An appreciation for the Chicago-based Izaak Walton League of America, which turned 100 last week.
For some of us, conservation and environmentalism are of biblical importance.
So I understood what Michael Reinemer meant when I asked him if he had any pictures of the meeting in Chicago where the Izaak Walton League was formed 100 years ago on January 14, 1922.
“We don’t have a photo of that 1922 meeting, but we do have the actual tablecloth on which the 54 organizers signed with the dollar amounts pledged to the new organization,” sent Reinemer, IWL communications director. of America. “It’s kind of a mess, but in terms of its meaning to us, it’s like the Shroud of Turin.”
Izaak Walton wrote ‘The Compleat Angler’, first published in 1653. It’s ‘The Fishing Book’, but also about politics and conservation.
With good reason, the League has become a leading force in modern environmentalism locally and nationally.
“I joined IWLA in 1975; I joined because my family was young and loved the outdoors,” Illinois Division President Gary Struck emailed. “And growing up near Lake Michigan, I was always concerned about water quality issues. When I started attending meetings, it didn’t take long for me to realize what the IWLA: Soon I became involved in local, state, and national conservation issues.
Several highlights stand out for Illinois. In 1924, the League spearheaded the creation of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. At the 1927 convention in Chicago, the Outdoor Writers Association of America was formed. In 1951, a project resulted in the planting of thousands of trees in the Shawnee National Forest.
The League worked to protect giant Canada geese, a subspecies thought to be extinct. This included leasing, then buying, a mine reclaimed from the Peabody Coal Company near Atkinson, which became the Giant Goose’s conservation education workshop with fishing, camping, boating , fossil hunting and bird watching.
The Blackhawk Chapter has spent years on what the Elton E Fawks Bald Eagle Refuge is. Members of the Illinois Division worked on designating the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River as a National Wilderness and Scenic River.
Clean water has been a priority from the start. In 1927, President Calvin Coolidge commissioned the League to conduct the first national survey of water pollution. This focus continues with citizen science efforts such as Save Our Streams and Salt Watch. Non-League members, including teachers and students, can participate (iwla.org/water/stream-monitoring).
It is important. That’s why the last time I was at Giant Goose was for a presentation on flow monitoring.
To learn more about the Illinois Division, visit iwla.org/illinoisdivision.
Hunting in Illinois
When the overall deer harvest numbers for the 2021-22 seasons arrive, I will post to chicago.suntimes.com/outdoors.
by Carl Strang Chicago Area Singing Bugs update released. He notes the discovery of slow chiming trines in the region, with adjustments to chiming ground crickets; and the discovery of two forests with large, persistent emergences of Periodic Brood X cicadas. For a copy, and I would suggest teachers and scout leaders do, email [email protected]
To anyone using the “pivot” at a professional or committee meeting, find a bass fishing neighbor, ask for a 1/0 hook, then open your mouth and (you get the idea).