2021 National Convention

The League held its first-ever virtual convention July 20-22, 2021. Events included election of new national officers, consideration of policy resolutions submitted by chapters and divisions, and presentations from guest speakers.

Read on for a summary of the convention and for information about next year's gathering!

Convention Summary

Guest Speakers

Former U.S. Senator David Durenberger (R-Minn.) gave the keynote address in which he commended the Izaak Walton League for its continuing tradition of nonpartisan advocacy, even in this highly partisan era. Americans these days seem to be addicted to controversy, he said.

His advice: Get to know people with different viewpoints. And do it outdoors if possible. “If you really want to continue building this organization and its influence across America, reach out to someone you may not always see eye-to-eye with, and go fishing, hiking, paddling or bird watching.” To underscore that point, he quoted Izaak Walton himself: “I have laid aside business and gone a-fishing.”

The Senator took several questions from convention participants, again recommending a personal approach to communicating concerns to elected officials and building consensus to bridge differences.

David Durenberger - credit Kate Kollmann, University of St. Thomas

The Wednesday keynote address was delivered by Sacoby Wilson, Ph.D., Associate Professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. In a wide-ranging talk, Wilson discussed the vital role of citizen science and a community-based approach to engage people in improving health, saving lives and promoting environmental justice.

He discussed a number of environmental health problems, such as air and water pollution disproportionately harming communities of color. He framed challenges like those as opportunities for the Izaak Walton League to address them through community-based science, expanding our program reach by engaging affected communities.

He mentioned climate-related flooding and related water pollution as one example of severe problems where engagement, education and mitigation action are necessary.

How can League members make progress in these efforts? Show the impact and success of citizen science to get buy-in from government officials, be patient working with communities and start by listening, he noted.

Watch the full presentation.

Dr. Sacoby Wilson


League staff and partners led informative and practical workshops. The videos are available below – simply register for instant access to the recording.

Monday, July 26: Leveraging the League’s 100th anniversary to raise chapter visibility
The League’s 100th anniversary provides a unique opportunity for chapters to highlight their histories, accomplishments and goals for the future. League communications and chapter relations staff will help chapters understand the key steps they can take this year to effectively share their stories with local media and community members in 2022. Watch now.

Tuesday, July 27: Double up for conservation
This year we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to double federal funds for conservation programs that help farmers and ranchers be better stewards of their land. Programs that help farmers restore healthy soils, improve grazing systems, and better manage their woodlands can help America address our water pollution, wildlife, and climate change challenges on more than 1 billion acres of farmland. Learn about the opportunity and what IWLA Chapters and members can do to help. Watch now.

Wednesday, July 28: Membership retention following the COVID bump
Americans rediscovered the outdoors in 2020, and many League chapters experienced a “COVID bump” in members. The challenge and opportunity going into the 2022 renewal period is to retain a majority of these new members as other activities, school and work return to normal. Membership staff and chapter leaders will share proven tactics for effectively engaging and renewing members, including members who joined for the very first time in 2020. This workshop is designed not only for Membership Dues Recipients (MDRs) but for a wide range of chapter leaders. Watch now.

Thursday, July 29: Simple new techniques for stream monitoring
The League has more options than ever to test water quality locally and educate young people about stream health. League staff will demonstrate how easy it is to use new tests, all of which are simple to conduct without extensive training or time commitments. This workshop is designed for participants with absolutely no prior experience with stream monitoring. Watch now.

Election Results

Delegates and National Directors elected new national officers and new members of the Executive Board. Congratulations to our new League Leaders!

Other News

  • We introduced the Second Century Fundraising campaign, which will help launch the League’s second 100 years. Watch for more information about this important initiative.
  • League members voted to re-elect several members of the IWLA Endowment Board to new terms. Information on grants awarded for the 2021-2022 year will be available soon on the Endowment website.
  • Delegates voted to hold the 2024 National Convention in Cambridge, Maryland.
  • The League unveiled commemorative centennial gear, including teddy bears, fishing shirts and pint glasses. Get your limited-edition anniversary items.

National Officers, Executive Board and Endowment Board

The League is seeking a roster of candidates to serve one-year terms of office in the following positions:

  • National President, who presides at meetings of the Board of Directors and must project a strong image for the League
  • Vice President, who substitutes for the president and performs other duties assigned by the president or Executive Board
  • Secretary, who keeps permanent records of all business transacted by the Board of Directors, Executive Board, and at annual meetings
  • Treasurer, who oversees financial management by League staff

The League is also seeking candidates for positions of directors at large. Directors at large represent the interests of states without divisions on the Board of Directors. Terms are three years, and there is one vacancy this year.

In addition, the League seeks candidates for six open positions on the Executive Board this year. The 14-member Executive Board, which includes four national officers, has full administrative and supervisory responsibility for the national office of the League. Executive Board members must be members of the Board of Directors. They are elected to three-year terms.

Finally, the League seeks candidates for three open positions on the Endowment Board this year. Persons elected to the Board hold office for three years. The Endowment Board has full administrative responsibility for the IWLA Endowment Inc., a separate corporation that receives earmarked and general contributions for financing conservation projects.

Nominate someone for any of these positions


Delegates are the IWLA chapters’ official representatives at the national convention, and they play a key role in determining the League’s direction for the coming year. In addition to electing national officers, delegates serve on committees and vote on conservation policy resolutions.

Chapters may elect or appoint their delegates. The number of delegates allotted to each chapter is determined by the chapter’s size. Allotments are based on membership figures from the end of the previous year.

After a chapter has named its delegates, the delegate accreditation form must be completed by a chapter official and submitted to the national office by June 30, 2021. Because of the virtual format of this year’s convention and electronic voting, NO delegate accreditations will be accepted or certified after the deadline.

See the delegate allotments and complete the accreditation form

Policy Resolutions

Members establish the League’s policies through resolutions, and those policies guide our work at the local, regional and national levels. Any Ike can submit a resolution proposal for consideration by the wider membership.

Before drafting a resolution proposal, review current policies to determine if issues are already addressed or where gaps may exist.

Provide sufficient background information about issues to allow Resource Committees to effectively evaluate resolutions. It is also tremendously helpful to include contact information for one or more people at the Division and/or chapter level who could answer questions or provide additional supporting material about resolutions you submit. With this information, Resource Committee chairs and/or staff can work to clarify issues before Committees meet to consider resolutions at the virtual convention.

If you belong to a League Division, be sure to get your resolution proposal approved by your Division before sending it to the National Office.

Resolution proposals must be received by the National Office no later than 5 p.m. Eastern time on July 6, 2021.

Send your resolution proposal to Conservation Director Jared Mott

Get Ready for Next Year

Resource and Standing Committees

The Izaak Walton League must continue the important conservation efforts it started years ago. This work cannot be done without the national Resource and Standing Committees. The Resource Committees play a central role in evaluating and approving resolutions submitted by League chapters, divisions and members. Resolutions that are approved by the delegates at the National Convention become League policy. These policies guide the League’s conservation and advocacy work at the local, state and national levels. Standing Committees contribute to essential League functions, including member and chapter awards and the annual youth convention.

Sign up to serve on a Resource or Standing Committee

Get updates on the Izaak Walton League 2022 National Convention!