I’m sure many of you have seen or read Trout Unlimited’s CEO Chris Wood’s comments that were e-mailed or posted on social media on March 17. While many of us are still trying to wrap our heads around the realities of the COVID-19 virus, it is clear that our priority right now is the well-being of Trout Unlimited’s employees, volunteers, conservation partners and their families and friends.
With that said, the executive committee of the Wyoming Council of Trout Unlimited met last week over the phone for our regularly scheduled monthly meeting. The council firmly stands behind the directives as outlined by Chris in comments from last week as well as the guidance issued from the Centers for Disease Control which says:
“Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at a higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. People who are at higher risk are encouraged to avoid crowds as much as possible.”
Effective immediately, all in-person and indoor Trout Unlimited events and gatherings, including chapter meetings, are cancelled for the next 30 days. Trout Unlimited will assess the situation in 30 days and have further guidance at that time. Small group outings may proceed with all of the proper precautions in place regarding social distancing. Phone conferencing is also acceptable.
I have been in contact with many of WYTU’s chapter leadership regarding upcoming chapter meetings, film tours and fundraising events. It is unfortunate, but necessary, that all of the events and chapter meetings scheduled for the end of March, April and early May in Cody, Cheyenne, Jackson, Evanston, Green River and Sheridan, have been cancelled or postponed. While our fundraising efforts are so very important to our coldwater conservation efforts in Wyoming, there is nothing more important than the good health and well-being of our volunteers, members and staff of Trout Unlimited.
As of now, the WYTU Fundraising Rendezvous and Spring Council Meeting, scheduled for May 15, 16 and 17 in Cody, is tentatively set to take place as scheduled. However, with the evolving situation associated with the COVID-19 virus, things can change at a moment’s notice. We will strive to keep our chapter leadership, volunteers and staff updated as we can, and, as we move forward.
In the meantime, we hope that you’ll keep a watchful eye on the situation and be safe. Wyoming is a great place to social distance, and I’m looking forward to doing a little bit of that on the water soon.
As Chris Wood said, “enjoy the time with family and friends, and the people you love. Know that we will get through this together, and we will continue the good work of protecting and restoring the places we live, love and fish.”
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out and contact me. On behalf of the WYTU executive committee, we wish each and every one of you the very best during this difficult time.
Mike Jensen, Wyoming Council Coordinator