posted Jan 2, 2016, 8:47 AM by North Jersey TU   [ updated Jan 4, 2016, 6:59 AM by John Rizzo ]

First and foremost, as your newly elected President, I would like to wish all of our members, friends and supporters a Very Happy, Prosperous and Fulfilling New Year.

In asking the question “What’s Ahead” I realize that no one can predict the future, but what we can do is  prepare for the known and plan for new things. And the knowns are plentiful and will, with certainty, claim most of our volunteer resources. The obvious that comes to mind is the restoration of the Sparta Glen Brook in Sparta, NJ, to a viable and sustainable habitat for our native Brook Trout. In-stream work is scheduled to start at the beginning of April, immediately followed by an all-out three to four week planting effort that will require the on-location presence of as many members we can muster. This will be a very exciting undertaking and a wonderful opportunity to enter into a strong and hopefully long lasting relationship with the community of Sparta. It does not get any better!

The other “knowns” are  the upcoming Somerset Fly Fishing Show, the Fly Tying Classes in February, the Annual Banquet in March, the river clean-ups at the Flatbrook and Rockaway, the Trout Stocking of the Flatbrook, Sparta Day, the Jefferson Fishing Derby, Ramsey Outdor’s Cast and Blast,  the NJ State Fair at the Sussex Fairgrounds, the Chapter Picnic, and last but not least, the Trout in the Classroom Egg Day.

Seeing them listed all in one place, confronts us with just how much work is waiting in the wings for all available hands on deck!

Which brings me to a point I would like to make right up-front: for many years now we have adhered to this annual routine of doing what we do, I guess, simply because we always have done it in the past. Repetition can create experts, but it also carries the inherent danger that chapter life can become boring and, over time, attract less and less interest. For this reason, in the coming year and with your help, I would like to take a step back and discuss amongst ourselves, if we want to continue into the future all or only some of these activities, or instead introduce something new and fresh that has the potential of creating a new air of excitement and provide currently less active members with new and different opportunities to participate.

In the same vein, another challenge that we have talked often about in the past is finding new ways to attract new members who have a desire to become active participants in our chapter’s life. I do have some new ideas on my own, but I also am asking for input/suggestions from any of you out there, and any comments that would move us forward on this issue, are very welcome. As it stands right now, it is always up to the same handful of dedicated members, who carry the burden of keeping alive the programs and the basic organizational functions that make this chapter tick. BUT PEOPLE DO GET TIRED. There are only two answers to this problem:  1) we must find ways to attract more and fresh help, or 2).. I let you guess at the alternative.

I would like to end on a positive note. Fred S. Burroughs North Jersey TU is a great and wonderful chapter. Over the years, it has provided uncountable outdoor volunteer opportunities to its members, it has spawned many deep friendships, and now is about to turn into the home stretch of one of the most significant stream restoration projects ever undertaken by a small not-for-profit organization in the State of New Jersey: The Sparta Glen Brook.

Thank you all for listening. I look forward to another great chapter year and I thank you for your confidence in me. With your critical and frank input, we can continue the greatness of this Chapter.

Willi Huber