Heroes of Conservation: Chapters
These conservation-organization chapters are working to save our forests, streams and wetlands.
Izaak Walton League of America
Wildlife Achievement Chapter,
A lot has changed in the 60 years since this IWLA chapter started. “We grew up on the Chesapeake Bay fishing and crabbing,” says chapter president Stephen Lefebvre. “And it’s just not like it used to be.” To help mitigate the effects of development and pollution, volunteers clean up the roads and waterways of the Patuxent River watershed, removing everything from tires to refrigerators. They’ve planted 1,200 trees, which buffer the riparian zone, and they’ve also helped reestablish species of elms and chestnuts. “We’re starting to make an impact,” Lefebvre says.
Illinois Prairie Chapter,
This central-Illinois group has installed 300 wood-duck and mallard nesting structures across the state, a project that helped two local teens attain Eagle Scout status. They also sponsor bird-related research for PhD students, and host a youth duck hunt and waterfowl seminars. “Being a conservation organization isn’t just about hunting,” says chapter secretary Pat Gregory. “We’re teaching these kids stewardship.”
Southeast Wisconsin Chapter,
“If you take care of the water,” says chapter president Henry Koltz, “then the fishing will take care of itself.” Working with another TU chapter, members placed 100 wooden “lunker” structures along 1 mile of a public-access stream, stabilizing damaged banks and improving trout habitat. The chapter also holds casting and fly-tying clinics and takes veterans fishing.