Fall Rendezvous a ‘Monumental’ Occasion

Colorado TU has an in-person board meeting every quarter in a different part of the state each time.  We move the event around to try to lessen the driving blow for those coming from far away – some up to 7 or 8 hours one way.  Given that these volunteers are willing to spend so much personal time to simply attend the meeting, the leadership has been trying hard to make the time spent as valuable as possible. The Colorado TU Fall Rendezvous was held last weekend in Monument, Colorado.  Unlike most of these meetings, we planned this version to be a two-day affair, integrating the annual New Leaders Training into the schedule.  Engaging new leaders before they take office in their local chapters is a great way to give them the tools they need to effectively manage and grow their chapters.

Saturday morning started off with the Colorado TU Business Meeting, where we did such business-y things as finalize our 2013 budget, outline staffing needs for the coming year, and approve the boundaries for the budding Dolores River Anglers chapter.  We also discussed a number of resource-related issues, such as the Aspen hydropower proposal, the Roan Plateau and Upper Colorado campaigns, and plans for the upcoming legislative session.  The meeting was on-time and efficient, and we got everyone to a great fajita lunch right on schedule.

Saturday afternoon featured the New Leaders Workshop, which engaged about 15 new leaders from across the state on subjects like the structure of Trout Unlimited, techniques and tools for running an effective chapter, and some communications strategies.  We also discussed the tools available from National TU, such as the Leaders-Only Tacklebox and Colorado-based staff resources.  Concurrently, David Nickum gave a detailed update on the Roan Plateau campaign, and Doug Krieger from the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife conducted a session on Native Cutthroat Trout Restoration and Genetics.

Saturday evening concluded with a social gathering at the Pikes Peak Brewery for brews and eats, and was attended by at least 20 folks from the meeting, along with a number of members of the local Cheyenne Mountain Chapter.  The party was lively to say the least and a great time was had by all!

Sunday kicked off with a fantastic session on Water Law hosted by Colorado Water Project Staff Attorney Mely Whiting, then led into concurrent sessions about Youth Education conducted by Colorado TU’s Youth Coordinator Jake Lemon, and a session about TU’s Sportsmen’s Conservation Project led by Colorado Field Coordinator Aaron Kindle.

The finale of the weekend was a tour of Bear Creek, which holds the last remaining stronghold of genetically pure Greenback Cutthroat Trout in the state.  Bear Creek is the focus of Cheyenne Mountain TU’s restoration project on October 6.

Overall it was a fantastic weekend.  Many thanks to the Cheyenne Mountain Chapter for coordinating the logistics of the weekend and hosting a great event!