Minutes from Schoharie County Conservation Association
Meeting held at the West Fulton Fire House
June 24, 2004

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

Meeting was called to order at 7:30pm. A salute to the flag and the pledge of allegiance was recited. The minutes from the May meeting were presented. A motion to accept them as written was made and passed.

The treasurer's report was not completed; we will do a complete report next month.

Guest Speaker: Kevin Neary
President Zeh welcomed guest speaker Kevin Neary who is running for our Assemblyman, opposing Mr. Hooker. Mr. Neary was a member of the Summit Conservation Club and used to work for the NYSDEC. Mr. Neary talked about a number of issues including:
o He used to be a hunter
o He managed a local softball team
o He is concerned with the loss of open space in the area
o He wants to work to open up the Richmondville water treatment ponds for fishing. A road access to this area needs to be developed.
o He worked for DEC for 6 years

Mr. Neary was asked many questions about guns and gun legislation. He made a promise to the Association that he would come to us and ask our opinion on gun legislation. Mr. Neary indicated he would seek our opinion on controversial gun legislation. He was asked if he would represent us in a fight with Sheldon Silver and the anti-gun lobby. He said he would come and ask for guidance.

The Eddie Eagle program was discussed. He said he believed that the climate in the schools today would not support such a program. However he believed that gun education is very important and his son was a hunter.

Other topics discussed with Mr. Neary included:
o Otsego Lake boat launch (or lake there of) and lack of a final hearing
o Spending more money on ECO's
o The dam rehab on the NYC Schoharie Reservoir and a cold water release
o A boat launch on the Schoharie Creek
o Pushing the DEC for a walleye stocking on the Schoharie Creek
o The county ownership of Fancher Pond
o A uniform pistol permit without judges imposing county specific restrictions
o The blaze orange bill and SCCA opposition
o The governor's late budget including bills that add increased fees to pistol permits
Mostly the above items were informational in nature to Mr. Neary to let him know the Association's stance on these issues.

We received our certificate of membership for 2004 from the NYSCC.
Al Martel from the NYSDEC sent information on the proposed boat launch in Esperence indicating the slopes of the bank and a pricelist for construction.
Bill Cherry informed the Association that he would look for land that might work for a launch that may be up for taxes.
The Shaul brothers from Fultonham may give consideration to an access point on Rte. 27 before the burned out motel near Sloansville on the Schoharie Creek.
The Association received a request from the Summit Fire Department for equipment.
The Association put in a letter to the editor supporting Mr. Hooker regarding the attack on him in the papers on the gun issue, 1000 feet restriction from schools.

NEW Business
Discussions on the following subjects were conducted:
o Angler diaries on the Schoharie Creek and Reservoir. 30 people are participating
o Sunshine Fair and Manning the booth. Mike Zeh will man booth on Tuesday and Thursday from 6pm-closing. Ray Lawyer will man booth on Wednesday from 6-closing and Sunday all day. Willy Karu, Bob Siple, and Steve Czachor are also volunteering. We still need more volunteers to man the booth. Each club should have three or four each to help out. Aug 10 -Aug 15. POC - Ray Zeh 234-8804.
o Dave Wood will donate some board to work on the ceiling of the fair building.
o A motion was made to buy nails, staples, paint and rollers to fix-up the Fair display area was made and passed.
o Patriots Day is September 15th. We need a booth there.
o Farmers market starts July 17th.
o NYPA Upper Reservoir is open for boat fishing. Permittee must be on boat.
o Region 4 issues: We need people to write letters. We need to send a letter to FERC regarding NYPA relicensing telling them the issues we have regarding access to the natural resources at NYPA and our position regarding their use.
o Boreli's may not be the venue for the Annual Spring meeting because they are not happy with the way that paying for the food was handled. They believe more people ate than paid at the door.
o FWMA: They meet the 4th Wednesday of the month. At the last meeting Pete Innis talked about deforestation by tent caterpillars and gypsy moths. Next year may be particularly bad. An after Christmas muzzleloader hunt and the blaze orange bill were also discussed. Extra brown trout fingerlings (24,000) were stocked into Otsego Lake. A bear attack in Palenville was also discussed.
ECO Lt. Jerry Desko gave a brief report
o July 15th the region will be fully staffed. The positions for Otsego, Green, Delaware Co. will be filled.
o Last month officers in 9 counties 250 arrests were made.
o Our region is still down a Lieutenant due to a retirement.
o The ECO's still have no Captain.
o Officer Isles has been promoted to Technical Sergeant and is teaching K-9 school for other officers.
o If sportsmen need immediate response call Officers Graves or Haslun as ECO Isles made be assigned to other duties.
o There were two turkey-hunting accidents this Spring one in Montgomery Co. and one in Columbia Co. These were older hunters involving lack of a backstop.
o June 26th & 27th were state wide free fishing days to encourage kids to get fishing.

Carl Steffanik Schoharie County Public Health Administrator gave a Brief Report:
o New talks on open space are starting. He is Regional Rep.
o The committee on open space is meeting every two months summer of 2004- May 2005.
o The objective of the committee is to identify open space projects in our region emphasizing the Schoharie Valley Corridor. The composition of the committee was discussed.
o We discussed the Dr. Riley Park and multiple uses including rabbit hunting and duck hunting on the creek.
o An emergency animal response team for the county was also discussed if emergency situations arose where animal needed shelter, food or care during some type of disaster. Mr. Steffanik is looking for volunteers.

Treasury: There is $3500 in the treasury. A motion was made to donate $100 to the Youth Hunt of a Lifetime. The motion was carried. A check will be sent. A discussion on this organization preceded the vote and it was agreed this was worthwhile. There have been 59 Hunts made through this program and they have another 111 on a list waiting for funding.

A vote was tabled on the request of the Summit Fire Department for equipment money. This vote will be taken again at a later date when we find out more information on the involvement of Summit Clubs to SCCA.

West Fulton Rod & Gun: Gave a $100 scholarship to Jenna McAdoo (Middleburgh High school senior), Donated $100 to Buck A Member to New York Conservation Council, Sponsor Reta Hamm for Camp Coby

Conesville Rod & Gun: They had 283 pheasant chicks killed by a mink. They are building a new coop this year. They are losing land to do hard releases for the pheasant program. Their trout derby was a great success.

Whitetails Unlimited: Held their meeting. Raymond Lawyer was the lucky winner of the Turkey Gun Raffle. Whitetails Unlimited is purchasing two digital cameras to donate to NYS DEC. This was through a request from Eric Haslun, our local DEC officer and Lt. Gerry Desko, Eric's boss. The Whitetails Unlimited banquet/auction will be held on September 26 at the Best Western located in Cobleskill. Eleven guns have been ordered along with several prints & merchandise. There will be live & silent auctions along with several raffles. Contact John Bloomer, 875-6288 for $15.00 tickets. This ticket covers your meal and gets you a bidder number. Starts at 1:00 PM.

40,000 pond fingerling walleye from NYSDEC and 40,000 from the Biological Field Station were stocked into Otsego Lake this month.

Through your efforts, you have succeeded in killing the best opportunity that anti-gunners had to extend the ban on roughly two hundred semiautomatic firearms. ACTION: Call your Senator. Congratulate him on his use of the rules in connection with the class action bill, and thank him for preventing consideration of the semiautomatic ban.

The next meeting will be held at the Cobleskill Fair Grounds on July 22nd at 4:30 to replace the ceiling board and prepare the booth for the fair. We will do final Fair preparations on Monday August 9th at 6:30 to set up for the Fair August 10th-15th.

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