Minutes from Schoharie County Conservation Association
Meeting held at SUNY Cobleskill Curtis Mott Hall
On November 20, 2003

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

Ray Zeh called the meeting to order at 7:15 with a salute to the American flag. Present were representatives from: Middleburgh and West Fulton Rod & Gun Clubs, Central Bridge and Richmondville Fish and Game Clubs, Trout Unlimited, the Schoharie County Chapter of Whitetails Unlimited, the Long Path North Hiking Club, the Schoharie Co. Health Depart. and the SUNY Fish & Wildlife Club, along with several SCCA associate members.

Treasure’s Report – The monthly budget was discussed, reviewing the expenses and receipts. A motion to accept was made and then passed. Treasurer will put budget together to submit to Schoharie County Treasurer. The County budgets $1000 for the SCCA if approved. We haven’t received this for at least ten years. Don’t for get. 2004 Dues are due in January.

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

Richard Ball – Director of Farm Bureau & President of Chamber of Commerce: Mr. Ball began by stating that he is both of those, but a vegetable first and foremost. He pointed out he was born into a dairy farm family, 15 miles from the farm he owns now. Richard brought out that the agriculture industry is the #1 industry in Schoharie County. However, the industry has been on a steady decrease recently because of the competition from Canada and Mexico. The local agriculture industry is in a production race that they can’t win. However there is positive news for local farmers. The state is currently working harder than ever with local farmers, organizing an advertising campaign to promote New York Pride and buying local. The promotion is encouraging people to spend their money locally, spend the dollar in the neighborhood, and help your neighbor and your neighborhood. Remember the more money that stays in the area and is spent in the area, the lower the property tax will be. Food security has been an issue since September 11, and many individuals now prefer to know where there food is coming from, which has helped local farmers.
Mr. Ball stated he is beginning to have problems with ATV’s on his property. Many riders are not riding respectfully and are riding through his crops and destroying them. Mr. Ball was asked if he used chemicals on his farm. He stated that he does use pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides when needed. The USDA annually tests all farms that use chemicals to ensure their proper use. However, Mr. Ball pointed out that he prefers to move his crops annually from field to field. This limits the impact insects and deer have on the crops. Chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides are like medicine, according to Mr. Ball, if you need them, uses them, but if you don’t need them, don’t use them. He was asked if the state monitors the amount of water pumped from the Schoharie Creek for irrigation use and he stated that the only monitoring done was up near the Blenheim Power Dam. This is where Mattice and Shaul irrigate their crops. Mr. Ball stated that the Schoharie Creek channel needs to be cleaned, dug deeper from Blenheim to Esperance. The main channel has filled in which forces the water to spread out. The state feels this is better because they feel that less damage occurs during flooding. He was asked if he was issued any DMAPS Permits. (Antlerless management permits issued during the regular season) He stated that DEC issued him 5 DMAP permits but was not issued any Nuisance Permits prior to Deer season. He stated that he uses peanut butter on electrified wire to control deer. He did tell us that there was a beef farmer issued 50 nuisance permits up on Warnerville Mountain. These were approved by Art Johnson, a DEC Supervisor who works out of the Stanford office. A phone call was made to the Stanford office and this was confirmed. They also confirmed that during the year 2002 there were 4 different applications approved with 30 nuisance permits issued and 27 deer killed from those permits. 29 DMAP applications were approved with 240 tags being issued with about a 60% successful rate. In the year 2003 there were 5 nuisance applications with 55 tags being issued with 38 deer reported killed. 29 DMAP applications were received with 291 tags being issued. So far they have received about the same success kill rate. (Note: on these DMAP & Nuisance Permits one person can use only two tags).

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. If you are currently a member, please encourage others to sign up. These memberships would also make excellent gifts for friends and relatives, both boys & girls. 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. The Council is pushing sporting clubs that are in cities throughout the state to join as well. They are also hoping for local club to donate $1 per member again this year. Last year there were 5 different clubs in Schoharie County that did this. 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.

Representative Ed Zamjohn (234-2098) - Ed reported that the Council needs members and encourages current members to become more active. He reported that if you or your club wished to bring a resolution forward for action, it first must be presented to the Region before it is presented to the State Council. The teacher’s workshop is being cut back one week because of a lack of participation. The workshop needs teachers and educators, is there anyone you think would enjoy it or benefit from it from your local school? Nominations need to be turned in soon for next year’s workshop. Contact Ed with your choices.
Ed reported that DEC is looking a fisherman willing to keep a fish diary for the Schoharie Creek this coming year. This information is needed to help convince DEC that we need more stocking in the Schoharie. Please contact Ray Zeh 234-8804 for more information.
Ed pointed out that we need to begin writing letters to our state representatives and the governor again. The State has begun to take money from the Conservation Fund to pay the salaries of its employees. These employees aren’t even DEC staff members. They are having people retire early, and not replacing lost positions within DEC because of the lack of money, yet they can use the money from the Conservation Fund to pay salaries of people not involved with conservation? Remember when you write, you must have your address and be signed, and write letters not emails.
The NYC Department of Environmental Protection (Watershed land from New York City Reservoirs) has opened an additional 7,000 acres this year for public use (hunting, fishing, hiking, etc.), to add to the 31,200 acres already available. However, you still need a permit to access it.
The Annual Region 4 Meeting will be held at Boreali’s on March 6 next year. They need speakers and presenters, contact Ed if interested or have contacts who would.
Ed reported that SCCA is again raffling off the canoe that we had for the fair. The canoe cost about $700.00, so there are 140 $5 tickets being so only to club members & SCCA associate members. Dave Wood is the point of contact on these tickets. Drawing to be held at SCCA February meeting. We always buy a new canoe for each year’s fair raffle.

Fish & Wildlife Management Board – The ECO Academy has started up this past Monday. The new boat launch site at Esperance was tuned in to the FWMB for funding approval from funds raised selling Habitat Stamps. Every hunting & fishing license buyer should also purchase a Habitat Stamp. This is a $5.00 charge, which must be used for the benefit of all sportsmen. Example- (Parking lots for fishing & hunting access, opening up hiking trails, installing boat launches) - Next meeting will be 12/17/03 at the Middleburgh Diner 7:00 PM.

Middleburgh Rod & Gun Club – John Bloomer has stopped running Trap Shooting on Friday nights, but will start again in early spring. The December Raffle is currently going on, good luck and congratulations to the winners. Jersey Frank won the Weatherby on Dec.1st. The kid’s archery program will start up the first Saturday in January - POC is Ed Labaida 868-2025 or Neal Bauman 295-7669. Adult archery will run again on Tues., Thurs. & Saturday nights starting 1st week in January. Names of kids aged 12-15 must be in by February for the DEC camp this summer. The Rod & Gun Club has a new Internet website: http://www.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. They are having another raffle to send two youths to camp again this summer. February 15th is deadline for DEC Camp applications. Prizes will be lottery tickets again. Drawing will be in June. No meeting in January. Meetings are held the 1st Friday of each month.

West Fulton Rod & Gun Club – Meetings are held every month on the 1st Tuesday at 7:00 P.M. The Big Buck Contest will be on again this year ending on Dec 6, on which there will be a diner held at the new West Fulton Firehouse. The club also has a fall raffle to help raise some needed funds to help pay the club’s liability insurance bill for 2004.

SUNY Cobleskill Fish and Wildlife Club – The club announced that May 1st would be the date of the Annual Fish & Wildlife Festival next year.

Long Path North Hiking Club – Harold Guest reported that the next two hikes during the months of December & January have been cancelled.

Venison Donation Program – Don’t forget about donating. Anyone who donates a whole deer will have a chance of wining a muzzleloader Black Powder Gun donated by the Schoharie County Chapter of Whitetails Unlimited. As of last week there was over 700 pounds donated so far.

The next meeting will be held at the Middleburgh Rod & Gun Club on December 18 at 7:00. This is our annual party, pizza, wings & Soda. Bring your own beer! Nominations of Officers also for next year.

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