Spearheaded by Trout Unlimited, the Driftless Area Restoration Effort is a locally driven effort to protect, restore, and enhance rivers and streams for fish and other aquatic life throughout the four-state Driftless Area.
TU’s Driftless Area Restoration Effort, (TUDARE) is an initiative Duke Welter helped found back in 2003. As TUDARE’s Outreach Coordinator, Duke travels the four-state region regularly, getting the word out about the great trout waters in the unglaciated area. He fishes with reporters, with policy makers, with students, with teachers, with project volunteers, and on his days off he fishes where projects might help, and where they already have helped produce healthy fisheries.
Before Duke went to work for TU in 2010, he served as vice-chair of its National Board of Trustees and as chair of its National Leadership Council, the grassroots leadership body of TU. He has been active in conservation efforts and advocacy for over 30 years, working on groundwater protection, protecting rivers from mining impacts, removing small dams, wetland and river restoration, regional watershed issues, public lands access and funding for natural resource management. For his conservation work he was recognized by the River Alliance of Wisconsin as a “River Champion of the Decade” in 2003, by Trout Unlimited as its “National Conservation Volunteer of the Year” in 2002, and with TU’s highest award for volunteer leadership in 2011.
As a follow up to Duke’s presentation to the Oak Brook TU chapter at its February 21, 2018 membership meeting, Duke provided answers to an interview which you can read here.