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Rocky Mountain Flycasters’ Annual Awards for 2013

Our chapter last year instituted a series of Recognition Awards for chapter volunteers and a community service organization or individual. Each year in January nominations are submitted for the preceding year by chapter members, and recipients are determined by an Awards Selection Committee. The complete Awards Policy and Procedure can be viewed on our website. Award presentations are made at the May Annual Meeting, and it is not mandatory that every award category be presented every year.

Member award categories are:

  • Exemplary Conservation Volunteer,
  • Exemplary Chapter Function,
  • Project or Activity Leadership Award,
  • Exemplary Youth Education Award,
  • Exemplary Youth Member Award,
  • Outstanding Chapter Volunteer Award.

Community award categories are:

  • Exemplary Guide/Outfitter Award
  • Coldwater Resource Conservation Award.

2013 awards presentations were made by President Dick Jefferies at our May Annual Meeting to the following recipients, and the nomination letters describing their contributions are displayed for each. Please feel free to express your appreciation to each of the recipients for their contributions to our chapter life and opportunities.

Exemplary Conservation Volunteer 2013

Dave Piske, Conservation Project Leader

The Rocky Mountain Flycasters Chapter has selected Dave Piske to receive the 2013 Exemplary Conservation Volunteer Award for his many and sustained contributions. This award recognizes a chapter member for demonstrated zeal, energy and commitment to resource conservation in the chapter, and also in related external activities that further the TU Mission. In summary, Dave’s contributions have had a significant, positive impact on the coldwater resource. His advocacy efforts on key conservation issues, his leadership and his contributions of personal time and resources have resulted in significant “on-the-ground” project benefits. He also has been instrumental in establishing external partnerships. Dave’s capabilities and diligence in executing his Conservation Committee Chairperson responsibilities the past two years of raging wildfires and horrendous flooding far exceed what would typically be expected of a committee chair under normal circumstances. In total, Dave’s work has set him apart as an exemplary conservation volunteer.

Dave Piske
Dave Piske (photo by pwehr)
Most extraordinarily, Dave has labored as in Chapter President Dick Jefferies’ primary researcher, technical advisor and right-hand aide throughout half of 2012 and all of 2013 while Dick led formation of the 501.c.3 Coalition for the Poudre River Watershed. Even before some of the final details of CPRW were concluded Dave became a major contributor transferring his experience to support formation of the Big Thompson River Restoration Coalition (BTRRC) in the wake of that historic flood disaster. Dave currently serves on both the Steering and Fiscal Committees for BTRRC. Dave has also ably represented RMF’s position while serving as its representative on the “UniverCity” program where he promoted the Poudre River as a valuable natural resource to be enhanced as it runs through core of Fort Collins.

Dave has become recognized by area organizations as RMF’s “go to” single point of contact to mobilize chapter resources or to seek collaborative interface taking advantage of his acknowledged diverse conservation repertoire. His meticulous study and knowledge about regulatory issues, awareness of strategies and knowledge of advocacy implementation processes have positioned Dave as a skilled advisor when collaboration is required. He has also been valued by Colorado TU as an advisor for how to effectively interface and advance TU positions with northern Colorado governmental agencies and NGO executives. Dave has established trust, rapport and alliances relevant for our RMF chapter activities with the U.S. Forest Service, Colorado Parks & Wildlife, Larimer County Open Space Program, Fort Collins Natural Areas Program, the National Park Service, The Nature Conservancy and the Wildlife Restoration Volunteers officials. Dave’s relationships have enabled RMF in recent years to substantially expand its quantity and variety of conservation volunteer projects and involvement leading to much more knowledgeable and vibrant interest and participation levels by RMF membership for TU’s conservation mission. A variety of Reconnect and Restoration projects remain in these agencies work plans for when the urgencies of recent fires and floods begin to calm.

All who know Dave acknowledge and admire his capabilities and contributions in support of RMF’s interests and the benefits derived from his selfless contributions. The RMF Chapter is proud to recognize David Piske as its Exemplary Conservation Volunteer.

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Exemplary Chapter Function, Project or Activity Leadership Award 2013

Bill Perrill, Trustee at Large and Project Healing Waters

The Rocky Mountain Flycasters Chapter has selected Bill Perrill to receive the 2013 Exemplary Chapter Function, Project or Activity Leadership Award for his contributions as a new member of the Chapter Board of Trustees. Bill demonstrated a willingness on behalf of the Chapter to devote resources and his volunteer time to take on new projects where he introduced innovation and creativity resulting in significant positive and lasting impacts upon the chapter.

Bill Perrill
Bill demonstrated his leadership commitment from the first board meeting he attended, when he openly shared his impressions as a newly active chapter activities participant. He also described how new procedures could be initiated to improve chapter leadership succession, continuity and performance. He subsequently volunteered to chair a committee for the development of procedures and implementation of such procedures. This resulted in writing and getting Board approval for the long-needed position descriptions for all board trustees and leadership council offices and coordinator positions. He then completed and obtained approval for detailed descriptions of responsibilities for all significant chapter programs, functions and activities. This work required months of inquiries, collaboration, cajoling, expediting, editing and organizing submitted materials and much personal authorship of 49 separate documents, many multi-page, that collectively resulted in RMF’s first Orientation Manual for use to inform and orient new Board members and leaders. The development and compilation of this manual now provides operational guidance as well as historical documentation that were sorely needed by the Chapter.

Bill also initiated and volunteered to coordinate RMF’s first official Project Healing Waters program. This was again an exercise researching several previous false starts that had ended in an array of poorly documented and disorganized historical and functional details, clarifying how best to proceed and leading efforts to that outcome. The result was that all the procedural matters were resolved and documented, and Bill has become the single point of contact for RMF’s Project Healing Waters involvement, part of a valuable national community service program.

Bill demonstrated initiative above and beyond any expected norm of his new Trustee incumbency as he tackled the two knotty and long-overlooked administrative tasks and drove them to success in the form of new documentation of Board leadership roles and governance. The Chapter is proud to recognize Bill Perrill as an Exemplary Chapter Function, Project or Activity awardee.

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Exemplary Youth Education Award 2013

Dennis Cook, Youth Outreach Coordinator

The Rocky Mountain Flycasters Chapter has selected Dennis Cook to receive its 2013 Exemplary Youth Education Award. Dennis’ participation in youth activities this past year was a reflection of the unending commitment he has shown for several years regarding youth education activities within the chapter.

Dennis Cook and Dick Jefferies
Dick Jefferies (R) presents award to Dennis Cook (L) (photo by pwehr)
Dennis was the cornerstone in establishing the Chapter’s annual Youth Day Camp and as the Youth Outreach Chair, continues this successful work. He has established a solid relationship with Larimer County Boys and Girls Club bringing direct benefit to the Youth Day Camp. It has also brought about exposure to TU’s mission to the Northern Colorado community through the Chapter’s annual participation in Larimer County Boys and Girls Club Day for Kids.

Dennis also coordinates volunteer efforts with the US Forest Service in order to insure the success of the Forest Service annual Kids Fish Fest Day at Red Feather Lakes.

When Dennis sees something he feels will be a good fit for both youth and TU, he takes a hold of the idea, runs with it and puts it into an action. Such is the case with Trout in the Classroom. Under Dennis’ patient tutelage the Northern Colorado Community is now host to this dynamic national program. Another program that Dennis saw as a good fit for the Chapter is the Children’s Water Festival where the Chapter now participates annually.

Constantly seeking new opportunities, Dennis is currently working on creation and implementation of a middle school program to reach yet another under-served age group.

Dennis has a vision grounded in the knowledge that today’s youth will be the conservationists of the future. However, he is keenly aware that sharing the TU experience with the youth of today is a challenge larger than what Rocky Mountain Flycasters can shoulder by itself. Armed with this vision, Dennis is constantly developing stronger relationships with Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Larimer County, CSU and other non-profit and for-profit organizations in order to facilitate the best possible Chapter youth programming.

It is this dedication to service, and the mission of TU, that makes Dennis uniquely qualified to receive this year’s Exemplary Youth Education Award, recognizing him for not only his efforts this past year but for all the years of tireless service he has given towards youth education.

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Exemplary Youth Education Volunteer Award 2013

Dennis and Amy Galyardt

The Rocky Mountain Flycasters (RMF) Chapter has selected Dennis and Amy Galyardt to share the 2013 Exemplary Youth Education Award for their multiple and sustained contributions to Chapter programs. Dennis and Amy have been the RMF’s most committed, enthusiastic and across-the-board volunteers in all of the Chapter’s diverse youth programs for the past five years. Their aggregate participation has resulted in their high profile visibility, popularity and respect among all other volunteers as clearly “exemplary”.

Amy and Dennis Galyardt
Amy and Dennis Galyardt with Youth Camp presentation (photo by pwehr)
Dennis and Amy developed a major improvement in 2013 to a RMF’s youth program offering of an introductory fly fishing exposure to middle school age youths. A previous effort had been abandoned because the curriculum design was inadequate. Dennis and Amy agreed to redesign the curriculum, applying their professional teaching experience to ensure an age-appropriate experience for the participants. The program will be reintroduced in the spring of 2014 at the Larimer Boys & Girls Club in Fort Collins. The age-appropriate activities/game-based curriculum design enables the youths to have more fun as they learn, which is expected to increase the probability the participants will follow up with continued interest and participation in the sport of fly fishing. This curriculum’s modular design also provides RMF with stand-alone units appropriate to respond to the specific needs within virtually any middle school age youth setting without having to do the complete six-module program. The new curriculum includes: I. Introduction To The Adventures Of Fly Fishing (55 minutes); II. Fly Casting (30 minutes) and Knots (20 minutes); III. Fish Inside and Out (55 minutes); IV. The Fish’s Watery World (55 minutes); V. Fly Tying (55 minutes); VI. Let’s Go Fishing! (2 hours). The Galyardts also researched and purchased all of the props, equipment and training aids needed to present the modules.

Dennis and Amy also have contributed significant, positive suggestions for improving all of RMF’s four Day Camps in addition to being key participants every year. Dennis has been one of the Day Camp’s fly tying instructors for several years, leading Amy and other volunteers as mentors on his team. Both have served as mentors teaching casting and for river and still water fishing activities.

Amy stepped forward on short notice to design a short program and present fly casting instruction to several classes of elementary age youths at the CSU Environmental Learning Center in 2012; this qualified RMF to receive a donation of 15 youth rod/reel units from the Eagle Claw Company that are now used by the Chapter for both elementary and middle school age participants. Dennis and Amy also researched and purchased fifteen lines at substantial discount and wound all the backing and line onto all the reels.

Additionally, Dennis and Amy have participated in the CPW and USFS Kids Fishing Day events.

It is without reservation that the RMF Chapter recognizes Dennis and Amy Galyardt as Exemplary Youth Education Awardees.

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Outstanding Chapter Volunteer Award 2013

Dick Jefferies, Rocky Mountain Flycasters President

The Rocky Mountain Flycasters (RMF) Chapter has named Dick Jefferies as the 2013 Outstanding Chapter Volunteer. Dick’s contributions this past year epitomize the award criteria for an individual who has demonstrated an exceptional dedication to the goals of RMF Chapter and also Colorado Trout Unlimited (CTU), by the hours of volunteer time committed, the contribution of unique talents promoting efforts of both, and a contribution that energizes an innovative idea to create major progress toward key goals of RMF and CTU.

Lee Evans and Dick Jefferies
Lee Evans (L) presents award to Dick Jefferies (R) (photo by pwehr)
This award is primarily in recognition of Dick’s initiative in leading the organization of the successful Northern Colorado, community-wide, volunteer effort in response to the Hewlett Gulch and High Park Wildfires. While the fires ravaged our mountains and woodlands in 2012 and Dick’s activity to stimulate the restoration of the Poudre River watershed began promptly thereafter, his efforts continued throughout 2013. Dick initially contacted and researched the Coalition for the Upper South Platte (CUSP) that was formed after the Buffalo Creek Wildfire south of Denver and just before the Hayman Fire near Woodland Park. CUSP’s success inspired him to begin conversations with the Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley city governments and water utilities, with the U.S. Forest Service, the Colorado Parks & Wildlife, Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, Trees-Water-People, the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado funding organization, regional breweries, Colorado State University, Colorado Conservation Exchange, regional agricultural water companies, and innumerable other government and non-governmental organizations. He then began organizing a non-profit organization originally referred to as the Poudre River Restoration Coalition (PRRC). Dick chaired most of the PRRC’s organizational meetings as they waded through intricacies of forming a charter, writing bylaws, forming an official board of directors, an advisory council and a roster of registered stakeholders. Dick’s initiative was the first meaningful, communitywide wildfire recovery action step forward, and our community owes him a debt of gratitude. Fortunately Dick had the desire, interpersonal skills and community relationships from his long residency and business background He also had solid previous experience leading a major non-profit and as a volunteer with others. He was the right man at the right time! Events progressed and the group eventually morphed into the Coalition for the Poudre River Watershed (CPRW) a registered 501c.3. non-profit, with Dick Jefferies elected as President, and subsequently the lead in efforts to complete the hiring its first Executive Director. Major public and private funding is now flowing into the CPRW and work on the ground is in progress with a ramped up effort in the works.

Dick accomplished the above while also fulfilling his responsibilities as RMF President, where he has continued to be instrumental in building a strong leadership team and a stronger, more active chapter.

It is an understatement to point out that RMF and the name of Trout Unlimited has benefited from Dick’s public and media visibility. His accomplishments have done more to position RMF as a community resource than we could likely have otherwise accomplished in the next decade. A fortuitous side benefit of Dick’s achievement is that his coalition-building model has been used by volunteers to rapidly mobilize and successfully organize the Big Thompson River Restoration Coalition (BTRRC) in response to the horrendous flooding last September 2013.

Dick Jefferies is a truly an outstanding citizen contributing to the betterment of Northern Colorado and the pride of RMF/CTU.

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Last updated on 29 May, 2014