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The Waterloo Iowa Chapter

Iowa's Oldest Izaak Walton League of America Chapter

Defenders of soil, air, woods, waters, and wildlife.

 


Club Leadership

  • President:
  • Leo Cramer
  • Vice President:
  • Arnold Schares
  • Secretary:
  • Beth Rasmussen
  • Treasurer:
  • James McCarthy
  • Membership Coordinator:
  • James McCarthy
  • Shooting Sports Coordinator:
  • Jeff Schwake

    The Waterloo Iowa Chapter

    The Waterloo chapter, founded in 1922, has the distinction of boasting the first chapter house in the state of Iowa.This was followed closely by the founding of the Des Moines chapter, commonly thought of as the first in the state. The reason for this is during the great depression, the Des Moines chapter was able to maintain its charter, while the Waterloo chapter floundered and was forced to re-apply in 1924. This small gap makes the Des Moines chapter the longest continuous chapter in the state, but Waterloo is still the oldest.

    In 1938, a member donated the land where the chapter house was built and where it sits today. Beginning in 1945, the large chapter house seen today was built and is being improved to this day. Most notably two large additions have been added since its original construction.As the new building was finished, the main chapter was moved from it's original building into the new, while the old chapter house building was re purposed to house the shooting sports group.

    In 2010, a need to expand the shooting sports group was realized to accommodate the large number of adult and youth shooters. A new building was erected containing both storage areas and a shooter's comfort / shooters education room.

    Izaak Walton League of America

    The Izaak Walton League is an American environmental organization founded in 1922 that promotes natural resource protection and outdoor recreation. The organization was founded in Chicago, Illinois by a group of sportsmen who wished to protect fishing opportunities for future generations. They named the league after seminal fishing enthusiast Izaak Walton (1593-1683), known as the "Father of Fly fishing" and author of The Complete Angler. Advertising executive Will Dilg became its first president and promoter. The first conservation organization with a mass membership, the League had over 100,000 supporters by 1924. An early result of their efforts was the establishment of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge in 1924.

    The League led unsuccessful efforts in the 1930s for clean water legislation but achieved initial success with the passage of weak federal water pollution acts in 1948 and 1956. Its major victory came with passage of the Clean Water Act of 1972. The League continues to advocate for preserving wetlands, protecting wilderness, and promoting soil and water conservation. Its Save Our Streams (SOS) program involves activists in all fifty states in monitoring water quality. In the 1930s, the League worked with the noted conservationist Frederick Russell Burnham and the Arizona Boy Scouts to save the bighorn sheep. These efforts led to the establishment in 1939 of two bighorn game ranges in Arizona: Kofa National Wildlife Refuge and Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.

    Although the League's membership declined by the 1960s to a stable level around 50,000, the organization retains a firm base of anglers in the Midwest and Tidewater. The League publishes a quarterly magazine, Outdoor America. They are headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

    Accomplishments

    In addition to the passage of the Clean Water Act of 1972, the League was successful in stopping the harmful logging practices that violated the Organic Act of 1897.

    In May 1973, the League sued the Department of Agriculture over the clear cut logging of Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia as being contrary to the law, which stated in part, "only dead, physically mature, and large growth trees individually marked for cutting" could be sold. The US District Court ruled in favour of the League. The ruling was appealed; on August 21, 1975, the Fourth Court of Appeals upheld the lower court's decision.

    The ramifications of this local decision for forestry and the timber industry nationally led to efforts to repeal the Organic Act. This resulted in a new law passed by Congress: the National Forest Management Act of 1976, which repealed major portions of the Organic Act.



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