My 20 year old son Isaac questions whether one person can really make a difference in the larger scheme of things. He and I have discussed (my wife might say argued) this point many times. As a father I hope that he comes to understand the power of individual action. I think my other son Joshua gets my point and maybe even believes me! Given that Joshua is 18 I regard that as something of an accomplishment.
You probably already know that TU was founded 50 years ago this year by a small group of people who believed they could make a difference in the direction of the watersheds they loved and fished. They acted on the belief that individuals who care can make a difference. When I look at all TU has accomplished in the past 50 years I'd say they have done pretty well.
As I write this in mid-December, it's finally started to rain here in Sacramento. The cloudy, rainy days make me think about steelhead fishing and the plans that have already been made to chase these magnificent fish with Dan, my regular fishing partner.
I'm someone that needs a plan and a goal that I am actively working on in my life. Goals give focus to my energies and thoughts and give me something to work toward and dream about as I go about my daily life. I also believe it is important for organizations to have a plan and that it is effectively communicated to all members of the group. Trout Unlimited is all about coldwater fisheries conservation. The challenge for us is to translate that into concrete actions that we take in our region to protect and improve our local fisheries.
My first goal as President is to work with the other board members to develop and communicate an action plan for 2009 in the February newsletter. The plan will be simple with a few concrete goals where we can focus our thoughts, our energies and our efforts as a group. A primary focus of the plan will be to increase the number of hands-on conservation projects that the chapter is involved with. This will mean more opportunities for all of us to make a difference in our local watersheds. Look for more detailed information in next month's newsletter!!
In about 6 weeks the Chapter will celebrate its 2nd Anniversary, and I will be stepping down as president. Much of the hard and sometimes tedious administrative groundwork has been done and we're ready to expand our scope of activities to tasks that are much more fun – such as planning and conducting hands-on restoration activities, or just getting together at some fishin' hole and sharing ideas. I know it's stated above but now may be the time to repeat "We need your input and participation to help protect the fisheries". If you think the Chapter is moving too slow, or moving too fast, or headed in the wrong direction, or ?????, please volunteer to actively assist by making a commitment to serve on the Board or a committee for just 1 year (October 2008 – September 2009). On Page 2 are the current nominees for the election next month. Three of the highest priorities we have identified for committee activity are publicity, speaker's bureau, and conservation.
Because the Chapter territory is so large (approximately 8,200 square miles), and many people are now on-line, we are planning to conduct quite a few Board meetings in the comfort of our own homes via teleconferencing – all you need is a computer with internet connection and a head set (and yes, you can participate in your pj's since we will only be able to see documents being discussed, not each other). This will save time and money on travel for everyone, and is a way for the chapter to be a bit more "green". We also hope this will encourage active participation of members in outlying areas to help identify regional issues and to serve as liaison with their local organizations.
As I prepare to hand over the reins of the presidency to someone else, I wish to say "Thank You" to everyone who has been so supportive of the Chapter and its programs since our first meeting 2 years ago. Many of us joined TU to work in the sun (and rain if necessary) to protect and restore habitat for fish, but building an organization from the ground up requires a lot of time be devoted to administrative duties. Based on how much we've accomplished, the Board members either worked when they should have been sleeping, or they worked on administrative stuff when they would have rather been outdoors. Whichever, they deserve a zillion "thank you's".
However, the Board members are not the only ones who deserve credit for our progress -- we need to acknowledge the speakers who have donated their time while we get on our feet financially, and the individuals and organizations which have donated in some way to help cover costs for projects and our newsletter.
Yes, as past president I will still be helping with administrative functions but I am looking forward to more time in the sun (and rain if necessary!) protecting the fisheries in this area of California – they are among the best in the nation and with your help we can keep them that way. s/Barbara Bania
Thousands of acres of farmland in the San Joaquin Valley have been removed from agricultural production, largely because the once fertile land is contaminated by salt buildup from years of irrigation. But large swaths of those dry fields could have a valuable new use in their future, making electricity.
Farmers and officials at Westlands Water District, a public agency that supplies water to farms in the valley, have agreed to provide land for what would be one of the world's largest solar energy complexes, to be built on 30,000 acres. At peak output, the proposed Westlands Solar Park would generate as much electricity as several BIG nuclear power plants.
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January 2008 Newsletter
February 2008 Newsletter
March 2008 Newsletter
April 2008 Newsletter
May 2008 Newsletter
June 2008 Newsletter
July 2008 Newsletter
August 2008 Newsletter
September 2008 Newsletter
October 2008 Newsletter
November 2008 Newsletter
December 2008 Newsletter
January 2009 Newsletter
February 2009 Newsletter
March 2009 Newsletter
April 2009 Newsletter
May 2009 Newsletter
June 2009 Newsletter
The California Legislature voted to pull the $11 billion water bond from November's ballot and delay it for two years, a move that came as backers of the proposal became increasingly concerned about its prospects at the polls.
The full Senate approved the delay of Prop. 18 by a 27-7 vote, barely reaching the necessary two-thirds majority of the 40-member Senate. The Assembly also passed it by the slimmest of margins in that 80-person house, with a 54-22 vote. Some lawmakers from both parties have called for the bond to be scrapped and rewritten.
Water userʼs contention hatchery fish are adequate substitute rejected
October 27, 2008
Fresno, CA -- A U.S. District Court judge has rejected an attempt by California irrigators and logging industry groups to strip protected status from five populations of wild steelhead trout. Today's ruling rejects two separate challenges to steelhead protection in California . In the first case, anti-environment group Pacific Legal Foundation, which represents loggers and water users, argued that the National Marine Fisheries Service must make Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing decisions based simply on the numbers of hatchery steelhead produced each year. PLF asked the court to remove five separate populations of steelhead from the list of endangered species based on the presence of hatchery fish. In the second case, a group of Central Valley irrigators argued that ocean-going Central Valley steelhead population should be removed from the endangered species list based on their opinion that freshwater resident rainbow trout might someday replace extinct steelhead populations.