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Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs 
Top Conservationists Awards
2008 Awards Banquet Photos on next page


Federation Top Honorees  ~  Awards Banquet held in the Spring of the following year

To see how you and/or your Conservation Club can qualify 
for these honors, go to the bottom of page HERE

Every award has a different connotation, carrying its own meaning and level of importance. To say that one award means more than another would be wrong. Look at these awards as different categories - opportunities to recognize the workers that are in the trenches. It's the same trench, but each might have a different task. The end result is the same - the trench is dug. With shovel in hand, these were the current Awards Winners as selected by the county's Federation - a group representing some 25 clubs and over 5,500 sportsmen in Niagara.
 



County Federation Pays Tribute to 2015 Conservation Award Winners


Each year, the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs pays tribute to the men, women and children, as well as the stand-out clubs, who lead the conservation charge – be it for hunting, fishing and our Second Amendments right; protecting our natural resources or just helping Mother Nature along when she needs a little help from some friends. These are the awards winners for 2015 as they were presented at Terry’s Corners Fire Hall, Gasport on Saturday, April 16 (last night) - a small token of appreciation from the outdoor community.

The Oliver Jones Memorial Award for Sportsperson of the Year goes to Joel Winters of the Hartland Conservationists Club. Joining the club on 1975 as a junior member, he has been involved as an active member for over four decades. He has chaired many events and committees and taken an active role in revamping the silhouette range and shoots; chaired committees such as Conservation, Trap, Outdoor Range and Meat Shoots. He chaired the gun raffle for 14 years and revamped that fund raiser. In fact, he has been responsible for raising over $80,000 for the club! He chairs and organizes the fox and coyote hunts and also served on the Board of Directors for over 16 years. He has been active with the Federation, too, helping to set up the Conservation Tent at the County Fair in the past and also served on the Federation’s conservation committee.

The Leroy Winn Memorial Award is given each year for the Club of the Year, recognizing a Federation Club for outstanding service to conservation and the community. This year’s recipient of club of the year is the North Forest Rod and Gun Club of Lockport. The group has been involved with habitat improvement, partnering with Niagara County Soil and Water. The had five successful fund-raising shoots, partnering with other groups like the New York State Rifle and Pistol Assn.; they run four shooting leagues and also allow local law enforcement to use the ranges. These are just some of the things that the club is involved with. It’s been 10 years since their last win and it’s time they won the award again .

The Milford “Pinky” Robinson Award, symbolic of dedication to the Great Lakes fisheries, goes to Dr. John Whiteman of Youngstown. John has been a volunteer in assisting the important research work that has been conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for more than 15 years and it’s time to recognize him for his unselfish contributions behind the scenes.

The Carl Lass Memorial Award for Youth Program of the Year went to James “Bruno” Burnett of Lockport. His work at the North Forest Rod and Gun Club involving youth is worthy of recognition. He is involved with the youth shooting program every other Tuesday from September to June. He also works part time at Tails and Feather Hunting Preserve in Newfane where he also helps with a Youth Mentor Hunt with the local Chapter of Pheasants Forever. It’s all about the kids for him, the next generation of sportsmen and women.

The John Daly Memorial Award for Elected Official of the Year went to Niagara County Sheriff James Voutour. Nominated by the Shooters Committee On Political Education (SCOPE), he was recognized for his stance against the SAFE Act, support of Second Amendment rights and helping to streamline the pistol permit process in the county.

The Ken Berner Memorial Conservation Award for person, family or organization dedicated to conservation was given to Paul Dewey of Lockport. The long-time conservation instructor at Niagara-Orleans BOCES has taught over 600 students, sending them on a career path toward conservation. His accomplishments have been impressive over the years and it’s high time we recognize him for his efforts.

The Victor Fitchlee Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in conservation and outdoor sports was bestowed on retired Environmental Conservation Officer James Rogers of Grand Island. Rogers retired last year after more than 32 years with DEC, primarily in enforcement. He was a champion of sportsmen and fought for them behind the scenes. He also volunteered his time with groups like Ducks Unlimited. Born in South Buffalo in 1959, he grew up fishing and trapping in the area. The ECO position was a dream job and lived out that dream until last fall.

The John Long, Sr. Memorial Award for business of the year went to Myles Tool of Sanborn. The owner, Myles Barraclough, is a strong support of Second Amendment rights and he is constantly make contributions to the conservation movement – to the Federation and to member clubs. He donates all of the awards to the Clays for Heroes fund raising shoot for veterans as but one example of his service.

The President’s Award for outstanding service to the Federation selected by Doug Walck of Niagara Falls (while he was running the group’s ship last year) was given to Dave Kern, Sr. of Lockport. Kern, who currently serves as 2016 President of the Federation, is a long-time volunteer for many different conservation groups and programs. He has been a driving force in the local Pheasants Forever Chapter working on their Annual Fundraising Banquet, Youth Mentor Hunt and is the person taking seed orders for Habitat Projects. He has always been there for the Federation when needed, serving as former Co-chairman of the Federation Awards Committee. In addition, he always volunteers to work numerous shifts whenever the Federation’s Mobile Air Rifle Range is put into service. When it comes to serving Niagara County he is truly one of the top volunteers. He is this year’s President of the Western New York Environmental Federation.

Two different hunter safety training awards are handed out each year, one for firearms and one for archery. Ron Meegan of Tonawanda won the James Reed/Donald Meyer Memorial Award for firearms hunter education. He has been an instructor for over 10 years, is very thorough and dedicated to the hunter safety cause. The archery award, known as the Steve Fountain/Arch Lowery Memorial Award, went to hunter safety instructor Dave Faccini of Niagara Falls. He was compared to the late great Don Bronson as far as his knowledge and teaching abilities. He does an outstanding job training future hunters and he needs to be commended for those efforts. Thanks for a job well-done.
 


Niagara County Federation Pays Tribute to 2014 Award Winners
[Awards Banquet was on Saturday on April 19 2015]

By Bill Hilts, Jr.

Each year, the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs pays it forward as a tribute to the men, women and children, as well as the stand-out clubs, who lead the conservation charge – be it for hunting, fishing and our Second Amendments right; protecting our natural resources or just helping Mother Nature along when she needs a little help from some friends. These are the awards winners for 2014 as they were presented at Terry’s Corners Fire Hall, Gasport on Saturday, April 19 - a small token of appreciation from the outdoor community.

The Oliver Jones Memorial Award for Sportsperson of the Year goes to Georgina Grosofsky of Williamsville, Chairwoman of the Niagara Frontier Friends of the NRA Committee. Her energy and enthusiasm is contagious. Her efforts with the NRA Committee were (and continue to be) tireless as she rounded up the old team and added new team members – doubling the volunteers working on the committee. She set a record performance at her very first banquet raising over $33,000.00. She also travels downstate each year to represent Western New York at the State Funds Committee meeting. Local grant monies awarded through her committee were $19,000 this year. These are all monies that have a direct impact on some many other programs – from youth and women shooting sports to range and habitat improvements. Her work has a snowball effect on some many other groups.

The Leroy Winn Memorial Award is given each year for the Club of the Year, recognizing a Federation Club for outstanding service to conservation and the community. This year’s recipient of club of the year is the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association (LOTSA), a fishing club focused on education and natural resource enhancement. These diehard fishermen are all about teaching more and more people on learning to fish – and not just salmon and trout fishing. Monthly meetings have an educational component but each year they also coordinate a Salmon School and Lake Ontario Marketplace, now held in conjunction with the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo. Proceeds are earmarked for an extensive salmon and trout pen rearing project in Olcott, a program that the club has been involved with for 10 years. These are just some of the things that the club is involved with.

The Milford “Pinky” Robinson Award, symbolic of dedication to the Great Lakes fisheries, goes to Dr. Dimitry Gorsky, fisheries biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Since 2010, Gorsky has been instrumental in conducting ground-breaking research involving lake sturgeon and lake trout in the Lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario. Through his research he’s established that lake trout are indeed spawning in the river system and his sturgeon work utilizes state-of-the art technology that will help to solve many of the mysteries of these prehistoric fish. In addition, he helped to kick off World Fish Migration Day with a new event in 2014 at Joseph Davis State Park.

The Carl Lass Memorial Award for Youth of the Year went to local junior shooting sports enthusiast Dominic Sollitto of Niagara Falls. The junior shooter, who belongs to the Junior Club of the Three-F Club in Lewiston, has earned the rank of “Distinguished Expert Marksman.” He has shot a perfect score of 200 and competes in the U.S. National Rifle Championships at Camp Perry, Ohio. He is enrolled in the Niagara-Orleans BOCES Conservation Program, a 17 year old in 11th Grade. He helps with teaching other young shooters in safe gun handling techniques. He is the future.

The John Daly Memorial Award for Legislator of the Year went to long-time Second Amendment and conservation supporter Dr. John Syracuse of Newfane. Dr. Syracuse is quick to stand up in the County Legislature whenever this is a fishing, hunting or Second Amendment issue to deal with. He serves as the county liaison to the Fisheries Development Board and also assists with numerous fishing contests such as the Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament and the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey event. We are lucky to have him for his leadership and his dedication.

The Ken Berner Memorial Conservation Award for person, family or organization dedicated to conservation was given to Dave Kern, Sr. of Lockport. Kern, who currently serves as Vice President of the Federation, is a long-time volunteer for many different conservation groups and programs. He has been a driving force in the local Pheasants Forever Chapter working on their Annual Fundraising Banquet, Youth Mentor Hunt and is the person taking seed orders for Habitat Projects. He has always been there for the Federation when needed, serving as former Co-chairman of the Federation Awards Committee. In addition, he always volunteers to work numerous shifts whenever the Federation’s Mobile Air Rifle Range is put into service. When it comes to serving Niagara County he is truly one of the top volunteers and is currently the Alternate Delegate to the New York State Conservation Council and is this year’s Vice President of the Western New York Environmental Federation.

The Victor Fitchlee Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in conservation and outdoor sports was bestowed on Paul Schnell of Hilton, formerly of Niagara County. Schnell, known for his outdoor education through his Institute for Environmental Learning, has been taking an active role in the outdoors for over three decades.

The John Long, Sr. Memorial Award for business of the year went to The Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls for starting up a brand new event in the county that has turned into something very special. The Conference and Event Center initiated the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo in 2014, focusing on the natural resources of Western New York. The Expo now houses a huge educational component through the Western New York Fishing Academy, including educational components for everyone from the novice and youth to the experienced anglers looking to expand their knowledge even further. Working with LOTSA, the Conference Center also raised money for the group’s pen rearing project in Olcott.

The President’s Award for outstanding service to the Federation selected by Doug Walck of Niagara Falls while he was running the group’s ship last year was given to Jim Perri of Lewiston. Perri is the President of the Three-F Club in Lewiston and his leadership has helped to turn the club around into one of the top shooting sports facilities in the region.

Two different hunter safety training awards are handed out each year, one for firearms and one for archery. Walter Whitenight of Newfane won the James Reed/Donald Meyer Memorial Award for firearms hunter education. He has been instructing since 1992 and he normally teaches out of the Hartland Conservationists Club in Gasport. He actually took over from the late great Archie Lowery at the club. He’s a professional in every sense of the word and dedicated to teaching a top-notch hunter safety class for future generations. The archery award, known as the Steve Fountain/Arch Lowery Memorial Award, went to long time archery instructor Mark Irlbacher of Doc’s Archery in North Tonawanda. He’s been instructing since 1978, certified as a DEC master instructor! It’s but a small piece of recognition for a volunteer job, important people who help to shape and mold future hunters. Some little known information about Irlbacher is that he is a member of the NYS Archery Hall of Fame; he is an active tournament archer with 15 state championships under his belt; and he has been in the archery business for over 48 years.

The Don Bronson Memorial Conservation Wall of Fame is located at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara in Lockport. Two new inductees will be added this year: Dave Whitt of Lewiston, a former Federation sportsperson of the year, was recognized for his long-term commitment to conservation – especially as it relates to habitat, pheasants and waterfowl. He started out serving as a board member and officer of the Three-F Club in Lewiston in the 1970’s. Since then he’s been involved with Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever and the USDA’s Conservation Office in Lockport. Habitat work and youth involvement are both important aspects of his legacy. He started up a youth day at the Three-F Club to teach the next generation about the outdoors. He was involved with starting up the Niagara County Gobblers Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation; helped design and implement the Plateau Project in Lewiston, an important grasslands habitat; and he also helped implement food and cover plots at the 1,600 acre Somerset Power Plant.

Also added to the Bronson wall was Bill Hilts, Jr. of Lockport, long time journalist for area newspapers since 1980 (and continues to be); hundreds of state, regional and national magazine features and columns; as well as book author and current television and radio show host. He was selected to the New York State Outdoorsman Hall of Fame in 2007 and was named the Professional Conservationist of the Year for New York State by the New York State Conservation Council in 1997. He was also a past recipient of the Pinky Robinson Award in 1997. Hilts, Jr. is a past president of the New York State Outdoor Writers Assn. and the Assn. of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers. He is currently the Outdoor Promotions Director for Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp. and the county’s Fishing Promotion Coordinator.


2013 Niagara County Federation Pays Tribute to  Conservation Award Winners
 Annual Banquet Held Saturday April 5 2014


By Bill Hilts, Jr.

Each year, the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs pays tribute to the men, women and children, as well as the stand-out clubs, who lead the conservation charge – be it for hunting, fishing or our Second Amendments right; protecting our natural resources or just helping Mother Nature along when she needs a little help from some friends. These are the awards winners for 2013 as they were presented at Suzanne's Fine Dining in Niagara Falls on Saturday, April 5 - a small token of appreciation from the outdoor community:

The Oliver Jones Memorial Award for Sportsman of the Year goes to Loren Tiffany of Lockport. Tiffany is one of those special people who are the epitome of hard work and unselfish dedication. A longtime member of the Hartland Conservationist Club, he was instrumental in initiating a trap shoot to benefit breast cancer, an event that will continue this year. He is an avid supporter of the club’s winter and summer trap leagues and worked tirelessly to be a driving force behind the refurbishing of the outdoor shooting range. A long time hunter safety instructor, he is also the go-to person regarding SAFE Act updates and attends all functions protesting the SAFE Act to keep members information.

The Leroy Winn Memorial Award is given each year for the Club of the Year, recognizing a Federation Club for outstanding service to conservation, the shooting sports and the community. This year’s recipient of club of the year is the state’s largest and nation's oldest firearms advocacy organization – the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association. Since 1871, this organization has been dedicated to the preservation of Second Amendment rights, firearm safety, education and training, and the shooting sports and is the official NRA-affiliated State Association in New York. They were recently informed by NRA headquarters in Washington, D.C. that this state affiliate has now surpassed Texas and California as the largest state affiliate in the nation – nearly doubling in membership since the SAFE Act was passed into law.

The Milford “Pinky” Robinson Award, symbolic of dedication to the Great Lakes fisheries, goes to longtime Niagara County Fisheries Development Board member and former charter boat captain Richard “Dick” Conley of Lockport. Conley has been in the thick of things with the fishery for decades and it’s about time he was recognized for all his hard work and dedication. He was actively involved with the artificial reef project in the lake, a structure built back in the 1990s with funds from the Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament. It was designed to be a spawning reef for lake trout, as well as an attractor reef for other fish species.

The Carl Lass Memorial Award for Youth of the Year went to local shooting star Joe Nagel of Lockport. He placed first last year at the state Scholastic Clays Target Program Sporting Clays Team Event; second place in the skeet team championships; third place individual for both; and also placed 12th in the SCTP National Championships in Illinois last year. His academics are stellar as well, with four years on the high honor roll and a member of the National Honor Society.

The John Daly Memorial Award for Legislator of the Year went to long-time Second Amendment and conservation supporter Paul Wojtaszek of North Tonawanda. As a three term Niagara County Legislator, Wojtaszek helped to draw up the legislation to support Second Amendment rights – be it to oppose the SAFE Act, microstamping or whatever scheme arose to downgrade and limit our constitutional rights. He was an important leader in the county legislature during his time in office and he will be missed going to the future.

The Ken Berner Memorial Conservation Award for person, family or organization dedicated to conservation was given to Gary Lewis of Wilson. Lewis runs the DEC pheasant release program with the Wilson Conservation Club and also assists with a youth pheasant hunt with Pheasants Forever. He is also a tireless worker at WCC throughout the year.

The Victor Fitchlee Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in conservation and outdoor sports was bestowed on Wayne “Butch” Snell of Barker, a lifetime member of the Niagara County Trappers Association and an ambassador of the trapping movement. His unselfish dedication to educate and promote the role of trapping as an important management tool has been a key component to the future of this outdoor pastime. Without his help, we wouldn’t be where we are today in Niagara County.

The John Long, Sr. Memorial Award for business or business person of the year went Ron Hutcheson of A-1 Bait Supply in Niagara Falls. He was instrumental in assisting with the Wilson Conservation Club’s kids fishing derby for over 20 years by coming up with most of the prizes, many of which he donated himself. Hutcheson has also been active with the Niagara River Anglers Assn., Niagara County Fisheries Development Board and Niagara County Derby Board.

The President’s Award for outstanding service to the Federation selected by Doug Walck of Niagara Falls while he was running the group’s ship last year was given to Russell Petrie of Medina. Petrie is the chairman of the Niagara County Chapter of SCOPE, is a member of the NRA, NYS Rifle and Pistol Assn., Iroquois Arms Collectors and Wolcottsville Conservation Club. He assists with mentoring youth shooting programs and is a staunch defender of our Second Amendment rights.

Two different hunter safety training awards are handed out each year, one for firearms and one for archery. Eric Minton of North Tonawanda won the James Reed/Donald Meyer Memorial Award for firearms hunter education – one of the few double winners. Minton received the award for archery in 2006. The archery award, known as the Steve Fountain/Arch Lowery Memorial Award , went to long time archery instructor Ed Webber of Lewiston. He’s been instructing since 1974! It’s but a small piece of recognition for a volunteer job, important people who help to shape and mold future hunters.

The Don Bronson Memorial Conservation Wall of Fame is located at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara in Lockport. Two new recipients will be added this year – the late Joel Thomas of Appleton, a former Federation sportsperson of the year in 2009, an SPCA wildlife administrator and a veterinary technician. He was also a gun and bow instructor. Also added to the wall was Chris Schotz of Sanborn, a past president of the Federation for many years and an important cog for volunteer support as it relates to our natural resources. He was also a past recipient of the Oliver Jones Award. Schotz’s home base is the Wilson Conservation Club.
 


2012 Annual Banquet April 27 2013

 Inductees for Outdoor Hall of Fame

The New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame has announced their slate of 2013 inductees and Western New York fared quite well. In fact, four of the seven being inducted came from Erie County, another from Wyoming County – pretty impressive. The Hall of Fame is an organization dedicated to honoring sportsmen and women who have made significant achievements in outdoors-related fields. More importantly, they are recognized for their long-time service in preserving our outdoor heritage and helping others experience it. It’s not just about individual feats or accomplishments. It’s about leadership and carrying the torch for the hunting, fishing and conservation community.

In no specific order, here’s the selection:

1] Larry Becker, Gainesville – Becker is a longtime member of the National Wild Turkey Federation who has served the organization in many capacities, including state chapter president. He currently serves as chair of the New York State Sportsmen’s Advisory Council and is an active member of the Wyoming County Federation, the New York State Conservation Council. Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the National Rifle Association. Through the years he has actively worked with youngsters in hunting and conservation.

2] Chuck Booker, West Amherst – Probably best noted for the fact that he holds over 50 line class world records from Niagara County streams, Booker was recognized for his work and dedication with the Town of Andover Wetlands Restoration Project. He assists the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association with their pen rearing project in Olcott and is the Western Region Director of the Lake Ontario Tributaries Anglers Council. He’s one of those guys always willing to lend a hand with a project or program, including donating his time by offering fishing trips as prizes.

3] Diane Maciejewski , Elma – She has been active in Erie County sportsmen’s organizations for 25 years, especially with Trout Unlimited as a secretary, president and delegate for 24 years. She was named Sportswoman of the Year by the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, while working tirelessly in many other roles in support of conservation, fund-raising, stream improvement and education.

4] Frank Miskey, Sr., Elma – He has been involved with hunter education instruction for over 35 years and served as Hunter Education Coordinator. He has brought Project Childsafe to Erie County and been responsible for the distribution of thousands of gun locks free of charge. He has been active with the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen and also Ducks Unlimited. He serves as superintendent of the Conservation Building at the Erie County Fair.

5] Art Segool, Orchard Park – Segool is an active and long-time member of the Erie County Conservation Society. As a certified hunter education instructor, he teaches hunter safety, archery and trapper education classes. In addition, he teaches hunter safety and ran the rifle range at Camp Hickory Hill in Western New York. This also includes shotgun and BB gun shooting programs.

6] Other inductees into the hall this year includes Greg O’Hara of Inlet, a licensed state guide and founder of the Central Adirondacks Search and Rescue Team; Stan Pascoo of West Nyack, hunter education instructor for many years in Rockland County and a person instrumental in the Wounded Warrior Program among other things.

The annual banquet and induction ceremony took place on April 27 2013 at the Rusty Rail Restaurant in Canastota starting at 5 p.m.

2011 - Annual Banquet held March 3 2012

Falcone, Danaher, Two Wilson Clubs Lead Way -
Senator Maziarz wins John B. Daly Award

By Bill Hilts Jr.


Federation Recognizes Conservation Leaders at Annual Banquet

The Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs held the group’s annual awards banquet Saturday night (March 3) at the 4-H Building of Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara, an opportunity to recognize and thank the many leaders of the Conservation community as it relates to our natural resources, the shooting sports and general outdoor stewardship. It’s never an easy decision to make the selections for who will win a particular award, but remember that it’s all through a nomination process. Like the New York State Lottery, you have to be in it to win it!

Oliver Jones Memorial Award – Sportsperson of the Year: Rich Falcone of Lewiston

This year’s recipient has been around for a number of years, focusing mainly on the shooting sports. While his primary interest has been with the 3-F Club of Lewiston, his work has influenced shooters from around the state and Canada by arranging and running local, state and regional skeet shoots. He donates his time and equipment to assist the hunter safety training program at his club, as well as providing valuable assistance with the club’s Youth mentor pheasant hunt. As an NRA Certified Shotgun Instructor, he provides training to anyone who asks for it. He especially enjoys working with new shooters. This past year, he came up with his own fundraising effort by Shooting for a Cure – attempting to break 100 straight birds on the skeet field to help put a different kind of twist in the charity arena and raise money for Cancer. It put the shooting sports in a very positive light and helped out a very good cause in the process. He hopes to continue that effort in 2012.

Leroy Winn Memorial Award – Club of the Year: Wilson Conservation Club & Wilson Conservation Club Auxiliary.

When the final votes were tallied, the Federation opted to give out two awards rather than one. The Wilson Conservation Club has won this award before, quite recently we might add. Yes, they were the winner in 2010. In 2011, they didn’t sit on their laurels – they were very involved with a number of new events. At the top of the list was that this club came to the rescue for a couple of fishing related derbies that needed a site to host the first ever Wilson Ice Fishing Derby, as well as the first ever county bullhead contest. In addition to hosting a crossbow shooting league that is open to the public, they took their annual crossbow day and seminar to a new level in 2011 by attracting nearly 300 guests including 8 different crossbow manufacturers. This was all new stuff in addition to their normal tasks of sponsoring kids to summer DEC camp; hosting a kids fishing derby every June with over 150 kids; offering hunter education classes; raising pheasants; hosting 3-D archery shoots; and taking over the crossbow station at the Wildlife Festival.

At the same time, the Wilson Conservation Club Auxiliary was working side by side with the club that we were just talking about. They run the kitchen for all the special events out of this club and organize fund raisers to pay for the equipment. They are an important support mechanism for the main club, such as raising money for the kids fishing derby. Together they have put a float in the local parade and won the first prize. In addition to supporting the main club, they have also been supportive of the local community through Canine Helpers, Wyndham Lawn Home for Children, Wilson Free Library, Goodwill, Community Kitchens, Goby buckets for the Wilson Pier; adopt a highway program; tree and bush plantings; and much, much more. The two clubs BOTH earned the recognition this year.

Milford “Pinky” Robinson Memorial Award -- For dedication to the Great Lakes Fisheries: Tom Danaher of Waterport.

This year’s recipient is from the same mold as Robinson, doing many of the same things that Pinky had a passion for. He helps to educate future generations of anglers. As a long time charter captain, he was an ambassador for the fisheries to people who visited Niagara. He carried that expertise into numerous boards and meetings, serving on the Niagara County Fisheries Board (which he is still on) and Derby Board. He was the Lake Ontario Pro-Am weigh master for many years, not just in Niagara but for all four tournaments along the lake. He assists with the DEC stocking effort here and also is a tremendous support for the pen rearing project in Olcott. He was a derby judge for the Fish Odyssey; assisted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on an Atlantic salmon project; and he has worked with the county tourism office to promote the local fisheries at trade shows. He’s a great guy, too.

Carl Lass Memorial Award – Youth of the Year: Greg Laubacker of Newfane.

Laubacker is a youth that is passionate about shotgun shooting sports and the outdoors. This young man has worked hard over the years to achieve success in a sport he loves. His list of shooting accomplishments is long. His hard work and dedication paid off with a scholarship to Lindenwood University in Missouri, the number one collegiate shotgun shooting team in the country.

Steve Fountain/Archie Lowery Memorial Award – Bowhunter Safety Education: Rich “OK” Evans

Our recipient, who teaches both firearms and bow, has been known to travel around the county to assist with classes – from North Tonawanda to Appleton. His dedication and knowledge is worthy of the recognition.

James Reed/Donald Meyer Memorial Award – Firearms Hunter Safety: Doug Walck of Niagara Falls.
Walck is not only a NRA certified instructor in Rifle, Pistol, Shotgun, Muzzleloading Rifle and Home Firearm Safety but this nominee serves as an NRA Range Safety Officer. Dedicated to the shooting sports, safety is at the top of his list.

John Long, Sr. Memorial Award – Conservation Award for Top Business: Mike Perry, Ken Klino and Jim “Bruno” Burnett from Tails & Feathers Bird Hunting Preserve in Newfane. The operation is constantly supporting the Federation and area clubs for fund raising efforts.

Victor Fitchee Lifetime Achievement Award: Don Clark of Ransomville.

A lifetime of Conservation – that says it all. One of the best things about Clark is that he doesn’t just focus on conservation. This person has many other cross-over groups that he is involved with. As a true sportsman and conservationist, it’s good to have these people also involved with other special interest organizations to help tell the story of the outdoor fraternity. And, yes, this person can tell a good story, too. In the conservation arena, he’s been president of the Pioneer Conservation Sportsmen of Niagara County, is an active member of the Iroquois Arms Collectors Association and is an officer and member of Niagara County SCOPE. He was a past officer and director with the LaSalle Sportsmen’s Club and has been a mentor for the Niagara County Pheasant Program. He is a charter member of the American Crossbow Federation and the New York State Crossbow Hunters Association, to name but a few groups. He is the recipient of the Lions Vision Beyond Sight Humanitarian Service Award, as well as the recipient of the Robert J. Uplinger Distinguished Service Award in recognition for outstanding service to the district for his work with the Lions Club, Canine Helpers and president of the Pioneer Sportsmen. The list goes on. Nice going, Don!

The Ken Berner Memorial Conservation Award – For a person, family or organization dedicated to conservation: Victor DiGiacomo, Niagara County Soil and Water.

This year’s recipient brings a strong conservation ethic to the table that quite often stretches above and beyond the call of duty – a duty that calls from his regular job at Niagara County Soil and Water. He has been a dedicated servant to the residents of Niagara County and Western New York for a number of years – a hard worker, loyal and committed. He coordinated eight years with the Eighteen Mile Creek Remedial Action Plan, serving as coordinator to advance the plan and remediate the Area of Concern for the benefit to fish and wildlife, fishermen and other citizens who utilize the creek; he obtained funding and coordinated Phase 2 of the Eighteen Mile Creek Stream habitat project in Fisherman’s Park in Newfane; and he obtained funding for the Lake Ontario Outreach and Education Grant to actively engage residents, schools and communities in the implementation of the public education, outreach and community participation necessary to effectively administer the Lake Ontario Lakewide Management Plan.

President’s Award – John Butcher of Lockport.

Selected by 2011 President Chris Schotz of Sanborn, this year’s winner has worked diligently to promote the ideals and ideas of the Federation for many years. There were many obstacles that had to be overcome. This individual worked hard to overcome all of these adversities, keeping a positive approach. To make all this happen, countless hours were spent making contacts and promoting the Federation. Plus, taking care of his family and running a business. Because of John’s dedication to the Federation, they now have a Mobile Air Rifle Range, a Youth Mentor Clays League, and strong support from the Friends of the NRA in awarding grant money to many of our member organization.

Don Bronson Memorial Wall of Fame – Erwin “Bunny” Farber of Niagara Falls.

Farber was old School when it came to conservation. Serving on numerous natural resources and conservation-related boards and committees, he was recognized as Sportsman of the Year in Niagara County in 1976; and named New York State Conservationist of the Year in 1988. His greatest love was conservation and the protection of fish and wildlife for future generations. He passed away last fall, but he will long be remembered on the county’s Conservation Wall of Fame.

Sen. John Daly Award – Legislator of the Year: Sen. George Maziarz of Lockport.
The late Sen. John Daly would have been proud. Sen. George Maziarz was recognized as the Legislator of the Year by the Federation for all his support of hunting, fishing and Second Amendment Rights issues – the second time he has received this prestigious award in his tenure as the area’s state senator. Most recently, he was the sponsor in the Senate for the use of crossbows – even though the final version was more watered down than the original proposal. He has assisted in grants that have allowed the Federation to acquire a special seed planting machine for habitat improvement and also to construct a portable shooting trailer, to name but a few things. He is a friend of the sportsmen!

2010 Banquet held March 19 2011

Local Sporting Leaders Honored for Conservation Roles
By Bill Hilts Jr.

Each year, the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs taking time out to do something very important – recognize those individuals, clubs and businesses who are in the trenches making a difference in the conservation movements. They are the people who are true leaders, the future of our outdoor heritage and the reasons for success in protecting and enhancing our natural resources. Each was honored for their achievements at the annual awards banquet held Saturday, March 19 at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara in Lockport.

The winners were:
The Oliver Jones Memorial Award is given out each year to the person recognized as the top outdoor sports person, the area’s volunteer of the year. This year, there were two standouts – one male and one female – so two people were recognized. From the female side, Colleen Gaskill of Lockport was honored for sharing her passion in the shooting sports by developing a “Ladies Only” Shoot and Hoot programs, bringing hundreds of women closer to the outdoors in the process.

The Oliver Jones winner on the male side was Bill D’Ambrosio of North Tonawanda, a staunch supporter of teaching all aspects of the shooting sports to the next generation of shooter. He was the coach of the Kenmore East High School Rifle teams from 1991 to 2005 and he continues as the youth program coach for Twin City Shooting Club, a program that has been very successful. He helped coach the New York State Youth Team at Camp Perry in 2010, a team that included two Twin City club shooters.

The Leroy Winn Memorial Award for the top conservation club in the county went to the Wilson Conservation Club. Since 2003, this club has raised over $39,000 for Juvenile Diabetes through a 3-D Shoot that they organize and run. They have also been running a crossbow shooting league and have done so for the last ten years – possibly the only club in the state doing something like this. They held their first crossbow shooting seminar in 2010 and their next seminar will be held April 16, 2011. They sponsor and organize a kids fishing derby each year; they sponsor four kids each year to the DEC environmental conservation camps; they host hunter safety, bowhunter and trapper training classes each year; they have a pheasant rearing program on site and lend a hand to the 4-H kids involved with the program.

The Milford “Pinky” Robinson Memorial Award symbolizes hard work and dedication to protect and enhance our Great Lakes fisheries that are near and dear to our hearts. This year’s nomination comes from a bit of devine intervention. Curt Meddaugh, a previous recipient of this award, passed away last year and one of his final acts of unselfishness before he left us was to nominate a dynamic duo for their own hard work and dedication to our Great Lakes has they relate to Niagara County. Hank Condes of Wilson and his 17 year old son, Tim have been working together to make the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association pen-rearing project in Olcott a success, stepping in when Meddaugh was having health issues, sacrificing their own time. They continue to run the project in Curt’s absence.

The Ken Berner Memorial Conservation Award represents recognition for the Person, family, or organization dedicated to conservation. This year’s winner was Mike Promowicz of Niagara Falls, one of those unsung heroes of conservation. He’s one of the people behind the scenes that gets the work done, a go to person for DEC, the Niagara River Anglers, the Adirondack Mountain Club or whoever. Connie Adams, a DEC employee who has worked closely with him the past eight years, said that he’s a hard worker, assisting in projects like duck banding, common tern nesting work and nest boxes for peregrine falcons. “He’s humble and good,” said Adams. “He totally deserves this.”

The Carl Lass Memorial Award recognizes the youth or youth program that stands out and serves as a leader for future generations to follow. This year the Federation selected two different kids, again – one male and one female – to show that even the girls are becoming a force to be reckoned with. It comes at a good time, too – when we need it the most. Heather Stahley of Clarence was a founding member of the Twin City Junior Rifle Club. She has been a member of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association’s Junior Team that shoots at the National Shooting Championships in Camp Perry, Ohio. To be selected, team participants must meet strict standards of dedication, commitment and achievement in their sport. She is captain of the Twin City Junior Rifle Club, a true leader. Tim Laubacker of Newfane was the other Youth Award recipient. Shooting in the youth program at North Forest Rod and Gun, he has shot in the nationals of the Scholastic Clays Target Program and finished seventh overall with his team. His scholastic achievements and shooting skills have earned him a scholarship to Lindenwood University in St Charles, Missouri, where he currently shoots a full menu: Trap, Skeet, Doubles Trap and Sporting Clays.

The John Daly Memorial Award for legislator of the year went to Erie County’s Jane Corwin, who represents a portion of Niagara County in Lockport and Royalton. She has been a staunch supporter of Second Amendment rights in her short tenure with the state’s Assembly, endorsed by both NRA and SCOPE.

The John Long, Sr. Memorial Award for business excellence at it relates to conservation went to the Buffalo Gun Center for supporting many of the Federation’s programs in fund raising efforts.

The James Reed/Donald Meyer Memorial Award was created to recognize those volunteers that have outstanding dedication to hunter safety training. Tom and Becky Kraatz were both honored for their work in this role, at places like Niagara Gun Range, Gander Mountain and others.

The Steve Fountain/Archie Lowery Memorial Award for dedication to bowhunter/archery safety training went to Jeff Brown from the Tonawanda Sportsman’s Club, a long time volunteer in hunter education.

Federation President John Butcher of Lockport bestowed two special President’s Awards for their hard work during his final year as the president. Gordon Botting, Sr. of Lockport and the North Forest Rod and Gun Club were both recognized for their dedication and unselfish devotion to the cause.

There was one double winner, the subject of a future column for sure. The Victor Fitchlee Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in the conservation arena went to Dick Lang of Royalton. He served as a conservation officer with DEC for 34 years, protecting the fish and wildlife of Niagara County and New York State.

Lang was also inducted on to the Don Bronson Memorial Conservation Wall of Fame, honoring local conservationists for their outstanding contributions.

Another fitting individual who was honored by being placed on the wall was Jerry Farrell of Lewiston. A previous Fitchlee Award winner, Farrell is an icon in the world of bird banding and his contributions are legendary.

A tip of the sportsman’s cap goes out to all this winners. The selection process isn’t easy, but every one of these more than deserve the recognition that they’ve received.

Thanks for all you do!

 

 


2009 Banquet held April 3 2010
 

Federation Honors Conservation Leaders of Niagara - 2009
By Bill Hilts Jr.

The Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs held their annual awards banquet, Saturday April 3 2010, recognizing conservation leaders for 2009, but that’s a bit of a misnomer. While the year might be 2009, the individuals, committees and organizations being honored have been doing this for a long, long time. They are the work horses, the people in the trenches getting the jobs done and preserving and protecting an outdoor heritage we all can enjoy today, while helping to guarantee a future in the great outdoors for the next generation of sportsmen and sportswomen following in step.

Where do you start? You can’t slight anyone – this is a who’s who among the conservation ranks, the elite leaders that have already paved a path for many to follow. It’s only fitting that we recognize the lifelong ambassadors of the outdoors through something brand new in Niagara County – A Wall of Fame for conservationists, named after the late, great Don Bronson. Situated at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara, this wall is designed for the dedication and service to the conservation movement and outdoor sporting fraternity, helping to preserve and protect our outdoor heritage for generations to come. The inductees for 2009 were William Mudge of Gasport, who recently passed on, and William R. Hilts (aka Bill, Sr.) of Sanborn who is still as active as he ever was.

Mudge was recognized “for his lifelong dedication to the American Conservation ethic and sportsman community, with his steadfast belief and respect for the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; served in excellence, honor and patriotic integrity.” So the wall will read in his honor.

Hilts, Sr.’s wall notation will read: “A lifetime dedicated to raising the level of awareness of outdoor recreational opportunities and conservation issues in Niagara County, New York and the Country.” While we could go on and on with both Mudge and Hilts, this was a fitting tribute by the Federation to these elite leaders.

Leading right into the awards was the Victor Fitchlee Memorial Award for lifetime achievement and Mudge was recognized for that feat as well, an award that Hilts, Sr. received several years ago. Added to the list of notables this year was Ernie Calandrelli of Lewiston. It’s safe to say that this person has become a legend of sorts when it comes to hunting and fishing circles around the country. Let’s start with the hunting end of things. His name is synonymous with turkeys -- but in a good way! He’s been talking turkey for nearly four decades, winning many calling contests along the way. He started working for Quaker Boy Game Calls in Orchard Park and is now the Director of Public Relations for that company. He’s always willing to give a talk or share his time, especially when kids are involved. As far as his fishing exploits, he’s been a lower Niagara River Charter captain for over 25 years and is considered one of the best in the business. Not only is he an ambassador of our fisheries, he is very giving of his time and energy as he does his best to pass on these traditions – starting with his own family. His son Nick is a chip off the old block – and it scares him!

The Oliver Jones Memorial Award is given out each year to the person recognized as the top outdoor sports person, the area’s conservationist of the year. The 2009 recipient was Joel Thomas of Appleton. This year’s winner is a perfect fit for what this award symbolizes. He has been a D.E.C. Firearms and Bow Safety Instructor for nearly 15 years, assuring the hunting traditions and the ethical responsibilities are a part of the process of this important education. Hundreds of young and old alike have benefited from this person’s witty presentation of the teaching material. He has always been an advocate of wise conservation techniques promoting the control of both predator and game animal populations alike through sportsmanlike hunting practices.

Showing the way by example, he is instrumental in training seminars introducing newcomers to firearms programs at North Forest Rod and Gun Club. His teaching style allows young and old to learn in a friendly environment without the fear of embarrassment. His many achievements never have overshadowed his interest or availability for volunteer work! He is a sought after speaker at schools and civic organizations and has been featured on the “The Why Guy” as well as daily television news and radio shows that aired his expertise and understanding of the dynamics of having humans and wild animals coexisting in an urban setting. He is also featured weekly on radio station 1230 am WECK where he answers questions concerning wildlife in urban settings. And speaking of answering questions about techniques for living with wildlife, he has authored a book that will soon be available to the general market. The title is “Creature Comforts.”

The Leroy Winn Memorial Award is the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Club’s special acknowledgement for Club of the Year. This year’s winner was the Twin City Shooting Club of North Tonawanda. At a time when our Second Amendment rights are being threatened, it’s important to have clubs like this to not only feed the sport, but also recruit new members to the shooting fraternity. They do the best they can with what they have to work with. The club’s modest shooting facilities belie its many varied and impressive contributions to the Western New York Community. As the club strives to enlarge programs for the young, as well as the experienced, this club continues to offer new opportunities for shooters in the safe and enjoyable recreational shooting sports arena. They are doing their part to ensure the long-term viability of the shooting sports in America. They have focused on the youth in a big way, developing interest and enthusiasm for junior rifle programs. In addition to working with NRA Qualification Awards, today’s juniors are participating in NRA sectional competitions, Junior Olympics and other local matches, as well as the National matches.

The Milford “Pinky” Robinson Award is an annual award handed out for an individual’s dedication to the Great Lakes fisheries. This year’s winner was Bob Cinelli of Newfane. There isn’t a better person in the county more deserving of this award from the standpoint of fisheries dedication. As an active member of the county’s Fisheries Development Board, the same board that Pinky served on, he’s represented fishing interests for well over two decades on this board. As a charter captain, he’s one of the senior members with over 30 years experience on the Great Lakes out of the port of Olcott and in the lower Niagara River. He also serves as chairman of the Niagara County Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament, an event he himself has elevated to new heights thanks to his leadership and guidance. He helps coordinate the Buffalo Sabres Spring Salmon Spectacular in Olcott each spring, raising money for charity, kids fishing programs and the local community. He also works hard to help generate additional funds for the various kids fishing derbies around the county which translates into fishing prizes for the kids.
 
The Carl Lass Memorial Award, symbolic for Youth of the Year in the conservation arena, went to Jeff Ventry, Jr. of Sanborn. This is an important award from the standpoint that these recipients are the future of our outdoor heritage. They carry the torch for the next generation of sportsmen. This year’s winner is an avid outdoorsman and conservationist. He is the member of the 3-F Club and has earned “Distinguished Expert” on the Junior Sporter Rifle Team. He shoots skeet on two different teams at two different clubs and at one was awarded the Youth High Gun. In the Jim Kelly Charity Shoot, he’s placed in the Top 3 two years in a row. As a student at Niagara Wheatfield High School, this 14 year old freshman is an active member of the Environmental Club and the Outdoor Club. He also performs many volunteer services in the community including working at registered skeet shoots, participating in road clean up efforts and taking part in tree planting projects.

The John Daly Memorial Award, remembering a former great state politician, is symbolic for the Legislator of the Year – and this year the federation recognized John Ceretto of Lewiston. The county legislator has been a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights for Niagara County. A recent member of the NRA, this individual has co-authored and supported numerous resolutions to advance a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms, often opposing legislation that may be pushed on a state level. This person works hard to facilitate recycling programs as chairman of the Refuse District and also works hard to protect our waterways through other committees.

The Ken Berner Memorial Conservation Award is given out each year to the person, family or organization dedicated to conservation. This year, the Federation is recognizing a 3-F Club committee, a special triumvirate that has dedicated themselves to a special focus – Pam Barber of Ransomville, Sherry Marsh of Model City and Kim Dorato of Niagara Falls. Their big effort involves future generations and their focus is on youth conservation camps and raising money to send them. To date, their total has exceeded $5,000, sending nearly 20 kids to camp just on their own efforts.

The President’s Award is typically given to a person or organization that has done something special in the conservation and sporting community, something really unique that is outside the norm of all the other federation awards. It was only fitting that this year’s honorees were the two people who spearheaded the Don Bronson Conservation Memorial Wall of Fame – Larry Koch of Appleton and Greg Tessmann of Gasport. Way to go, guys!

This year’s recipient of the James Reed/Donald Meyer Memorial Hunter Education Award for Firearms goes to a gentleman that can only be described as a really nice guy – Bryan Meahl of Appleton who operates out of North Forest Rod and Gun in Lockport. He always goes above and beyond the call of duty and his list of accomplishments is most impressive.

The Steve Fountain/Archie Lowery Memorial Award gives special recognition to an individual for dedication to bowhunter safety education and training went to Claus Leyder of Lewiston. This year’s recipient has been teaching at one of the Federation clubs for over 25 years. He has also given volunteer service at several other clubs in the county, such as Newfane Conservation and Seven Clan Bowmen.

The Winner of the John Long, Sr. Award for business person of the year went to Dave Erway of Buckeye Scents in Wilson. Erway, owner of several Niagara County businesses, if always giving of the use of his facilities and several local clubs regular meet at his lodge quarters. It was fitting that he was recognized for this prestigious award, remembering and old friend to conservation.

 

2008 Banquet held March 2009

Area Conservationists Honored For Efforts in 2008
By Bill Hilts Jr. Awards given in Spring of 2009

Area conservationists were honored Saturday night when the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs held their annual awards banquet at the 3-F Club in Lewiston. Several underlying themes that came up time and time again focused on our Second Amendment rights and special efforts to pass along our outdoor heritage baton to the next generation of conservationists and sportspeople. Here were the winners of the Federation’s prestigious awards for 2008:

Oliver Jones Memorial Award – This award is symbolic of the Federation’s top sportsperson/conservationist of the year, Dave McDonald of Lockport for 2008. As chairman of the Niagara Frontier Friends of the NRA Committee, his efforts through fund-raising banquets have helped to support youth shooting programs, fund youth mentor hunts, send kids to DEC summer conservation camp, improve ranges at several area clubs and provide the start-up money for the Federation’s Mobile Air Rifle Range.

Leroy Winn Memorial Award – This is the award for Club of the Year and it comes at a good time in light of what seems to be happening around the country right now. The Niagara County Trappers, while small in numbers, are big in heart. They attend every major outdoor function in the county to tell their story of why trapping is an essential component to conservation and why it is needed today. They reach out to the general public to get their message across, many times changing minds and attitudes along the way.

Pinky Robinson Memorial Award – This award is handed out to the person who does the most to advance the Great Lakes sportfishery. This year’s winner, Dave Faccini of Niagara Falls, has been doing just that for a number of years. As an active member of the Niagara River Anglers Association, he’s one of the go-to guys that the organization turns to when something needs to get done. He’s done a tremendous amount of work in recent years on organizing kids fishing competitions in the Town of Niagara, Hyde Park Lake, the group’s Nature Preserve and in Youngstown.

President’s Award – This award is passed out by the President – this year it is John Butcher of Lockport doing the selecting – for a deserving individual or group that does something exemplary for the sporting community and may have fallen through the recognition cracks. This year’s recipient is Joe DeBergalis, Jr. of West Seneca. His career has been law enforcement, but his volunteerism has been for protecting gun rights in New York. A former NRA-ILA Volunteer of the Year, he also serves on the local Niagara Frontier Friends of the NRA Committee, is an officer with the state’s Rifle and Pistol Association, is a member of the NRA Speakers Bureau, is a certified NRA firearms instructor and much more.

Carl Lass Memorial Award – This award recognizes a person for youth activities or a youth who has been an outstanding example of a conservationist and sportsperson. This year’s recipient is Cody Culverwell of Wilson, a 16 year old Wilson Central High School student who has been actively involved in the 4-H Pheasant Rearing Program for many years. He has also been involved with raising mice for the Birds of Prey Program and helps his father, Richard, with the Wilson Conservation Club kids fishing derby. He participates in a .22 shooting league and also a crossbow shooting league, while remaining active in both fishing and hunting.

Ken Berner Memorial Award – This award traditionally goes to a person, family or organization dedicated to conservation and this year’s recipient was Karl Heilemann of North Tonawanda. The West Street Elementary School (Niagara Wheatfield) teacher has been a catalyst for kids to be exposed – and more involved – with the outdoors. Through special field trips that he arranges for fourth graders, Heilemann has taken nearly 2,000 students on outdoor field trips that focus on activities such as canoeing, archery, fishing, eating a wild plant, cooking over an open fire or seeing a live bird like a turkey or owl.

Senator John Daly Memorial Award – The award for the local politician who advances the ideals of the conservation community, Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte is the first recipient to win this award twice. This time, her dedication to the future of hunting through the work she did on the 14 and 15 year old junior big game legislation was instrumental in seeing that initiative become a reality in 2008.

Vic Fitchlee Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award – There isn’t anyone more deserving that this year’s winner, Jerry Farrell of Lewiston. He’s probably best known for his work involving waterfowl banding, earning a reputation that has taken him around the world to perform work for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. His work banding song birds at his home base, the 3-F Club in Lewiston, has been important research for the birding world. A past president of the Federation and former Oliver Jones Award winner, Farrell has devoted a lifetime to conservation and we’re better for it.

See Jerry Farrell at work banding birds  here

Steve Fountain/Arch Lowery Memorial Award – This recognition is for hunter safety training as it relates to archery and this year’s winner is well deserving – Ed Belbas of North Tonawanda. A long-time member of the Tonawandas Sportsmen’s Club, Belbas was instrumental in organizing an outdoors club at North Tonawanda High School when he was a teacher and administrator. His most recent venture involves archery/bowhunting, blazing a trail for a new class/program at Niagara County Community College. His work has done much to advance the sport of archery and he also certifies students for bow hunting through a certification course.

James Reed/Donald Meyer Memorial Award – This year’s winner of the top instructor for hunter safety training as it relates to firearms is Ron Swarthout of Gasport, a member of the Hartland Conservationists Club. Ron is a dedicated individual that always the first to arrive and last to leave when instructing the next generation of hunters. He was recently recognized by DEC for reaching a special milestone – 40 years of dedicated service as a volunteer hunter safety instructor. They don’t come any better than Ron!

John Long, Sr. Memorial Award for Business – This was a new award that was established to recognize the business person or company that does the most to promote the conservation ethic and the future of our outdoor heritage. It’s only fitting that this year’s award go to John, Sr. posthumously – a business person that meant the world to conservation in Niagara County, the Empire State and around the country.

 

 

2007

Federation Honors Area 
Conservationists for 2007

By Bill Hilts, Jr.

NOTE: New this year! Photos of award winners!  HERE!

      The top conservationist of year was current Federation president John Butcher of Lockport and the top club of the year was the 3-F Club of Lewiston as the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs held their annual awards banquet at the Tonawandas Sportsmen’s Club Saturday night March 29 2008 before a crowd of about 150 people.

        Each year, the NCFCC honors the top conservationists that stand out to preserve, protect and enhance our natural resources, including the popular pastimes of hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation activities.

        The Oliver Jones Memorial Award for the county’s top conservationist/sportsman went to Butcher for his hard work and dedication the last four years as president of the group. “When I took over as president, I asked myself what would my legacy be?” said Butcher. “If I could accomplish one thing, it would be to strengthen and create more youth shooting programs in the county.” He’s done that and more with the development of a portable shooting trailer, a scholastic clay youth program and more. He’s also a hunter safety instructor, a member of several sportsmen’s clubs and is also involved with the Friends of the NRA fund-raising banquet. Butcher runs a successful business, Summit Print and Mail, with his wife, Cookie.

      The top club award, the Leroy Winn Memorial Award - a revolving trophy – went to the Fin-Feather-Fur Conservation Society (3-F Club) of Lewiston for all their hard work in 2007. They hosted a very successful Kelly for Kids program last summer and also supported many other fund raising efforts from wildlife rehabilitators to physically challenged people. They also helped with the shooting day of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers, making it one of the most successful ever. They have hosted the Pheasants Forever youth hunt for ten years, showing a commitment to the future of hunting, shooting and other outdoor activities.

      President's Award winners were a dynamic duo of shooting instructors selected by President Butcher for their hard work on developing a premier youth shooting program in the county. Doug Thompson of Wilson and Bryan Meahl of Appleton were both recognized by Butcher for their dedication and hard work with the Scholastic Sporting Clays Program locally and the fact that they produced a team of young shooters that place first in two different state divisions. They went on to finish seventh in the Nationals held in Texas in 2007.

      Milford "Pinky Robinson Award - Paul McKeown, Region 9 Fisheries Manager for DEC, was named the 2007 recipient of the Milford “Pinky” Robinson Award for dedication to the Great Lakes fisheries. While McKeown has long been a friend of the sporting and conservation community, McKeown’s efforts really stood out last year when a salmon egg shortfall was realized and a secondary plan to collect eggs was needed to supplement the state’s take at the Salmon River. He worked nights and weekends to help bring the project to a conclusion. An employee with DEC since 1984, he’s been the Region 9 Fisheries Manager since 2004.

    The Carl Lass Memorial Award for youth of the year was doubly rewarding for area youth this year. First, Brandon Culverwell of Wilson was recognized for his outstanding leadership, volunteerism and possessing a strong conservation ethic in following in his father’s footsteps, Stan Culverwell. The 14 year old 9th grader from Wilson Central has attended DEC conservation camp, worked on an Adopt A Highway program locally and helps his dad with hunter safety training, trapper training and nuisance wildlife control. He was also the primary reason for a clean-up of the Wilson piers when a problem occurred last year.
    
       A second award was given to Ashley Butcher of Lockport, possessing the same ethic and dedication. Daughter of John and Cookie, she, too, helps out with all the functions that her parents are involved with (which are many!). The 13 year old, an 8th grader with North Park Middle School in Lockport, scored a perfect 800 on the SAT math test, is in the high honor society with a 98.6 average and took her first turkey last year in the youth mentor hunt. She was one of the outstanding campers at the DEC youth conservation camp in Rushford and routinely volunteers for other committees and functions.

    Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte presented the youth awards and then gave a brief update on legislation that would help to lower the big game hunting age in the state to 14. While it’s not a done deal yet, she was upbeat and positive about working toward this goal with DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis.

    The Ken Berner Memorial Award, for special dedication to a sportsmen’s heritage program, went to John Gensler of Newfane. He stands for conservation. In 2000, he bought a 100-plus acre farm and performed some intense habitat work. He was named Wildlife Habitat of the Year by Pheasant Forever in 2001. He didn’t stop there, either. He applied to be part of the Wetlands Reserve Program and was finally accepted in 2005. Since that time, he has put 50 acres into the program and constructed seven marshes for the benefit of waterfowl and other wildlife.

    Victor Fitchlee Lifetime Achievements Awards went to Rena Israel of Wilson and Gary Lowe of Niagara Falls. Mrs. Isreal, a charter member of the Wilson Conservation Club Auxiliary, was honored last year by her group for being a member all 50 years of the group’s existence. She’s a dedicated hard-worker that knows how to get things done. Lowe is the senior member of the hunter safety training community. His home base is the LaSalle Sportsmen’s Club, but helps out the entire county with his expertise. He is also a previous winner of the prestigious Gen. Douglas MacArthur Award given out by the Masonic Lodge organization.

    The John Daly Memorial Award for Legislator of the Year went to U.S. Representative Thomas Reynolds. He was recognized for his years of service to the outdoor community, especially his perfect record in working to protect the Second Amendment rights of all Americans. He was one of the driving forces to saving the Niagara Air Force Base and continues to sponsor key legislation to conserve and protect our Great Lakes.

    The Steve Fountain/Arch Lowery Memorial Award for outstanding hunter safety education as it relates to archery when to Larry Koch of Newfane. He’s one of the big go-to guys that people look up to and a constant volunteer for the cause.

    The James Reed/Don Meyer Memorial Award for hunter safety training as it relates to firearms went to Dale Dunkelberger of Lockport. Dale has been at it a long time and continues to provide outstanding leadership in the hunter safety arena. He’s always learning new information, new techniques to teach and reaching out to get new people involved.

2008 Awards Banquet Photos Here - Take a Look!


2006

Federation Honors Top Conservationists for 2006
by Bill Hilts Jr.

    The Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs paid tribute to the
top conservationists of 2006 when they held their annual awards banquet at the
LaSalle Sportsmen's Club in Niagara Falls Saturday April 14 2007. Over 150
sportsmen were in attendance to recognize the top achievers in the conservation
community last year.


    The Oliver Jones Memorial Award for the Conservationist of the Year went
to Connie Adams-Meesig of Youngstown,
just the second time ever that a female
earned this prestigious award. There's no question that she wears many hats.
She's a Senior Wildlife Biologist with the state's Department of Environmental
Conservation, known to many as the bird lady. She's performed field research
from Alaska to Antarctica; from California to Cortland on a variety of bird
species. She's involved with both cormorants and turkeys here in Region 9 for
DEC. The passionate, dedicated workhorse is active with both the Niagara River
Anglers Association and the Niagara County Fisheries Development Board. She's
also organized a one-day fishing competition the last two years in October to
keep the memory of her husband alive, who passed on in 2005.

    The Leroy Winn Memorial Award for Conservation Club of the Year went to
the Hartland Conservationists,
located on Orangeport Road in Gasport. They've
worked hard to develop new programs and opportunities for sportsmen. In a time
when many clubs are losing members, this group has increased in membership,
improved its ranges, opened its doors to the public, collaborated with the Boy
Scouts and offered shooting disciplines that can't be found at other local
clubs. They've also partnered with the Roy-Hart School District to conduct
conservation education in the elementary schools.

    The Milford "Pinky" Robinson Memorial Award for dedication to the Great
Lakes fishery resource when to Kofi Fynn-Aikins
, Director of the Lower Great
Lakes Fishery Resources offices in Amherst, part of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife
Service. He's been the director there since 1999 and since that time he's
received the Northeast Region's Invest In People Award in 2002 for fostering a more
people-oriented organization. He's also received the Conserving America's
Fisheries Award from the FWS Director at the National Fisheries Leadership
Conference in 2003. His leadership has led to the formation of the first-ever Friends
support group for a fisheries office and he's instrumental in the Fish and
Wildlife Festival the agency performs every year. In 2006 and again in 2007, the
festival will be held at Hyde Park in Niagara Falls.

    The most emotional moment of the night came when Federation president
John Butcher of Lockport read the Victor A. Fitchlee Memorial Lifetime
Conservation Achievement Award. The recipient was Don Bronson
of Newfane, who passed away last December at 71 years old. Bronson was a man of action, serving as a master instructor in the county's hunter education program. He earned many awards
over the years, including the Oliver Jones Memorial Award as the top
conservationist in the county in 1995; the General Douglas MacArthur Youth Award in
2005 by the Mason Lodge; a Director's Award for Excellence in Education from the
American Chestnut Foundation; and a distinguished service award from the state's Conservation Council to name but a few. His children, who accepted the
award, were greeted with a standing ovation.

    The John Daly Memorial Award for legislator of the year went to Richard
Updegrove
of Lockport, county legislator for the 17th District. His leadership
and dedication to the conservation cause has supported the Federation in a
variety of ways. As chairman of the county's Economic Development Committee, he's
led the charge to pass resolutions in support of sportfishing and our natural
resources - making Niagara the envy of many other counties looking for the
same kind of support from their legislative bodies.

    The President's Award went to Steve Harrington of Gasport, the creator
and facilitator of the Erie Canal Fishing Derby, in its 17th  year as a popular
kids event. In fact, it's become more than just a kids event - it's become a
popular family event that gotten more kids and the rest of the household out
enjoying the great outdoors. By the way, this event will be held July 11-22 this year.

    The Carl Lass Memorial Award for Youth of the Year went to Julia Caffrey
of Lockport. She's a member of the North Forest Rod and Gun Club Youth Program
and also was a member of the JR Novice Sporting Clays Team that won first
place in the state and 10th in the nation at the 2006 Scholastic Clays Championships. She has a passion for the outdoors and also excels in scholastics. In addition, she volunteers for various community activities. Attending Lockport High School, she carries a 93 average.

    The Ken Berner Memorial Award, presented each year to the person, family
or organization that is dedicated to conservation, went to the Wild Kritters
of Niagara County
- a group of wildlife rehabilitators based out of Sanborn.
Last year alone, the group handled more than 400 wild animals. More than 20
people are involved with Wild Kritters, a job they all perform on a volunteer
basis. Hats off to Kathleen Britton and company.

    The James Reed/Donald Meyer Memorial Award for outstanding leadership as
it relates to firearms hunter safety education went to Dale Shank of
Ransomville. He's been an instructor for 13 years and is also a certified NRA pistol
instructor. He performs firearms safety training at the 3-F Club in Lewiston;
with several Boy Scout Troops; as part of the Pheasants Forever Youth Mentor
Hunt; and at the 3-F Youth Club. He also volunteers when the Federation's mobile
air rifle range is put to use.

    The Steve Fountain/Archie Lowery Memorial Award for excellence in archery
hunter education went to Al Zamorski, past chairman of the Wheatfield
Firearms Safety and Education Committee and active in archery hunter safety programs
in Wheatfield and Lockport for the past eight years. In addition, he teaches
firearms safety programs and is past trail chairman for two conservation trails
that have been built in the Town of Wheatfield. He also sets up archery
programs at the Wheatfield town picnic.

    Guest speaker for the evening was Lt. Deming Lindsley of Sullivan County
who gave an interesting talk on the state's Conservation Law. It was an
enjoyable evening filled with laughs, jeers and a few tears. It's amazing how much
conservation work is performed behind the scenes, all the more reason to
recognize these unsung hero's doing work in the trenches.


2005

Please take a look at Raechelle Ripley's Thank You Card     HERE 

Ripley was the Carl Lass Memorial Award winner [see below]

Niagara County Top 
Conservationists Honored for 2005
By Bill Hilts Jr. [Awards held in Spring 2006]

Every award has a different connotation, carrying its own meaning and level of importance. To say that one award means more than another would be wrong. Look at these awards as different categories - opportunities to recognize the workers that are in the trenches. It's the same trench, but each might have a different task. The end result is the same - the trench is dug. With shovel in hand, these were the 2005 Awards Winners as selected by the county's Federation - a group representing some 25 clubs and over 5,500 sportsmen in Niagara.

      Oliver Jones Memorial Award. Symbolic of "sportsperson of the year," this year's winner is a man that exemplifies volunteerism - Bill Mudge of Gasport. He's a founding member of the Niagara Frontier Friends of the NRA and has served as the grants coordinator for upstate New York for the last three years. He's secretary of the Federation and is also active in the County's Shooters Committee for Political Education (SCOPE); Mudge is also an active member of the Iroquois Arms Collectors group and a staunch supporter of our Second Amendment rights.

          Leroy Winn Memorial Award. Symbolic for club of the year, this award was handed out to North Forest Rod & Gun Club of Lockport. When most clubs are struggling to maintain a level of membership, this club increased by almost 20 percent the past year. The club opens its doors to the community for public shooting and they also run a youth education program that teaches conservation and the shooting sports. The club also hosted three major Federation events in 2005, including the annual picnic in July; the Annual Federation Shoot and the Annual Hunter Education Refresher Course.

          Victor Fitchlee Memorial Lifetime Achievement Awards. Two awards were given out this year to recognize a lifetime full of dedication, hard work and perseverance. The first one was an outdoor writer in the Tonawanda and Lockport newspapers for over 40 years. He was Federation president for four years and was also a founding member of the Niagara County Fisheries Development Board. In addition to writing, he's also an accomplished photographer and a staunch advocate for conservation and Second Amendment rights. Ken Sprenger of North Tonawanda was who we're talking about. The second Fitchlee Award winner was Department of Environmental Conservation while biologist Jim Snider. Snider, who recently announced his retirement from the agency, has been situated in Region 9 (Western New York) for his entire career - a career that spans over four decades. A graduate of Syracuse ESF and Penn State, this individual is the go-to guy for deer in the region. At least, until now. By the way, his retirement dinner will be held on April 22nd in Blasdell. If you'd like to attend, contact the Region 9 offices of DEC at 851-7010.

           Pinky Robinson Memorial Award. The person who gave the most to the Great Lakes sportfishing resource was Curt Meddaugh of Pendleton. Meddaugh, who is active with the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association (LOTSA) and sits on the county's Fisheries Development Board, is the main point person for the Olcott Pen Rearing Project that started up last year. Through Curt's leadership, the project became a success in its first year of operation.

        Ken Berner Memorial Award. This special award recognizes person, family or organization dedicated to conservation. This year's winners were Carmen and Christie Presti of Niagara Falls, known for their work with Monkey Business and Charlie the Chimp, as well as their Primate Sanctuary. Not only do they donate time to projects like the Niagara River Anglers Pen Rearing Project or the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby, but they also lead the way for spearheading other projects. When Hurricane Katrina devastated the south, this family came forward to help local animal shelters raise funds for the animals left homeless and without families. This choice met with the Federation's "seal" of approval.

         The President's Award. John Butcher of Lockport, the current president of the Federation, made a wise selection in recognizing Darcy Rae Tone of the Niagara County Soil and Water Conservation District for all her hard work with the 6th Grade Environmental Field Days and much, much more. She's overseen the distribution of over a million tree seedlings, helped over 300 Niagara County landowners with pond management (including fish stocking) and organizes/administrates the Niagara-Orleans Environthon event, to name but a few things.

          John Daly Memorial Award. This award goes to the legislator or elected official that's shown a sincere dedication to conservation or Second Amendment rights. This year's recipient was Niagara County Clerk Wayne Jagow, primarily for all his hard work in modernizing the county's pistol permit office - after seeking much advice from the Federation. He's also a former Deputy Sheriff and an ordained Lutheran minister.

         Carl Lass Memorial Award. Symbolic of youth of the year, this year's recipient was Raechelle Ripley of Ransomville. The 15 year old Wilson High School student excels academically, as well as works hard in the field of conservation. In addition to participating in a wide variety of outdoor activities, she also makes time to participate in community activities. She won the top outstanding youth award for the local Lions Club, and was also the recipient of the Channel 7 Hometown Heroes Award. She also participated in the Olcott Lions Club Swim For Sight and raises money for other worthwhile programs, as well. Great job, Raechelle! Please take a look at Raechelle Ripley's Thank You Card     HERE

          Steve Fountain/Archie Lowery Memorial Award. This award goes out the person who best represents hunter safety training leadership with emphasis on archery instruction. This year's recipient was Don Bronson of Newfane - a person who could teach the whole hunter safety training course from start to finish. He's taught archery safety classes for over 25 years, bringing more than 2,500 bow hunters to the certification process. Last year, he was recognized by the Masonic Lodge as the recipient of the prestigious Douglas MacArthur Youth Leadership Award.

          James Reed/Donald Meyer Memorial Award. This was is for hunter safety training leadership as it pertains to firearms instruction. This year's award winner was Stan Culverwell of Wilson. Culverwell has been a hunter safety training instructor for over 20 years and has also served as a trapper training instructor for 18 years. He's a master trapper instructor and a Nuisance Control Officer. Most importantly, he's always willing to teach others the ways of the great outdoors.

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2004

Niagara County Top
 Conservationists Honored 
for their efforts in 2004
by Bill Hilts Jr. [Awards held in Spring 2005]

        Area conservation leaders were honored for the work they accomplished in
2004 and in prior years as the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs held their annual awards banquet at the Masonic Lodge in Lockport last
Saturday. More than 125 people turned out to pay tribute to a select group of
individuals. Award winners included:


           · The Victor Fitchlee Lifetime Achievement Award went to Richard "Dick"
Robinson of Ransomville for the many years of hard work, unselfish service and
dedication to the conservation movement as an outdoor communicator, former
Niagara County Cooperative Extension employee and Federation past president.
Following in his father's footsteps, Robinson devoted his life to preserving,
protecting and enhancing our natural resources.

         · The Oliver Jones Memorial Award, recognizing an individual as
sportsperson of the year, went to Gordon Botting, Sr. of Lockport. His volunteerism and dedication to the conservation cause has gone unmatched, serving as the
Federation's treasurer the last six years, as well as serving on committees involving
the Wildlife Festival, 6th Grade Environmental Field Days, the Conservation
Tent of the County Fair and the Federation shoot to name but a few. He also
serves as range officer at the Lockport Conservation Club, is a certified NRA
instructor and is also a certified hunter safety education instructor. He's also
a board member of the Niagara County Gobblers Chapter of the National Wild
Turkey Federation and serves as president of the UAW 686 Pistol Club.
         · The Leroy Winn Memorial Award, representative of club of the year, was
handed out to the Niagara-Orleans Friends of the NRA. Each year they hold an
impressive fund-raising banquet, with a majority of those funds coming right back
to area clubs. In 2004, they returned more than $16,000 in charitable grant
money to sportsmen's organizations in Niagara and Orleans counties - helping to
improve shooting ranges, develop junior shooting clubs, assisted with the
funding for the purchase of a mobile air range for the Federation and much more.
           · The Pinky Robinson Memorial Award, symbolic of dedication to the Great
Lakes fisheries, went to Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls who puts much
more back into the resource than he takes out. He heads up the kids contest of
the Niagara River Anglers Association and also sits on their board of directors.
He's chairman of the Niagara County Fisheries Development Board and is the
organizing force behind the Lower Niagara River Guides Association. He's also a
voice for the sportfishing community as a delegate to the Lake Ontario Sportfishing Stakeholders Coalition. All this and more while also raising a family
and running a full time, successful charter fishing operation. Campbell also
received the not-too-prestigious Niagara "I'm All Wet" Daredevil Award for
falling into the Niagara River twice while guiding customers.
          · The John Daly Memorial Award, which recognizes a politician as a
legislator of the year, when to Dr. John Syracuse of Newfane. His tireless efforts to
support conservation and the Federation have not gone unnoticed. His work with
local fishing derbies and tournaments has been intense and he's also served
as president of the Newfane Business Association and the Newfane Lions Club.
His work with economic development, tourism and sportfishing has been of a
leadership role and it was fitting that Sen. George Maziarz presented this award to
him - a previous recipient and a person who was next in line to fill Daly's
seat before Daly stepped down.

              · The Carl Lass Memorial Award, serving as a youth of the year honor, went to 18-year-old John Roeseler of Lockport/Newfane. He's a Newfane High School senior and an Eagle Scout. For his Eagle Scout project, he developed a tree and
plant identification trail for a Town of Lockport Nature Park in Slayton
Settlement Road. He's also an avid outdoorsman.

               · The President's Award is selected by the Federation's leader and Greg
Tessman was President in 2004. His selection was James McNeil of Lockport,
Executive Director for the USDA's Farm Service Agency. He administers the
Environmental Quality Incentives Program, the Conservation Reserve Program and other conservation initiatives that amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars of
conservation work that is performed in Niagara County. He's also been active in the
4-H Pheasant Rearing Program for several years.

          · The James Reed/Donald Meyer Memorial Award for leadership and dedication to hunter safety education as it relates to firearms instruction went to Lloyd
Jones of Middleport. Soft-spoken but very knowledgeable and a hard worker. A
good choice.

           · The Steve Fountain/Archie Lowery Memorial Award for outstanding hunter safety education as it relates to archery instruction went to Eric Minton - an
accomplished deer hunter who is a member of the state's Big Buck Club. He's
always willing to share his expertise with the next generation of hunters coming
in and is known for using innovative techniques to get his point or lesson across.

            · The Ken Berner Memorial Award for the person, family or organization
dedicated to the conservation effort went to Cookie Butcher of Lockport. She was
instrumental in working behind the scenes to assist with the Niagara-Orleans
Friends of the NRA, helps with Federation details and also runs a success
printing business in Lockport, Summit Graphics. Her husband, John, currently serves
as the Federation president as of January.

 


2003

 
Niagara County Federation Awards Winners for 2003
Awards Dinner held at Days Inn, 
Downtown Niagara Falls NY
Posted April 3 rd. 2004
By Bill Hilts Jr.


NIAGARA COUNTY'S TOP CONSERVATIONISTS


Oliver Jones Memorial Award (Sportsperson of the Year) .....Doug Walck Iroquois Arm Association / 3F Club

Leroy Winn Memorial Award (Club of the Year) ...............Niagara Musky Association

Carl Lass Memorial Award (Youth of the Year)... Dan Bowerman,  North Forest Rod and Gun Club of Lockport

Victor Fitchee Award, (Lifetime achievement in the field of conservation) ... 
Bill Hilts Sr.


Milford “Pinky” Robinson Memorial Award (Dedication of Great Lakes Fisheries) ... Bruce Gammack.... Lockport Conservation Club

President's Award ( Outstanding Conservation Professional ) ...Mark Daul ... OutdoorsNiagara.com

James Reed/Donald Meyer Memorial Award ..(Dedication to Hunter SafetyTraining) Dan Boyler of Middleport Rod and Gun Club.

Steve Fountain/Archie Lowery Memorial Award .. (Dedication to Bowhunter Education/Training) .. Shawn Galyen of Wilson.  An archery instructor for both the Wilson Conservation Club and the Hartland Conservation Club.

Ken Berner Memorial Conservation Award.. (Person, family or organization dedicated to conservation)
Mark Seider, District Engineer with the Niagara County Soil and Water Conservation District

John Daly Memorial Award for Legislator of the Year (Any type of elected or appointed official dedicated to conservation)... For the first time ever, was awarded to Bill Ross, current chairman of the Niagara County Legislature and Bill Davignon of North Tonawanda (another legislator)

BE SURE TO CHECK BACK FOR PHOTOS
OF WINNERS AND BANQUET SOON!

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      AWARDS NOMINATIONS

        It's that time of year again for the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs to issue a call for nominations for their annual awards program - an opportunity to recognize conservation leaders who've been protecting and enhancing our natural resources in 2003 and before. The Oliver Jones Memorial Award for Sportsperson of the Year; the Leroy Winn Memorial Award for Club of the Year; the Carl Lass Memorial Award for Youth of the Year or person involved with a youth program; the John Daly Memorial Award for Legislator of the Year; the Pinky Robinson Memorial Award for dedication to the Great Lakes fisheries; several hunter safety training awards and a family award … a chance to give thanks for a job well done.

       If you belong to one of the 25 clubs that are part of the Federation or you just know someone who's been going above and beyond the call of duty for the conservation movement, please write up and submit a nomination with as much background information as possible about the person, club or family. You really don't need a specific form to send a nomination in. Simply send it to the NCFCC Nominations, c/o 5816 Buffalo Street, Sanborn, NY 14132.

NIAGARA COUNTY FEDERATION OF CONSERVATION CLUBS 
NOMINATIONS FORM FOR 2006 CONSERVATION AWARDS

  2006 Awards Nominations (please provide back-up documentation and write-up)

Oliver Jones Memorial Award (Sportsperson of the Year)______________________
Leroy Winn Memorial Award (Club of the Year)______________________________
Carl Lass Memorial Award (Youth of the Year)_______________________________
Milford “Pinky” Robinson Memorial Award
(Dedication of Great Lakes Fisheries)______________________________________
James Reed/Donald Meyer Memorial Award
(Dedication to Hunter SafetyTraining)______________________________________

Steve Fountain/Archie Lowery Memorial Award
(Dedication to Bowhunter Education/Training)_______________________________
Ken Berner Memorial Conservation Award
(Person, family or organization dedicated to conservation)______________________
John Daly Memorial Award for Legislator of the Year
(Any type of elected or appointed official dedicated to conservation)______________
Don Bronson Memorial Wall of Fame ________________________________________

Make additional copies of this form as needed.  Please include other documentation on the back of this sheet or on a separate sheet and return to Bill Hilts, Jr. at 5816 Buffalo Street, Sanborn, NY 14132 by very early March or e-mail nomination to bhiltsjr69@cs.com by that date.  Please honor the people in your club or people you work with to recognize their efforts for the wise use of our natural resources.  

You can never send in too much information on someone and someone can’t be recognized if you don’t nominate him or her.  Anyone can send in a nomination!

Nominating Club/Person:__________________________________________________

Comments (past history of club or individual, including special projects, years involved, special awards, etc.):______________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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