Arizona Council honored by TU

Joe Miller and Steve LaFalce of AZTU accept award at TU annual meeting. 

by Randy Scholfield

Trout Unlimited is an organization whose success is powered by volunteers at the grassroots level--dedicated chapter members and council leaders who give hundreds of hours of their time and talent to TU's mission of conserving and protecting coldwater fish habitat. These men and women pursue their conservation mission because they're passionate about it--they don't expect rewards or recognition.

But it's still gratifying when that exceptional work is recognized. That happened at TU's annual meeting Sept. 30 in Bozeman, MT, when the Arizona Council of TU (AZTU) received the 2016 “Council Award of Excellence” for its long record of conservation successes—TU’s highest award for state TU organizations.

People don't always associate Arizona with trout--but it has amazing fisheries, from the native trout streams nestled high in Arizona's mountain backcountry to the famous tailwater stretch at Lees Ferry. It's hard to keep up with everything this dynamic Arizona council and its chapters have been up to. But the nominating letter cited several impressive accomplishments in the last year, including:

• Rapidly expanded the Trout in the Classroom program (TIC) from 3 classrooms in the state in 2014 to 17 classrooms in 2015 to 29 classrooms in the fall 2016 school year. TIC is a hands-on, interdisciplinary program in which more than 1,800 students in grades 3-12 learn about coldwater conservation by raising trout from eggs to fingerlings in a classroom aquarium.

• Helped develop a new TU national priority campaign, the Southwest Native Trout Strategy, aimed at protecting three rare and threatened Southwest native trout species (Apache, Gila and Rio Grande Cutthroat) through ramped-up restoration, reconnection, reintroduction and monitoring efforts.

• Worked with federal, state and non-government organizations in the development of a long-term management plan for the operation of Glen Canyon Dam at Lees Ferry on the Colorado River, including recommendations for improving the recreational trout fishery.

The council is the governing body for AZTU’s grassroots chapters, including the Grand Canyon Chapter #190 (Flagstaff), the Old Pueblo Trout Unlimited (OPTU) (Tucson),  Zane Grey Trout Unlimited (Phoenix), and the Gila Trout Chapter of Trout Unlimited (Payson area). This group is constantly raising the bar and challenging themselves to do more for conservation. Congrats, AZTU, for an award richlly deserved!  Check out the press release here

Randy Scholfield is TU's director of communications for the Southwest region. 


Add Content