The Iowa Council adopted a system where new chapters can be formed without the past hassle. Those wishing to form a new chapter may create a “committee” of interested people. This committee is part of an existing chapter. They elect leaders, fund raise (funds held by “parent chapter", but spent only by committee) and gather members. Once the committee reaches a sustainable amount of members, they can petition to become an independent chapter. This idea stems from TU national. In the past we have had many members inquire about building chapters in their local areas so this should make it easier to grow the chapters and hence participation.
Reviewed the loose system of chapter responsibility. North Bear will mainly focus on building relationships with the state government in Des Moines and legislators. Also membership in, and relationships with, other environmental groups. Driftless will focus on projects and relationship building with the local DNR staff. Spring Creek is in a state of flux right now. But all chapters will participate in work days. One of the goals of the chairman is to improve communication between chapters.
The new section chief with the Iowa DNR, Michael Siepker spoke to the group about their goals and willingness to partner with local groups to grow the watershed of cold water fisheries in NE Iowa. With money becoming available over the next 5 years thru the farm bill, this helps TU create permanent easements and stream improvements.
There was also discussion about the State Council forming a trust fund where the local chapters could tap for funding, along with their local sources. This will be looked at in more detail.
There has been a change in the leadership of the state council: Jim Kelehan is now Chairman and Michael Chilton is Vice-Chair and treasurer. Kate Lodge will remain as secretary. Brett Lorenzen is past chairman and tie vote breaker.
Michael Chilton will be attending the TU National meeting in Bozeman MT this year.
As of now, it looks like The North Bear Chapter will be hosting the TU regional meeting next spring (2017) in Des Moines. More details to follow.