Minutes from Schoharie County Conservation Association
Meeting held at the Curtis Mott Hall Lounge
on February 26, 2004

-Fellow Sportsmen & Sportswomen-
*Attendance is needed from each club
for their input on club activities*

This is your newsletter. If you are unable to attend the meetings each month, this is your source of what went on, and what is going on with the Clubs and Association members throughout the county. If you are your club's delegate you need to attend so everyone can benefit from knowing what is going on in your club. If you are unable to attend a meeting and unable to have another individual from your club take your place, please email me and let me know what is going on in your club. I also would like to list the meeting times and dates for all our clubs and post them to the website. Please email me at Dukee902@cobleskill.edu and let me know this information. Remember, many of our members can't make it to the monthly meeting; this newsletter is your way of communicating with them.

President Ray Zeh called this months meeting to order at 19:03 with a salute to the American flag.
President Ray Zeh introduced guest speaker, Arthur Johnsen, Region 4 Wildlife Manager (DEC) He gave his presentation and responded to questions from the group regarding the issuing of 50 deer permits to 1 beef farmer in Schoharie County.

**The purpose of issuing farmers deer permits is to help reduce landscape/crop damage.
**Five or Six deer permits is the normal amount issued to a farmer. Some Schoharie farmers have received up to 15 or 20. Last year, Mattice’s Riverbed Farm received 6 permits.
**These permits are not nuisance permits.
**The deer season before last, the Schoharie County beef farmer received 25 permits. Last season he was issued 50 permits. A technician (Schenectady biologist) visited the farm, checked for damage, found none and denied the issuing of 50 permits.
**The farmer went to DEC and was granted the 50 permits.
**These permits are only good through legal hunting season.
**Conservation officers were aware of the permits issued.
**Question: Is there only one property holder involved? Records in Schoharie can be checked.
Question: What happens to these deer? Feed the Hungry program in Montgomery County.
Question: How does this affect the gene potential? Four deer per square mile is the norm.
Question: What damage was the basis for 50 permits? Hardwood crop.
Question: If the land belongs to multiple owners, are the requirements for permits different?
Needs Answer.
Question: Where are the records? Are there copies of kill reports? Mr. Johnsen will send.
Question: How many deer were taken last season? 29 deer (50 permits) Prior Season, 20-21 (25 possible).
Question: Can these permits be sold? No.
**There was no implied promise to issue 50 permits year.

Old Business:
** It was moved and approved to pay for any dinner costs over $100 donated by Timothy Murphy Fund to pay for 5 to 10 students of SUNY Cobleskill students to attend the March 14th, Region 4 meeting.
** Kevin Berner, SUNY Cobleskill, spoke about the Dorwin Hamm Scholarship. The scholarship needs to be available to first through fourth year students. It should be awarded to a proactive resource project and the financial need of the student should be a consideration. Moved and approved to donate two $250 scholarships this year.
** Annual Dues– both delegate and club are due. Please give individual email addresses to Mike Zeh.
** Boat Ramp– The Esperance boat ramp project came in at a cost of $275,00 vs. original $150,000 figure. This increase in the estimate is due to the fact that the ramp site is so steep. Assemblyman Hooker, Senator Seward, Earl VanWormer are all behind the project. The Habitat Stamp fund has $56,000. We need to find out how to get access to this fund. The ramp doesn’t have to be on the Rt. 20 side of the bridge. Project is a good economic move to open up the walleye stocking program. The big factor is erosion control. Unless and until we find another access site, this project is close to over.
** Canoe Raffle– Long Path and Coby Fish & Game still have tickets out.
** A fish diary given to anyone who will record walleye size and catch location. We need names, addresses and phone numbers of those who will participate.
** Website update in Progress. Note: Since the meeting, your new Secretary and SUNY Cobleskill student has revised the site and may be found at http://www.schoharie-conservation.org/. Printed format will be available at the next meeting for members to review and make changes.
** Dylan Foland update– he is headed to NYC for bone a marrow transplant. Fundraiser opportunities were discussed. $3,300 was raised to help Dylan last year. His parents insurance covers only 80% of the costs.
** Coyote report: The collard coyote was shot in Early February. Fortunately the collar was returned and Cobleskill students are attempting to collar 2 new coyotes. The last one provided excellent study. SUNY Cobleskill infrared video at the den gave insight into the extreme care adult coyotes take in examining food. They are educated in the area of traps.

New Business:
** Donating $151 to Broome Fire Department– Donations from Vly Pond fishing derby funds was mentioned.
** Donating up to $500 to NYSCC was mentioned– A motion to Donate $250 was passed. NOTICE: Region 4 meeting minutes will be available on the website. http://www.schoharie-conservation.org/
** Report on hides of deer/coyotes– deer were the same as last year will those of coyotes doubled. Ken Conly.
** We need a sponsor for printing canoe raffle tickets. Dr. Russell and Dr. Burton, Family Medical Care, donated last year. Will ask Ed Zeh to check ask again this year.
** Ray Zeh will contact Wal-mart for $100 donation. We need someone to purchase the canoe.
** Ed Zeh– Would like someone else to handle the purchase/pickup of the fair canoe. Last year the club gave him the check to buy the canoe. Someone will talk to Ed.
** SUNY Cobleskill Wildlife Festival May 1, 10a.m. to 4p.m.– The club will attend. We will set up a display and sell raffle tickets. SUNY Cobleskill Representative, Chase Bernier, was given information on needs.
** $151 raised– County Ice Fishing Day. Motion made, seconded and approved to donate all to the Broome County Fire Department. $16 meeting raffle to SUNY students fishing jug.
** $250 is spent on Legislative Council– Wally John is our lobbyist in Albany.
** The State Academy– has 29 recruits. There is only one opening in Otsego County, and this is not a priority position to be filled. This affects available manpower. The Schenectady office is without a captain. They had one for three weeks, but the Coast Guard called him to active duty.
** Habitat Access Program– dollars have not been determined. Greene County’s new proposed boat launch will cost $1.6 million. Noted: The Hudson has many, Schoharie, none.
** NYS Fish & Wildlife Management Board Meeting– Jerry Desco talked about statistics.
The 9 county area. Apprehensions are as follows:
** Conservation--–1476
** Vehicle & Traffic (mostly ATV)–464
** Snowmobile 232, Navigation (Boating)–170
** Penal Law–21
Schoharie and Montgomery County breakdown is as follows:
** Conservation--–222
** Vehicle & Traffic (mostly ATV)–89
** Snowmobile–25
** Navigation (Boating)–14
** Penal Law–5
Region 4 Total Complaints were as follows:
** Solid Waste–283
** Big Game–279
** Nuisance/Disturbances–251
** Air Quality–152
** Stream Quality–104
** Spills–79
** Firearms–66
** Small Game–56
** ATV/Snowmobile–35
** Timber Theft–19
** Trapping–17
** Fishing–17
** Mining–14
** State land–11
** Agriculture–10
** Pesticides–8
** Endangered Species–7
** Shellfish–1

The January Newsletter was discussed–At the February Meeting Mark Cornwell announced that he would like to amend statements under SUNY Cobleskill in the January newsletter. The NYPA has agreed to buy 1,000 tiger trout and several large brown trout from the fisheries and aquaculture program. SUNY Cobleskill will deliver the fish to NYPA this Spring. The power authority will buy fish annually from the College, purchasing more fish from them in future years. This is good for the Fisheries & Aquaculture program because this program must support itself and guaranteed future income from fish sales is important. NYPA has not accepted a proposal to fund a walleye-rearing program at the College that would deliver pond fingerling walleye to NYPA, Schoharie Creek and other Schoharie Co. waters. The proposal to NYPA that would donate a surplus truck to the Fisheries & Aquaculture program at Cobleskill was also not accepted, officials at NYPA blame internal auction procedures and a “No vehicle donation policy” as the reason this later truck proposal was declined. Mark participated in the NYPA auction but was outbid. The Fisheries & Wildlife programs remain optimistic that NYPA will help fund these projects in the future. We will re-submit these proposals to NYPA in the future. SUNY wishes to maintain a positive relationship with NYPA and Mark Cornwell asked for the statement made in the January newsletter “once again refusing to live up to the agreement of being a friend to the sportsmen” be eliminated from the newsletter. A motion was made and was passed by a majority. The Fisheries & Wildlife program apologizes to NYPA and the SCCA for this confusion.”
Brad made this statement
Attention SCCA Associate Members and Clubs:
In the last newsletter it was stated that, “the Power Authority turned there back on Mark and the College, refusing to help them with funding for the project (the funding for a truck and funding for the walleye stocking)…”I, as Secretary of the Association, failed to report that the Power Authority will be buying tout from the college annually for the next few years. I apologize if this omission in any way jeopardizes the future projects between the College and the Power Authority. This omission and the report in the newsletter is entirely my responsibility and I apologize for any problems it may have caused.”
The aforementioned letter from the ex-secretary was read. The letter issue made his decision to resign much easier. He is looking forward to spending more time with his family.
Nomination of new Secretary was opened for discussion. I, Ethan Duke, took the role. I’m the only one who volunteered. I’m looking forward to this opportunity as a sportsman and student of the Fish & Wildlife Program at SUNY Cobleskill.

February 24 meeting at the New York Power Authority (NYPA) Highlights
**First meeting since 2001 with NYPA, regarding sportsman issues.
**Now meetings will be quarterly.
**Attending were sportsmen, DEC, SUNY, Soil & Water and others.
**Some felt strongly that NYPA said that hunting licensing is regulated by the Federal government.
**Stay with Bluebird project.
**Boat launch at Gilboa opened.
**SUNY will stock boat access.
**American Eagle Program–station for deer road kill to feed birds.
**SUNY discussed monitoring wetland plants.

NYSCC Report Spring Meeting March 15/16. Copy given to President

Club Reports:
Middleburgh– 100 kids at Archery shoots, black-powder shoots, and events were mentioned. Dan Hooker to attend banquet; first Sunday of the month – 22 shoot; Tues, Thurs., Sat – archery. Black powder trap – nicer weather; adult archery.
Central Bridge– No Report
West Fulton– No Report
Long Path North– First meeting in March.
SUNY Cobleskill–May Festival: turkey raffle – prize complete, head to toe custom ordered hunting outfit; 50/50 raffles; specimen booth; winter camping; AFS National Meeting in Wisconsin; TWS in Alberta, Canada in September. The Wildlife Society attended their Winter State meeting at the Adirondack Ecological Center. Professor Kevin Berner was given the Stuart Free Award: This award is made to an individual or group whose tenacious effort and diligent professional service has inspired their peers and made significant cumulative contribution but one that often has been overlooked or taken for granted. Borealis’s dinner (Ray noted 15 dinners, not counting students have been reserved.)

Important *BILL ALERT* Important

Today, despite cosponsorship by 55 U.S. Senators, the U.S. Senate thwarted the will of its own majority and narrowly accepted a number of anti-gun amendments to the gun industry liability bill. These actions ensured the defeat of S. 1805, which failed on a vote of 8-90.

NRA said from the start that we would not allow this bill to become a vehicle for added restrictions on the law-abiding people of America. With the amendments that were narrowly adopted, S. 1805 would have reenacted the 1994 Clinton gun ban and shut down gun shows. Given this fact, we opposed passage of S. 1805 and will work to fight this issue another day.

This fight is not over and we will not rule out any workable option to pass this legislation free from "poison pill" amendments.

Senate opponents of S. 1805 decided that playing election year gun control politics was more important than passing a bill that had the support of a majority of U.S. Senators and the Administration. We always knew the outcome would be close, and the votes that were cast today will tell us who our friends are as we move forward into the election season.

Our decision to oppose the bill is in no way a reflection on the hard work and dedication of those Senators on both sides of the aisle? Especially Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho) and most of his cosponsors? who stood up for the principle of individual responsibility embodied in S. 1805, and who opposed the anti-gun "poison pill" amendments aimed at destroying it. We appreciate their hard work and dedication.

NRA also appreciates the hard work and dedication of its members and gun owners nationwide who made sure their U.S. Senators learned of their views on this important issue.

We and our members are in this for the long haul, and over the long haul, we will win.

Stay tuned for additional information on this issue in Friday`s Grassroots Alert.

This bill is essentially dead thanks to all the letters and Legislators in opposition. BUT– it may be revived, as the budget will be delayed again this year. So, keep working on the letters until it’s over. We don’t want anyone sneaking anything past us. This is a possibility within the realm of politics.

New York State Conservation Council: Become a member and support the council. If you want to be informed of the conservation issues in the state or want to get involved in these issues then become a member. Visit our website at: www.nyscc.com to join. The cost is $25 for Guardian, $60 for Defender and $250 for Life Membership. This includes a monthly newsletter called the Grass Roots News with your membership. Any Clubs that are interested in getting permits to hunt watershed lands should contact Jennifer A. Cairo, NYCDEP at (845-340-7517) or e-mail jcairo@dep.nyc.gov

Other News:
The Region 4 NYSCC Meeting:
New York State Conservation Council
Region 4 Annual Meeting
March 13th, 2004
The meeting was held at Boreali’s Restaurant in Howes Cave, NY from 9 AM – 4:40 PM. The meeting was opened by Director Harold Palmer at 9:05 AM. After a pledge to the flag, speakers were heard as follows:
MARK STORTI from CFAB said there will be no Saturday opener for deer season, and spoke about the opportunity for youth hunting seasons. Mark asked for input from sportsmen on issues they are concerned with.
ASSEMBLYMAN DAN HOOKER spoke of his background as a sportsman and hunter, his military background, and explained legislative procedures.
D.E.C. ACTING CAPTAIN TIM DUFFY AND LT. LARRY DIDONATO explained the breakdown for numbers of arrests in Region 4, as well as all that ECO’s are responsible for in their line of duty.
WALLY JOHN, Legislative Vice President of the NYSCC, spoke about sportsmen visiting Legislators, the need for sportsmen to write letters to legislators and representatives, and how to write those letters.
HOWIE CUSHING, President of the NYSCC, said that the NYSCC has been recognized by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which has given the Council $6,250 funding to be used towards the Grassroots News. The Council is looking for corporate partners. If anyone has any suggestions, contact the Council.
WARD STONE, D.E.C. Wildlife Biologist, gave details of three people stricken with trichinosis after eating undercooked bear meat; he urged people to cook bear meat well done, the same as pork should be cooked. He talked of the possibility of cloning helping to save endangered species. He says that there is no CWD in New York State at this time, but it is possible for it to be introduced into the state in the future.
LARRY BIFARO, D.E.C. biologist, spoke of plans for black bear management, and the 2003 bear kill, with a record number of over 400 killed in the Catskills.
ANDY KAHNLE, D.E.C. fisheries, spoke of management of striped bass in the Hudson River and the changing regulations.
JEFF PEIL, D.E.C., spoke of sportsmen education, deer management issues and harvest figures, and the new Youth Hunt for Wild turkey on April 24th – 25th, 2004.
AL MARTEL, D.E.C., spoke of access issues for fishing. He spoke of different ways the State acquires access rights.
SCOTT KELLER spoke for the Hudson River Valley Greenway in place of Carmella Mantello. He spoke of what Greenways does, and the grants they have given to sportsmen over the years.
SUNY COBLESKILL students had displays of their program activities; Instructors Mark Cornwell and Kevin Berner spoke of wildlife and conservation projects that the Cobleskill students are participating in.
The Schoharie County Conservation Association donated $250 to the Conservation Council. They also donated an additional $250 for Legislative Support for the Council.
The Schoharie County Chapter of Whitetails Unlimited donated $50 Buck-A-Member to the Conservation Council.
The Middleburgh Rod and Gun Club donated $300 Buck-A-Member to Council.
An anonymous donor donated $100 to the Council.
THANK YOU to the following Federations for donating to cover the cost of meals for speakers and the speakers’ guests:
Columbia County Sportsmen’s Federation
Delaware County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs
Greene County Federation of Sportsmen
Otsego County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs
Rensselaer County Conservation Alliance
Schenectady County Conservation Council
Schoharie County Conservation Association
The Timothy Murphy Fund from Schoharie County
The meeting was adjourned at 4:40 PM.
Minutes submitted by Harold Palmer, as the secretary was unable to attend the meeting.

Ducks Unlimited Banquet Point of contact- Dennis Smith (518-868-2013) 1728 Grovenors Rd. Central Bridge, New York 12035 - When: April 2,2004, Doors open 6:00PM, Dinner starts 7:00 PM , Tickets are $45.00 each or $65 .00 for a couple , Location - Cobleskill Best Western. (Early Bird RSVP March 26, 2004)

Fish & Wildlife Management Board Meeting held 2/25/04 - Pete Innes & Al Martel (NYSDEC) - Discussed new ECO appointment in Oswego County, Legislative Crossbow Bill for disabled hunters, Hand Gun Fees in Governor Patacki Budget proposal, Catskill Hatchery reduced by 4 trips to stock fish in Region 4 & 16 trips reduction for Region 3 because of personnel shortages. Also discussed new boat launch site located on Schoharie Creek near Esperance - DEC engineer raised cost estimates from $100,000 to $276,000 because of DOT requirements (highway access elevations). Reported the deer kill for 2003 season should be out first week in March.

Wildlife Management Taskforce for the New York Power Authority: Held meeting 2/24/04 at Blenheim Site. About 15 in attendance. Steve Ramsey, Dave Wood, Mike Zeh, Marc Cronwell, Harold Palmer, Ray Zeh, Art Johnson, John Osinski, Steve Cooradt, Steve Lawrence to name a few. First meeting since 9/11 incident. 3000 Acres w/ 790 acres of water, 650 acres NYS Park, and a 100,00 Megawatt power plant with a 90 second startup. Eight wildlife areas within the power authority. Fifty year Federal License granted in 1973. Discussed problems Power Authority had with the 6.2 acres side of a mountain erosion project, 300,000 tons of rock to hold slide zone which took 2 years to correct. Recreated 6.2 acres of wetlands w/clay base and a 3 year monitor plan on vegetation. They are looking to expand education programs with area high schools & college. They have the Fishery program, Whitetails Deer program, Bluebird program, and a Eagles nesting program. They stock 6500 to 7000 trout each year. They are buying 1000 Tiger trout from SUNY Cobleskill this spring.

Note from Gerald Barnhart to NYSCC:
“DEC has gotten approval to fill nine positions in the Division of Fish,
Wildlife and Marine Resources. The positions include two fish and wildlife techs at the Catskill fish hatchery, a fish and wildlife tech, a maintenance supervisor at the Rome hatchery, a biologist at the Rome fish health center, a biologist at the Cape Vincent Fisheries Station on Lake Ontario, a lab tech in our shellfish sanitation lab on Long Island, a fish and wildlife tech in our marine fisheries unit on Long Island and a fish and wildlife tech for the wildlife pathology unit.
We sure do appreciate all the support from the Council that helped make this approval possible. Thanks!”

The next meeting will be held at Curtis Mott Hall Lounge on Thursday, March 25 at
Meeting adjourned at 21:30.
Donna Olsen respectfully submitted large portion of the minutes in this newsletter.

For questions or comments concerning this website:
Contact Ethan Duke dukee902@cobleskill.edu