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About the TU North Bear
Trout Unlimted's mission is to conserve, protect and restore North America's coldwater fisheries and their watersheds.
TU works to accomplish this through programs at the local, state and national levels with an extensive and dedicated volunteer network. TU employes professionals at the national and regional level who testify before Congress, publish a quarterly magazine, intervene in federal legal proceedings, and work with the organization's 152,000 volunteers in 450 chapters nationwide to keep them active and invovled in conservation issues. State Councils coordinate similar activities at the state level and help to coordinate local outreach. Local chapters, North Bear being one of those, work on local education, community and restoration efforts.
Trout Unlimited was founded in July 1959 on the banks of the Au Sable River neary Grayling, Michingan. The founders were united by their love of trout fishing, and by their growing disgust with the state's practice of stocking its waters with "cookie cutter trout" (catchable-sized hatchery fish). Convinced that Michigan's trout streams could turn out a far superior fish if left to thier own devices, the anglers formed a new organization: Trout, Unlimited (the comma was dropped a few years later).
From the beginning, TU was guided by the principle that if we "take care of the fish, then the fishing will take care of itself." And that principle was grounded in science. In 1962-1963, TU prepared its first policy statement on wild trout and persuaded the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to discard "put-and-take" trout stocking and start managing for wild trout and healthy habitat. On the heels of that success, anglers quickly founded TU chapters in Illinois, Wisconsin, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Since the mid-1960's, Trout Unlimited has expanded across the US and made numerous advances in the effort to save wild fish. TU has led the way in stopping destructive development that harms natural waterways; has helped to coordinate hunters, fishermen and other conservationists to protect critical waterways; developed education programs to promote wild fish; and led the way on efforts to restore Amercia's coldwater fisheries.
TU's largest national program, the Driftless Area Restoration Effort (TUDARE), is working to direct millions of dollars in grants and donations to stream restoration work in the Driftless region of Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois.
TU in Iowa
The North Bear Chapter was the first TU chapter established in Iowa, based in Des Moines. It was folllowed by the Driftless Chapter (Decorah and surrounding areas) and then the Spring Creeks Chapter (Iowa City and areas through Dubuque).
Chapter "boundaries" do not formally exist-chapters serve to provide local contacts, organizing and community, and TU members can select the chapter with which it is most convenient to affiliate. Iowa TU chapters otherwise work cooperatively across the state to promote Iowa's trout fisheries. The Driftless Chapter tends to concentrate its attention on coordinating restoration and expansion of the streams of the upper northeast part of the state. The Spring Creeks Chapter often focuses on the more southern and eastern streams. Each chapter also engages in local education, outreach and community efforts.
The North Bear chapter serves all of Western, Central and Southern Iowa. As the other Iowa Chapters have better proximity to coordinate on-stream efforts and local education, North Bear takes advantage of its location in the state capitol to engage in state-wide education and advocacy, in addition to providing assistance for stream work around the state.