WELL; what an interesting topic. I'll offer my unsolicited perspective if you will indulge me okay?
I moved here from Maine in July but have not yet "transferred" to a chapter here in TN.... I spoke with Rufus King from the Little River Chapter the other night and will "park" my lifetime membership with this chapter because they are a lot more than a fishing club & hold true to the original values of protecting, conserving and restoring our cold water fisheries.
IMO membership without service will not be rewarding.... kind of like joining a gym and expecting to get in fine physical shape without actually showing up and doing the hard work. Your participation will bless you 100 fold and you will find the reward no less than equal to your personal effort.
I have been a member of the Kennebec Valley Chapter (wicked famous as they have two Golden Trout awards in the last 10 years) where I served in too many ways from president, newsletter writer and most importantly the person who researched and wrote all the paperwork on more than a dozen hydro re-licensings with the Federal Energy Regulaory Commission.
National TU is a huge joke; count on them for nothing but usurping the credit for your chapter's hard work & success.
If you get "Trout" magazine you will see how National TU claims all the credit for the removal of the Edwards Dam on the Kennebec River in Maine as one of the landmark events in TU Nationals history.... the fact is they had absolutely nothing to do with the effort other than a 10K donation so I could hire to experts to offer opinions on the expense of dam removal and the "economics" of dam removal.
TU National is run by two faced snakes that will shoot you in the back if it makes them look better.
When I was asked to research and write a huge "filing" in opposition to Madison Paper Industries proposal to increase the height of their dam (which would back water natural spawning habitat) National TU decided they would not deliver the 114 copies of my written intervention to FERC because they found out that The New York Times newspaper owned more than 50 percent of the dam & paper mill.
Charlie Gauvin feared repercussions by the NEW YORK TIMES so without saying a word to me or our chapter decided to not deliver our paperwork by official courier by the deadline. Essentially Charlie Guvin feared TU would be painted as too liberal at a time when he was trying to drive up membership numbers. He told me that I was taking one for the team by screwing me and our chapter and most importantly the river we love. The dam now backwarters an additional mile of previously riverine trout spawning habitat.
TU membership is all about what you can PERSONALLY do in your own backyard to protect, enhance restor what you value and enjoy. The Little River chapter is involved in so many different activities that it appears there is something for everyone. Membership in the lame National organization that is run by enviromental global warming whackos that have a political & social agenda beyond their mission statement is unfortunate IMO but what YOU can do locally is ALL important.
You have given nothing unless it hurts; if you won't work hard to protect what you love you will loose it and unfortunately most outdoors people and fishermen are takers not givers.
I don't enjoy fishing freestone creeks like those in the park as I have a bad foot and cannot negotiate streams full of greasy boulders without hurting myself But the LR chapter is actively pursuing goals that I beleive in and that is why I would be honored to help them out in whatever capacity I may be of value.
I enjoy big tailwaters the most & wish the other chapters in this area were as involved as the LR chapter because I would really like to work tpward obtaining more public access for wading anglers on the Holston below Cherokee Dam. While such an idea may seem impossible so didn't removing a dam in 1984 against the desire of it's owners and that only took me fifteen years.
I look forward to meeting folks like Byron and Rufus and hope there is something I can do to help out....
You will be blessed and rewarded for your participation regardless of the chapter you join. If the chapter is weak be their inspiration by personal example.
What is LUCRO?