A letter from Trustee and Stream Guardian Robert A. Oden, Jr.
Thank you, thank you everyone who supports the great and continuing work of Trout Unlimited. Locally and beyond, all of us are aware of something of this great work. In my case, the cold, clear, fishable water whose present state concerns me most is the Batten Kill River in Vermont and New York. The Batten Kill's legendary past is what prompted many equally legendary fly fishers Lee Wulff, for example to live along its banks.
Alas, the river's healthy population of native brook trout and wild brown trout began to decrease perhaps thirty years ago. The reasons for the Batten Kill's downturn? Trout Unlimited is answering this question this as I write. Only a year ago, the members of the Coldwater Conservation Fund (CCF), a signally important TU group, funded the Batten Kill Home Rivers Initiative. I have seen the ensuing work, I have even cheered the flow of silt and sand which interrupted my fishing this summer, knowing that the flow was the result of TU work upstream on Batten Kill tributaries.
So, the future of the Batten Kill River looks brighter. Brighter because of what TU is doing right now. But . . . but what of the future of Trout Unlimited? Much as we cheer, support, and benefit from TU's work today, how can we ensure that this work also has a bright future? Here's how: by making Trout Unlimited a part of our own estate planning; By adding TU to our will; by participating in such planned gift opportunities as charitable remainder trusts and charitable gift annuities; and by becoming a Trout Unlimited Stream Guardian which signals our pledge to ensure a bright future for TU.
In my own case, I have designated a part of a life insurance policy as a gift to Trout Unlimited. I had initially feared the process of so doing might be complex. The very opposite, it turns out. I called my insurance company, the company sent a form immediately as an attachment to an email message, I completed, signed, and returned the form. The process was complete. Just like that, I became a proud TU Stream Guardian.
My pride continues today. And my hope is that you will share this pride, that you will become a Stream Guardian through including Trout Unlimited in your estate planning. The future of cold, clear, fishable water can be bright, and it will be bright if many of you join me as Stream Guardians. Thank you,
Robert A. Oden, Jr.
Trustee, Trout Unlimited
TU Stream Guardian
PS. If you have already included TU in your plans for the future and would like to join the Stream Guardian Society, please complete and return this form. We look forward to having you join us!