Category: Conservation News

TU National Leadership Council (NLC) Seeks Increased Women Membership

Old  TU National has started a new membership drive for women from March 1 through May 31.  Free memberships is being offered to women during this time frame.  The NLC Women’s Initiative Workgroup is asking for Chapter help with their goal of increasing and retaining women’s membership within TU.
The goal for the Women’s Initiative Workgroup is to increase and retain new women members in TU.  A free membership program for women was started last year and was successful in increasing our membership with 2600+ women!  What is even more exciting is that our retention rate for these new members is now at 13% and has far surpassed the workgroups original goal!  To keep this momentum continuing, TU has started a new membership drive for women starting March 1 through May 31.  This information was included in the recent Lines To Leaders.  Free memberships will be offered to women once again during this time frame and I encourage you to promote this event within your Chapters.  To continue improving retention rates, TU is also offering reduced memberships to women who had signed up for the free membership when their membership is due.  The renew rate is $17.50 of which $15.00 will go to your chapters.  This membership drive starts March 15 through June 15.  I have attached an excel spread sheet of women in Virginia who took advantage of the free membership but have not yet renewed. I encourage you to contact the women in your Chapter and invite them to take advantage of the renewal rate of $17.50.
Here is the link to the free women’s membership for you to give to any women that are interested in joining TU.  And remember your chapter will receive $15.00 of their first renewal.  lease visit to take advantage of this offer.

Rapidan River Threatened by Road Proposal

If you’ve missed the last few Chapter meetings, you may not be aware that the Madison County Board of Supervisors is proposing a new entrance to Shenandoah National Park. The entrance would use the existing road along the Rapidan River through the Rapidan Wildlife Management Area  and go through the gate and past President Hoover’s camp. TU members and other users of the area are quite concerned about the impact this proposal would have on our namesake river and the pristine area it flows though. Rather than going into great detail, we have created a Fight the Madison Gateway page dedicated to information on this critical matter.  included a link to an Action Alert prepared by the Rapidan Chapter.

Also, we have a link to the Virginia Council of Trout Unlimited website at

At the end of the VCTU article are links to letters of opposition from Rapidan Camps and a letter to the Madison Eagle with also contains information complementary to the Chapter’s Action Alert.

“Public Use” in Jeopardy on Some Virginia Public Waters

By Beau Beasley, Rapidan TU Chapter Member, for Orvis News

In June 2010, Dargan Coggeshall and Charlie Crawford decided to fish on the Jackson River near the home of Dr. John Feldenzer, a surgeon from Roanoke, Virginia. However, Matt Sponaugle — owner of the housing development called River’s Edge, who had sold the riverfront property to the Feldenzers — insisted that the anglers leave that section of the river immediately. He pointed to the No Trespassing signs posted on the banks of both sides of the river indicating that neither fishing nor wading was allowed there. Coggeshall, who had fished that part of the Jackson for years prior to the home being built, countered that his map, issued by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, listed this section of the Jackson River as public property.

Eventually, Sponaugle called for an Alleghany County deputy sheriff to check the anglers’ fishing licenses. The deputy found that their licenses were in order and, because the state said that they had a right to be there, refused to arrest them. Undeterred, Sponaugle tried to sue the anglers in criminal court; the case was dropped, however, because the court found the ownership of the river in dispute. Now Feldenzer and Sponaugle are suing the anglers in civil court — to the tune of $10,000 apiece — for trespassing. ………READ MORE

This article was originally printed by Chesapeake Bay Journal and was been reprinted by Orvis News with permission of the author.

Conservation news – Public Use Lawsuit – Jackson River

I have cut and pasted an important bit of information from an email of one of our Chapter Board members, please read:

Beau Beasly’s article on MidCurrent provides all the info – link to article ->

Jay / Randy – thank you very much for highlighting the Jackson river problem on the NVTU and Potomac River Smallmouth Club websites.

However, I would like to ask you to take a more aggressive approach to getting the word out and e-mail the following (or an edited version) to your respective mailing lists. This issue is too important to be passive and hope for people to visit the website.

Here is what I recommend you send:

Please join with us to fight for the right for anglers to use public water! We need to mobilize now to make a difference!

A developer is suing 3 anglers in Virginia for fishing a section of the Jackson River that the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries considers public. If the court rules in favor of the developer, rivers throughout Virginia will be off limits for recreational use at the whim of the riverfront landowner in spite of a Virginia law that places the riverbed under the ownership of the State. These things have a way of spreading, so an unfavorable decision could ripple nationwide as a horrible precedent.

The goal is to: Continue Reading »