Minutes from Schoharie County Conservation Association
Meeting held at Richmondville
On May 22, 2003

-Fellow Sportsmen & Sportswomen-

Ray Zeh called the meeting to order at 7:20 pm with a salute to the American flag. Present were representatives from: Middleburgh, Richmondville, and West Fulton Rod & Gun Clubs; Central Bridge Fish and Game Club, Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, Whitetails Unlimited, and SUNY Cobleskill Wildlife Club.

Annual Association Dues – 2003 dues should have been paid by now. If your 2003 Dues haven’t been paid, this will be your last SCCA newsletter. There are two clubs whom haven’t paid their 2003 annual dues to date. These dues help to cover the expense of the monthly newsletter postage, envelopes, and paper. Please mail to: SCCA P.O. Box 275 Central Bridge, N.Y. 12035 Thank You This is only fair to the members who have paid their dues.

Treasure’s Report – The monthly budget was discussed, reviewing the expenses and receipts. A motion to accept was made and then passed.

Secretary’s Minutes – Inquires or questions concerning the minutes were asked for, with none being made. A motion was made to accept and was then passed.

New York State Conservation Council –The New York State Conservation Council, Inc. (NYSCC) is organized as a nonprofit 501C3 organization deriving its funds from memberships, grants, donations and various programs. Its active members, who consist of representatives from each county within New York State, govern the NYSCC. In addition special statewide organizations subscribing to the purposes and goals of the NYSCC may become Associate Members, who similar to the active county members, have a vote on the actions of the NYSCC. Other organizations may become an Affiliate Member; these member groups align with the NYSCC on several matters but do not have a vote.

Annually the voting membership elects those leaders who they feel will best direct the NYSCC's programs in the direction required by the voting membership. The current leaders of the NYSCC for the year 2003 are as follows:

President Howard Cushing, Jr. 96 Jones Road, Poestenkill, 12140
1st Vice President William Conners 686 Traver Road, Pleasant Valley, 12569
2nd Vice President Fred Neff 7832 East Dead Creek Rd., Baldwinsville 13027
Legislative V. President Wally John P O Box 60, West Shokan, 12494
Secretary Clifford Coffin Sr 1165 Jones Road, Ilion, 13357
Treasurer James Pasco 472 Middle Road, Oswego, 13126

All officers and board members are volunteers committed to the proper stewardship of our natural resources. The NYSCC has over 20 special committees, which assists our leadership in completing our programs to safeguard our resources. Those serving on committees are also volunteers and are drawn from individuals with special skills and interest from across the state. These volunteer committee members look at such issues as items pertaining to the forest preserve & public lands, conservation education, law enforcement, women, youth and families, habitat access stamp, hunters helping the hungry, open space as well as species related topics.

The NYSCC advocates:
ÿ Conservation of our natural resources and the protection of our environment.
ÿ Sound management of NY's fish & wildlife and their natural habitats.
ÿ Fiscal accountability and realistic budgeting to protect the Conservation Fund.
ÿ Preservation of the Constitutional Rights to responsible private ownership and use of firearms.
ÿ Protecting our heritage of hunting, fishing, trapping, and other outdoor sports.
ÿ Sound educational endeavors based on facts.
ÿ No net loss of wetlands for NYS.
ÿ Protection of the rights of private property ownership

Currently we have a 2003 membership drive push. If you are not a member please visit our website at: http: www.nyscc.com to join. If you are a member please encourage others to sign up. These memberships would also make excellent gifts for friends and relatives – boys & girls. The cost is $25 for Guardian, $60 for Defender and $250 for Life Membership. This includes a monthly newsletter 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.

This information was taken from the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation for more information please check out their web site at http://www.sportsmenslink.org/Sportman

Representative Ed Zamjohn (234-2098) – The annual spring meeting was held in Ilion. A hot topic at the meeting was the 5/2 Trout Regulation. The Council has received a lot of static over it and is requesting the regulation be pulled. The current walleye stocking program Otsego Lake will be loosing its funding. The Council is requesting the State ENCON assist the SUNY Cobleskill takes over the stocking program. The state agreed to give SUNY Cobleskill some walleye to raise in ponds on the campus farm. However, the supply offered is limited due to the limited access provided to the public at Otsego Lake. The college will raise the walleye to fingerling size and then stock then into the lake. If this program works out it is the hope of many that the same program may be applied to stocking walleye in the Schoharie Creek. Ed Zamjohn, Mark Cornwall, Gerald Hamm along with Bob Pierce & Ken Mane from Otsego county delegates did meet with Senator Seward on June 13 to discuss the boat launch at Otsego Lake. The State stocks Trout, Salmon along with the walleye that which is losing its funding. Because of the limited access problems we are thinking about asking that the stocking be reduced by half. The town of Springfield has closed their boat launch to all outsiders. Only town residents can use that launch now. Sam’s Marina will no longer launch private boats. Some of the other launches don’t open early enough and even when you can launch there is still a big parking problem for your vehicle w/trailer. If this continues maybe we should ask the state to stop stocking Otsego Lake all together. There is a plan to have a follow up meeting with Senator Seward on this issue. Senator Seward has sponsored two (2) kids for conservation camp this summer.
Ed reported that there is currently a freeze on hiring once again in the DEC. There is enough money in the Conservation Fund from the increases in license sales, but the money can’t be used to hire people to conserve the environment, pathetically ironic!! All are encouraged to write their state representatives pushing them to lift this hiring freeze and bring on the people that the state needs to better serve the environment and manage it correctly. Teachers are needed for the annual workshop, being held in July. Contact Ed with suggestions on educators you feel would benefit from the weeklong conservation/outdoor workshop. The Friar Tuck Range has been shut down. Friar Tuck Fish & Game Club has spent over $48,000 trying to fight to reopen it and has decided to throw in the towel. This year has been, and will continue to be, a busy year with many bills and resolutions looking to get passed. We need to remain active and involved with both letters and emails to our legislators. Both should include the bill number, and stating whether we support it or oppose it. It has been suggested that will mail letters or postcards because emails can be easily deleted and ignored.

NYSCC Legislative Alert 06/10/03

The “Canned Shoot” bill has passed the Assembly and now has been delivered to the Senate Rules Committee:
A4609 Stringer (MS) -- Provides that all animals, rather than only non-native big game mammals, shall be subject to the prohibition on canned shoots Same as S 2735 PADAVAN 02/19/03 referred to environmental conservation 04/08/03 reported referred to codes 05/06/03 reported referred to rules 05/19/03 rules report cal.93 05/19/03 ordered to third reading rules cal.93 06/09/03 passed assembly 06/09/03 delivered to senate 06/09/03 REFERRED TO RULES NYSCC Position- oppose

In addition, the following have also passed the Assembly and have been delivered to the Senate Rules Committee:
A6682 DelMonte (MS) -- Relates to prohibiting the sale of fish taken pursuant to a sportfishing license No same as 06/09/03 passed assembly 06/09/03 delivered to senate 06/09/03 REFERRED TO RULES NYSCC Position: Support Notes: The Council supports the idea of equitable regulations. Current statues cause some confusion. The only alternative would be to legalize the sale with a commercial fishing license.
A8363 Rules (Smith) -- Same as S 4928 MARCELLINO Extends chapter 600 of the laws of 1993 and continues the authority of the department to adopt management regulations for deer and bear 06/09/03 passed assembly 06/09/03 delivered to senate
06/09/03 REFERRED TO RULES Same as S 4928 Last Act: 05/28/03 REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO RULES NYSCC Position: Support

A2533A Smith (MS) -- Same as S 3328 LAVALLE/A 7181 Levy Authorizes certain individuals to take fish without a license 06/09/03 passed assembly 06/09/03 delivered to senate 06/09/03 REFERRED TO RULES NYSCC Position: Support W/Memo Notes: NYSCC supports the concept. In addition it supports the idea that all residents of these facilities deserve the right to fish, but would like to see the facility have to have a permit for a nominal fee to take the clients/residents fishing.

The Council is a nonprofit organization of volunteers working together to make a difference. We need you to be a part of that effort.

Assemblyman Hooker (518-455-5363) Senator Seward (518- 296-8070)

Fish & Wildlife Management Board – Representatives Dave Wood (landowner) & Mike Zeh (Sportsmen) for Schoharie Co. reported: Jack Moser has retired from NYS DEC. Jack was our Secretary for the FWMB for many years He was also our Big Game DEC representative. He made the recommendations for the number of deer managements permits allotted for each region. We haven’t heard who will be replacing him. Dace McLean was voted in as new chairperson for Region 4. Carlton Hatch is our Sportsmen Representative for region 4. Total deer take for 2002 was 308,000 w/Buck take at 128,300 and 113,300 doe take. There were 771,000 deer management permits issued. Pete Ennis was made permanent as Regional Resource Manager.
Resolutions Acted On:
031-01 Requesting adequate manning of positions that are supported by the Conservation Fund – Passed
031-02 Animal Feeding Recommendations - Failed
031-03 Opposing expansion of the St. Lawrence Seaway - Passed
031-04 Support of Farm Bureau Policies - Passed
031-05 Calling for Public Participation & Sportsmen Consideration in the Lake Protection & Implementation of Districts - Passed
031-06 Support of the Legislation Authorizing DEC to Promulgate Standards Authorizing Hunting with a Crossbow - Passed

Middleburgh Rod & Gun Club –Linda Rivenburg is running Trap shooting on Friday nights. The black powder shoot was a success once again, it is hoped all who participated enjoyed themselves. The kid’s fishing derby was held on June 7 with many children and adults joining in the fun. December 2003 Raffle tickets are available. Call Bob Britton at 827-7024. There will be an Archery youth summer league starting up around the first part of July. Call Neal Baumann at 295-7669 for more information. We also have a new Internet website: http://middleburghrg.com and we need help with information to update this website. Call John Osisinki 827-5429 or Pete Lucas 827-7620.

Central Bridge Fish and Game Club – Skeet shoots every Sunday morning, starting around 10:00 am. There is also shooting on Monday nights. There is a raffle being held to sponsor summer youth camp. There are 100 $5 tickets with a prize of 100 NYS lottery tickets. The drawing will be held in early July.

West Fulton Rod & Gun Club – The club erected a pavilion, using material supplied by Soccer Club, at their field location on Rte. 30. They are currently holding a raffle to benefit the West Fulton Fire Department with the drawing being held on June 28 at the Pizza Party in the new firehouse; for tickets contact Bob Kimball or Walt Zeh. There will be a parade and other festivities held on July 12 for the 175th Celebration of the Town History. This will be held at the soccer field. There will be three floats sponsored by the West Fulton Rod & Gun Club. Dave Wood has been nominated to assemble a float for the parade representing the SCCA Association.

SUNY Cobleskill Fish and Wildlife Club –The semester has ended, but the club, as well as the college looks forward to continuing their current surveys and studies throughout the county in the fall. The Wildlife Society’s Annual Meeting is being held in Vermont this September. This will allow many more students to attend the meeting, with it being a little closer then last years meeting in North Dakota.

Trouts Unlimited – Reported that students from SUNY Cobleskill started a survey on the Upper Catskill Creek. Various things were being examined, with possible improvement projects to follow.

Whitetails Unlimited – The annual banquet and auction will be held at the Best Western in Cobleskill on September 21. For reservations please contact John Bloomer 875-6288.

Raffle Tickets Supporting the SCCA – The raffle tickets are in for the raffle that is held at the Fair each year. For tickets contact Ed Zamjohn (234-2098) and Ray Zeh (234-8804).

The Association would like to thank Bob Hills, Joe Moore, and Bob Siple for there time and assistance in selling raffle tickets and running the booth at the College Festival and the Sportsman Show at the Fairgrounds this past month. When events are held in your community, ask yourself if it would be a good opportunity for the Association to have there booth set up and selling some raffle tickets. However this would mean many more members would need to step up and help in such events, members that have not in the past. If this applies to you, please feel free to lend a hand at the next function. The Association needs applications and membership information for each of the clubs in the Association. Many times people request this information from members working the booth and they have nothing to provide them. Please get such information or paperwork into the Association so it can be placed out with the other information offered in the booth. Your club delegates should make sure that this material is available especially for the fair booth.
The next meeting will be held at Conesville Firehouse
26th At 7:00 on June. Guest Speaker will be Quentin Van Nortwick

*Attached you will find a letter to send to the President, maybe you could even copy it and put it on a postcard, emails have been unsuccessful and full-size letters have been held up do to anthrax threats. Send to:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 200500

If you would like to call to express your opinion the numbers are: Comments – (202) 456-1111
Switchboard – (202) 456-1414
Fax – (202) 456-2461

Dear President Bush:

I oppose the Clinton-Feinstein ban on common household firearms.

And that is why I was surprised to hear White House spokesman Scott McClellan say that you support the current ban, along with its reauthorization (The Washington Post, April 12, 2003).

I am taken back for a few reasons. First, you clearly ran on a pro-gun platform in your race for the White house in 2000. As a result, you were elected President because gun owners all over the country went to the polls and voted for you. Most notably, pro-gun voters delivered three key Democratic states into your column – Tennessee, West Virginia, and Arkansas. Without these three states, Florida would never have been an issue.

Second, former President Bill Clinton has repeatedly stated that passage of the 1994 semi-auto ban cost him control of the Congress. In other words, many Democrats lost their jobs because they voted for this ban. Gun control is a losing issue politically.

Third, the Clinton-Feinstein gun ban is clearly unconstitutional and outlaws the very guns and magazines that millions of people have relied upon to defend their homes and families. The website of Gun Owners of America gives the statistics showing that these banned firearms are rarely used to commit crimes or murders – in fact, more Americans are killed by knives.

I hope that Scott McClellan was in error and that his statement does not represent your views. And so I trust you will be open and honest with me. Will you OPPOSE the Clinton-Feinstein semi-auto ban and OPPOSE its reauthorization?

Please let me know.


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