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Clara W.

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Izaak Walton League of America, Inc.
October 26, 2011

I joined the League 16 years ago and haven't looked back since. I became interested in the mission of the League because I was concerned with our environment and how badly man was screwing it up. This office is the National Headquarters for the League. I started out as "just a member" and have been allowed to reach the title of National Director. It is a volunteer position. My husband kidingly calls me a professional volunteer. I feel it is important to give back and pay forward. This organization has given me the opportunity to pursue the goals for the environment that I have determined to be of value to you, me and our children. I have received the heartiest support from National right from the beginning. When I needed information, it was a phone call or e-mail away. Our members motto begins "to strive for the purity of water, the clarity of air and the wise stewardship of the land and its resources". I have had the latitude to fight for the restriction of access for the Asian Carp-a threat to the Great Lakes-as well as being given time at our National Convention to recruit assistance from chapters all over the country to help preserve a blacksoil prairie here in Indiana. We as a League and individual members fight for the Clean Air Act not being reduced or weakened, land conservation, clean water, and the list goes on. The chapters are offered educational materials to use locally and the support staff takes your concerns seriously. Last year we made the final commitment and joined as Life Members. They do not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, gender, or anything else. All they ask is a commitment to the goals of the League. Our main goal is to make sure that our children and grandchildren have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and preservation of wildlife and woodlands. I feel that the member benefits far outweigh the cost of dues. My husband and I serve locally, at the state level and at the National Level. It is worth the time and commitment to us. If you look back to the late 1970's, our water conservation program known as Save our Streams is the model for many of the state's volunteer water monitoring programs all over the country. Indiana has Hoosier Riverwatch (we are also members there) and it is practically written verbatim to the IWLA program. Our membership has grown to about 38,000 members and hopefully will continue to grow as state and federal programs die off. We also have scholarships at all levels - from chapters to state division to National. Many of our scholarship recipients go on to become life-long members of the League. They do this not because they feel obligated but because this is an organization that they can believe in. If you have never heard of us, we have been around since 1922. Google us and find a piece of history. If you have skills, they are welcome. I retired recently and was looking for something to keep the brain sharp and make a difference. I have found that in the Izaak Walton League.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the sixteen years I have been a member. I have watched the League be successful in fighting invasive specie problems with all levels of the League involved. Action alerts go out on a regular basis when there is a situation that requires a member to contact their reps in Congress and local (state) government

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

change very little. I would maybe think about hiring more support staff and paying them a little better so that we can retain qualified people for continuity.

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & Anything the League has asked of me.