Letter to Assemblyman Hooker


February 4, 2004

Assemblyman Daniel L. Hooker
District Office

45 Five Mile Woods Road

Suite 2

Catskill, NY  12414

Dear Assemblyman Hooker,

     I am sending you a letter in responds to our meeting held at the Richmondville Fire Hall on January 29, 2004.

1.)  ATV use in our state forest, registration fees being raise higher in Governor Pataki budget plan for this year. SCCA Comments: We would appreciate your support in opening up state land for ATV use if these fees are raise higher.

2.)  S-6056/A-9556  A proposal to impose 5-year renewable pistol licenses. SCCA Comments; WE oppose any renewable pistol permit and fee increase. We feel that the pistol permit should be uniform for the whole state, and judges should not be able to put different restrictions on them.

3.)  Boat ramp in Esperance SCCA Comments; Any help we can get. Grants, Phone calls to DEC. (Al Martel-607-652-2654) Bring back to Schoharie County some of the money that the fishing sport-persons spend in New York State each year

4.)  Fish stocking in Schoharie County, 10% decrease this year  SCCA Comments  We supported a license fee increase last year so we would not lose our programs or cuts in them. There are funds in the conservation budget now. The Governor has moved the salary of thirty employees from the general fund to the conservation fund. We did not support this. The early retirement program has left DEC short on employees to run our hatchery, due to the fact of the hiring freeze by Governor Pataki . The conservation budget has the money to hirer back new employees to fill these jobs lost to early retirement. We would support hiring back new employees. We would like any help you could give us in having bigger trout stock in our stream, ponds and reservoirs in Schoharie County. DEC (Norm McBride-607-652-7366) only stock one year old trout (7 to 9 inches long) in Schoharie County now. Other counties have two year trout being stock .We are only looking for a mixer of 1 and 2-year trout. We would also like to have the Cobleskill Reservoir classified as a put and take reservoir with double the amount of trout stock this year than last year. People come from all over the county to fish here and some from outside the county. Trout will not reproduce in Cobleskill Reservoir.

5.)  Changing the requirement to take conservation officer test to where you need a four-year degree from college. SCCA Comments; This is one of the few good jobs that a high school graduate could take a test for. Now you are changing this to where the starting salary will have to be raise higher just to get college people to into these jobs. For a Governor who is trying to lower the budget, this does look good. Also our current conservation officers are doing an excellent job and most of them do not have a four-degree.

6.)  Eddie Eagle Program in public school. SCCA Comments; This is a hard one to sell, but any help would be appreciated.

This last paragraph has nothing to do with the Schoharie County Conservation Association. It is only a question I ask you when we were leaving the firehouse.


  Last but not lease the FEMA grants that the county has received in the last ten years. I have heard that our town supervisors from Schoharie County are able to take a fee from the grants and put it into there own pockets. These fees are in the range of one, two or three percent of the total grants.  (Plus the salary they are paid from the county and the town that elect them). When I talk to you about this, you said that your office in Catskill would check this out and let me know if this was legal or not and which supervisors took this fee. I would appreciate any help you can give me. Please send me a respond to this letter.


Raymond. M. Zeh,
President, Schoharie County Conservation Association

241 Scofield RD
Sharon Springs NY, 13459



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