multiple levels of society and government to achieve its mission. From the landowner on the stream bank, to the state fisheries agency, to the Halls of Congress, TU is working to achieve its vision.

02-PRRSs
As a chapter of TU, we are thus charged with implementing that vision at the local level. To do that successfully, it is essential that all of our actions and activities have a nexus with the four sectors of the TU Conservation Agenda - Protect, Reconnect, Restore and Sustain.

Tonight in what is my last State of the Chapter address I would like to take a few moments to look at what I believe are positive signs we are indeed implementing the vision of TU throughout Northern Colorado.

Reconnect

Big T Fish Passage
  • South Side Diversion
  • Louden Diversion
  • George Rist Diversion
  • Big Barnes Diversion
Sheep Creek Culverts
 

Protect

Projects -
  • RMNP Trout Surveys
  • Mono Line Collection
  • Phantom Canyon
Advocacy -
  • NISP
  • Oil/ Gas Production
  • Windy Gap Mitigation
  • State Water Plan

Restore

Eagle’s Nest
River Cleanups
Gateway Park
Skin Gulch
Poudre Fire Restoration
Big T Flood Restoration
Multi Basin Plant Program
FS Stream Assessment
Cutthroat Reintroduction
  • Long Draw Basin
  • George Creek
  • Cornelius Creek

Sustain

Youth Day Camp
Trout in the Classroom
Children’s Water Festivals
Day for Kids Festival
Fishing Trips Programs
Chapter Fly Tying Expo
General Member Meetings
Fly Tying Swap Group
UniverCity Connections
Poudre Runs Through It
Community Expos/ Events
Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing
 
Coalition for the Poudre River Watershed
 
Thompson Watershed Alliance

We are involved in both local and State-wide issues providing input, advice and assistance. We understand and recognize that while differing opinions exist on many issues, those differences will never cause us to not work with anyone in trying to find the best possible solutions and outcomes regarding impacts to our watersheds. Whether it is assisting with research in the high back country of Rocky Mountain National Park or advocacy in the bowels of the State Capitol, you will find members of our Chapter hard at work.

Today’s reality is most waterways in the west, by necessity, are a multi-use and often overworked resource. Over time the ongoing development of these systems has resulted in disjointed and disconnected waterways. Through sound science we can now show that reconnecting streams and rivers can be done in a manner that provides fish bypass, is beneficial to the health of the stream and riparian areas, and, provides a more efficient means of moving or diverting water all while reducing the annualized cost to providers.

We live everyday of our lives experiencing cause and effect. The same can be said about conservation issues. Every day there is cause and effect. No matter the cause, be it natural or man-made, we must deal with the effects and impacts to our home waters. Whether we are addressing impacts of grazing adjacent to streams or keeping our public areas free of debris, Rocky Mountain Flycasters has a long and rich tradition of putting boots on the ground in an effort to restore impacted waters. Recent historic fires and floods have presented the need for us to expand those restoration efforts to a watershed scale and while we recognize the challenges that lie ahead we choose to view those challenges as opportunity.

The success of Trout Unlimited has not been by chance. It has been the result of careful planning and strong leadership. Its longevity is directly related to its institutional commitment to sustain the organization through successive generations. In order to do this it is crucial that we share our knowledge and vision with the next generation of conservationists and hopefully new members of TU.

Together, the numerous efforts of our Chapter have a far reaching impact across the watersheds that comprise our Northern Colorado home waters

p8groups p8foothills p8drSundays
p8youthcamps p8youthfishs p8stephanies p8ricks
Finally, we must never lose sight of the fact that the social fabric that binds us is the simple pleasure and satisfaction that comes from angling on the fly. Whether it is through organized group activities or the exquisitely unique satisfaction of teaching someone the art of fly fishing, it is those times we are on water that we reaffirm our priorities and are reminded why we do what we do.

So… are we showing signs of success? As important as quantifiable indexes such as budgets and membership numbers, which by the way are both very strong numbers in this Chapter, I have always believed that another, sometimes overlooked, measurement of success is evidence that others believe in what you do and are willing to work with you in order to achieve common goals and outcomes. If you are not showing signs of success at what you do, you will find yourself doing what you do by yourself. While we should be very proud of the solid relationships this Chapter has developed throughout the area, we need to remind ourselves that our journey is still long and challenging.

Our Partners and Collaborators

Coalition for the Poudre River Watershed
Colorado Parks & Wildlife
Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment
Colorado Dept. of Transportation
Colorado Water Conservation Board
CSU Environmental Learning Center
CSU Dept. of Natural Resources
Fort Collins Natural Areas
Fort Collins Police Services
Fort Collins Utilities
Front Range Community College
Greeley School District
Greeley Water and Sewer
Larimer Boys and Girls Clubs
Larimer County Natural Resources
Loveland School District
Poudre Learning Center
Poudre School District
Rocky Mountain High School
Sylvan Dale Ranch
The Nature Conservancy
Thompson Watershed Alliance
US Fish & Wildlife Service
US Forest Service
US Natural Resources Conservation Service
West Greeley Conservation District
Wildland Restoration Volunteers

Have we been successful? No we have not. And I hope we never are, for the moment you think you have become successful is the moment you stop trying. In TU, we are charged with completing something that should never be complete. It is a multi-generational task and as such it should be approached with a never ending desire and effort to become better, and to become successful.

Before we move into a much anticipated event this evening, the election of the next Board of Trustees, let me offer my heartfelt thanks to you for placing your trust in me. Let me also extend my thanks to the Leadership Team for your dedication and especially your patience. It has been my extreme pleasure to serve this Chapter as President and I look forward to many continued years of involvement and service.

Thank You.

Dick Jefferies
Rocky Mountain Flycasters President 2012-2015


About Dick Jefferies

On his completion of three years as President
Of Rocky Mountain Flycasters Chapter of Trout Unlimited
By Lee Evans, Past President

I was very impressed with Dick’s State of the Chapter speech made just a year ago. Dick talked about the issues facing our chapter and asked, “Can we?” then proceeded to say “Of course we can. A more important question that I challenge each of you with is ‘Will we?’”

He went on to say, “Unlike the easy answers to the question, “Can we?“, I cannot give you an easy answer to the question “Will we?” All I know is that ultimately the answer to “Will we?” is borne from each of us looking inward and asking “Will I?”

We know that when Dick asks himself “Will I?“, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” I believe Dick came into this office with a few goals: shorten the board meetings, increase our chapter’s presence in our community, increase involvement of our members, and maybe start restoring a greenback cutthroat area in the watershed above Long Draw reservoir.

And then the fire happened. And now our home waters are in danger of serious decline, and the agenda changed. While we were all asking how our chapter would be able to take on such a massive restoration project, Dick was saying “I will!” and he started working with many different agencies to create a new non-profit which could write grants, cooperate the planning of details, and be prepared to take on the problem over the long term. His efforts resulted in the Coalition for the Poudre River Watershed, of which he continues as chairman. And this past week, the coalition put boots on the ground and started with the Skin Gulch project. Creating a new non-profit, jumping through all the hoops to get IRS approval, and attending meeting after meeting is not easily doable. But Dick did and we thank him for it.

To make matters worse, the next year the floods happened, and massive restoration of the Big Thompson became needed. Dick’s coalition for the Poudre served as a model for the affected agencies, and, again with Dick’s “I will” philosophy and the increased presence of Rocky Mountain Flycasters, the Big Thompson River Restoration Coalition was formed. And a plan to fix the Big T is now in effect, and grants of $600,000 have been received, with another $1.5 million pending and this huge restoration project has begun.

To continue with Dick’s answer of “Yes I will!” he has committed to staying active with the coalitions, even though his term as president is ending. This sure makes it easier for the new board to continue with Dick’s legacy.

PresAwardDJefferies0490s
Dick Jefferies receives award photo from Lee Evans
Oh, and yes the board meetings are shorter and more efficient. And the community knows who Rocky Mountain Flycasters is. The number of calls we get asking for our involvement proves it.

We appreciate Dick’s strategic thinking, his ability to look at long term effects. His experience as a small business owner keeps him ever looking for new opportunities to guide our chapter in the pursuit of TU’s mission. His energy and enthusiasm has truly made our chapter more visible. And he was just elected to CTU’s board, so he can continue to say “I will!” at the state level.

So, thank you, Dick. Our chapter is better because of you. Our home watersheds will be better because of your work. And the number of our members who also say “I will!” has increased substantially because of your example.

Previous Messages

May 21, 2014 - State of the Chapter - Dick Jefferies, President
So far Rocky Mountain Flycasters has been a journey, and story, of success that spans three decades.…(read more)

January 7, 2014 - Dick Jefferies, President
Ice off! It’s the call of the fly fisher….(read more)

May 15, 2013 - State of the Chapter - Dick Jefferies
When you leave here tonight do so knowing this chapter is in good shape….(read more)

January 11, 2013 - Dick Jefferies
It is most definitely that time of year!! It’s that time when…(read more)

November 12, 2012 - Dick Jefferies
Even though Mother Nature is reminding us what is just around the corner…(read more)

June 27, 2012 - Dick Jefferies
…conversations centered around the High Park fire…(read more)

November 17, 2011 - Lee Evans
I need to tell you we had a great meeting last night.…(read more)

September 14, 2011 - Lee Evans
Greeley’s Milton Seaman Reservoir Gates…(read more)

May 18, 2011 - State of the Chapter - Lee Evans
We had nearly 60 people at our meeting Wednesday to hear Steve Schweitzer…(read more)

Mar. 27, 2011 - Lee Evans
Are you looking for more fun…(read more)

Jan. 31, 2011 - Lee Evans
The new expanded Fly Tying Expo is happening February 16 and I believe it is the best ever.…(read more)

Jan. 5, 2011 - Lee Evans
Wow! 2011 already! I hope you’re beginning to plan your fishing trips before the calendar gets too full.…(read more)

Nov. 10, 2010 - Lee Evans
After having what I consider to be a very successful year,…(read more)

Oct. 22, 2010 - Lee Evans
Apples and knees! These have been occupying a lot of my time recently, and have kept me from fishing as much as I would have liked.…(read more)

Aug. 25, 2010 - Lee Evans
I know the summer is ending, the kids are back in school, and the best fishing of the year is beginning.…(read more)

Mar. 25, 2010 - Lee Evans
These words are coming to you from a very excited president.…(read more)

January 21, 2010 - Lee Evans
We had our annual Fly Tying Expo last night and it was a great success.…(read more)

November 20, 2009 - Lee Evans
At our annual meeting on Nov. 18, you elected me…(read more)

Mar. 23, 2009 - Ken Eis
Well, the Poudre and Big T are fishing well. Clear low water is already stimulating dry fly action…(read more)

Nov. 28, 2007 - Ken Eis
We had an election at the November meeting…(read more)

Oct. 4, 2007 - Greg Evans
Happy! Wait a minute! What happened to September? Oh yea… Alaska, the brew fest… Well Happy October.…(read more)

Aug. 19, 2007 - Greg Evans
Annual Rocky Mountain Flycasters Report…(read more)

Jul. 19, 2007 - Greg Evans
Hey Summer Anglers! Wish I had a great fish story to report for the Summer.…(read more)

Mar. 07, 2007 - Greg Evans
Hey there Weary Winter Warriors! Spring is in the air…(read more)

Jan. 18, 2007 - Greg Evans
BRRR! This weather and snow is killing everyone who loves to fish! …all joking aside, the year started off great…(read more)

Dec. 10, 2006 - Greg Evans
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all! We just had our annual Christmas Party at the Sports Station…(read more)

Nov. 8, 2006 - Greg Evans
Thanks to all to attended the General Meeting tonight, November 8th. The meeting had a different flavor with a presentation by member John Fraser on Didymosphenia Geminata aka Rock Snot…(read more)

Oct. 17, 2006 - Greg Evans
October arrived out of nowhere for me, but I did manage a little fishing while romancing my wife…(read more)

Sep. 12, 2006 - Greg Evans
With a great lineup of speakers for the year, ongoing conservation projects, and an enthusiastic board of directors I couldn't be more excited for the year…(read more)

Dec. 12, 2005 - Greg Evans
With our annual Christmas Party at the Depot in Loveland this past Saturday, I am feeling very festive.…(read more)

Sep. 12, 2005 - Greg Evans
Paul Fromme has been our president for the last two years.…(read more)

Jul. 21, 2005 - Paul Fromme
We have all heard the news that Larimer County is preparing to sell off the properties…(read more)

Last updated on 22 May, 2015