November 9th was a nice evening to meet at the Lucky Lab for our annual State of TVTU gathering. A few over twenty persons came out and joined the group for a bite and beer.
Erle began with some new member introductions – Dan, a longtime Oregonian and recent transplant to the Portland metro area came out to meet some like-minded folks, learn some of the local waters and partake in our conservation efforts. Justin was next and hopes to join others expanding his fishing knowledge – he has a fledgling 7 year old fisherman in the family who cannot get enough!
Remember, if you are interested in being a part of our conservation efforts – email us at TVTURESTORATION@GMAIL.COM; we’ll get your name on a list to receive project updates and invites.
TVTU business was next with five board members up for reelection: Mike Gentry [member and treasurer], Erle Norman [member and president], Ron Reinebach [member and auction chair], Jon Pampush [member and vice president], and Jeff Price [member and secretary]. Voting ensued and without any contest, each person was unanimous voted in by attendees.
Following elections was a short treasurers report; Mike G was out of the country [ask him how his annual Argentina trip this year was when you next see him…]. Erle...
kept the microphone and took on the duties to report the strong financial condition of the Chapter. The fiscal year ends in October and the past year was another strong one for the Chapter. Thanks to gracious donations and Christmas for Coho again being self-supporting, the Chapter account showed $13,068.88 in cash at the end of September. The chapter expenditures were $7859 for 2016, with receipts being $9718 for the same period. We were again blessed with good funding and committed manpower for the year from our members. THANK YOU all! Being in the metro area affords the Tualatin Valley Chapter to be one of the largest TU Chapters in the state and though it has not always been solidly funded, the Board is pleased with the last few years commitment from our members!
The President’s address followed and Erle proudly announced that the upcoming Christmas for Coho effort will the 5th year for the project – with continued expansion and participation, we are proud again to coordinate it for 2017. Our Chapter Outreach and volunteer program has continued to see great growth. Outreach has especially received a shot in the arm with Mark Rogers offering up attendance and volunteers for participation in the Tualatin River Keepers summer kids camps, Derry Dell restorations with the City of Tigard, and the Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge. We continue to provide support to the Portland area Project Healing Waters. Jerry Lorang was able to garner some of the national spotlight this year and attended a national gathering. Erle offered up his profound thanks to all Board Members, volunteers and donors!
Tom Wolf, Executive Director of the Oregon Council, took charge of the microphone to provide some updates on the 2017 Legislative session [it will officially start the first week of February]. Prior to getting into the session information Tom noted his retirement in July of 2017. The Council has formed a commission to assist in his replacement; the overall plan will involve multiple representatives to handle the many facets of Government that Tom has been working with. It should also be noted that currently, Trout Unlimited is the only wild fish conservationist group represented in Salem.
- Suction Dredge Mining: currently there is a 5-year moratorium to allow proper legislation to be written. A bill will form regulations for mining when the moratorium sunsets – this is viewed as a Democratic legacy for deceased representative Bates, a champion of the effort. TU is currently working with the mining community representatives on verbiage.
- Long-term ODFW Funding [HB2402]: License fees no longer cover expenses for ODFW regardless of increases; plans are in place to establish a supportive system to assist ODFW’s viability into the future. Currently tax surcharges and increased bottle bill funding are viewed as the optimal directions for funding.
- Ground Water Bills: battles over ground water are common throughout the West. This is true of Oregon as well. With burgeoning populations, agricultural and ranching interests as well as power & utility interests, water in Oregon is over appropriated in our state. Legislation is hopefully a method of continuing the discussion for all interests.
- Forest Pesticides: widespread use of pesticide in commercial timber properties have the potential to contaminate many water sources in Oregon. Discussions for controls and regulations will continue.
- Climate Change: discussion and actions will continue to address this concern.
- Transportation: funding for Oregon’s transportation infrastructure will continue to draw funds from other projects. Continuing growth across the state and a lack of priority funding has left projects behind.
- Heritage Agriculture: a bill will be in discussion that outlines opportunities to increase conservation activities and access on isolated lands in the state.
A few efforts exist that are viewed as bad by TU: wetlands project supervision extended to the County within which they occur; numerous anti-Public Lands bills allowing for Federal lands to be transferred or sold to the state or private interests; removal of Fish Persistence efforts allowing water use interests to take priority over fish and wildlife.
Again, we would like to thank all those persons who have helped through 2016 and hope that we can realize your assistance and support again in 2017!