NYSCC President’s Annual Report 2020
As I thought about this year’s report, it came to my mind that this is not an end of year report as there is 3 1⁄2 months left, but rather it is an annual report. We all know of the end of year scrambles we have had to go through in the past. With COVID-19, will this end of year be the same?? Indications are if we as a group continue going, in the present direction as we are the answer could be no.
First may I say to all of you that stood up in the battle to deal with the COVID virus thank you. Be it being called for military duty, working the health care services or so many of the other essential services well done and thank you.
Within the Council I wouldn’t say that things slowed down with COVID-19 it was more that the duties and actions changed. I would like to say even in its beginning, that the energy behind the “Rebuild 2020” is showing some benefits. We have our core people, plus more people are stepping up and willing to take action.
We were in the planning stages of our Spring / Legislative Meeting when the effect of COVID were being seen. The spring meetings were cancelled, shortly followed by the canceling of our normal fall convention. We also lost our spring fundraisers. We were lucky when we saw where groups such as ours could apply for PPP Grants from the Federal Government. With some work and research from the office staff our treasurer, and a couple of others we were awarded a grant of around $10,000. That pretty much covered us to the June – July time frame. (Replaced other normal sources of income.) Dues and BAM contributions dropped off a little, but with Treasurer Mike Elam’s organizing and reaching out efforts many are returning with their dues and Bam Contributions being paid. Through the directors and some others, there has been a few members rejoin the Council. Soon you will see on our website a drive to where you can make an end of month donation. With good participation in this initiative we could erase or lesson the end of year revenue appeal. Money concerns will never go away. How we handle those concerns can make a big difference to our success. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the present renewals an unsolicited donations are making a solid impact.
Improvements in methods of communication have been made this year. Constant Contact is now being handled by Legislative VP Pat Mc Brearty. The transfer of this duty from the office to Pat was not smooth. A lot of technical issues came up with servers and service providers. I would estimate it has only been the last couple of months where Constant Contact is operating close the where Pat McBrearty would like it to be. Our new WordPress website is now and further evolving as a source of timely communication and information. Put YouTube and Instagram and our normal emailing in the picture, and we are reaching to more and more people.
Growth and member retention is getting better. The New York State Chapter of Trout Unlimited is now an Associate Member. We are in the process of reaching out to Back Country Hunters and Anglers to see if a closer working relation is possible. We have a new Chairman of our Marine Resources Committee in Charles Witek. A man with a lot of experience in coastal lands and salt water fishing. He
has been / is on various federal advisory groups. His approach will be from a sportsmen and environmental perspective.
Working on Council issues, daily this time of year, makes me aware of the issues before us. It also make me confident that with the resources we have, some of which still lie untapped, the Council will thrive in the next year(s) to come. Thanks to all that do so much.
President, New York State Conservation Council
2020 Firearms and Ammunition Committee Report
There is not much to report unfortunately because of the pandemic crisis.
Before the pandemic crisis and shutdowns, there was some NYS proposed legislation, some pro and many anti firearms bills, introduced to this year’s session. I followed and sent email alerts to Firearms Committee members. The NYSCC Legislative Committee and our Legislative V.P. probably have these and more on their watch lists.
Firearms sales nationwide have been soaring during this crisis. Many in NYS are most likely first- time buyers who are probably in need of safety training.
Perhaps the NYSCC could organize our members and develop a low cost or free 3- or 4-hour training class in every region and county in the state. This would also show the general public one of the many things the NYSCC does.
It is a thought that could give us more public exposure. If successful, maybe firearm dealers and companies would donate to us.
The NYSCC has many members. We have many committees. Those committees need more members to become committeepersons to help guide and assist our Council. At the least all it takes is a few moments of your time occasionally to respond to the committee chair via email or phone, and a willingness to spread information to others.
Hunter education during the Covid -19 lock down went totally on line and I have heard the number 20,000 stated for the number of first time hunters that have taken the on line class. If the number is true approx. $380,000 went into the pockets of Kalkomey Enterprises. $20,000 new hunting recruits will also help NYS and the Conservation Fund dollars as well. One concern that has come up is how to determine who is taking the Class online and who is actually taking the test. One instructor did point out to me that there is no significant difference in the states safety record of states that give the on line class
NY State has just recently informed us instructors that we could start up again on a limited class size basis. That being said prior to Covid a number of our classes has reduced the class time to a one day 7 hr minimum Class with homework to be turned in prior to the Class.
As an instructor that used to teach the class in two three hour evenings, and then a 8 hour Saturday class. Condensing this into one 7 hour day, meant cutting the information given at the class to the bone, relying on the homework to cover a lot of things we dropped. We did range day training in the 7 Hours. As all my students passed since giving the course this way, it has worked but was not very enjoyable to the Instructors. We instructors asked for the state to put together a 7 hour agenda and we have received it. The old adage watch out for what you ask for. In my opinion the outline was not well laid out in terms of time, and makes it an even more packed time schedule, to cover all in their outline.
So where am I going with this, I talked to a few instructors and got a great reply from Brian Krawczyk, Wyoming County region 9 instructor. His suggestion is that we go back to the old state online class. With the homework turned in as proof of taking the class, due three hours of range day and one hour for the test. This would allow or doubling the number of classes possible to give in one day to two. One in the morning and a second one in the afternoon.
I would love to hear from more instructors as to if Bryans suggestion would be something we should try and get the NYS DEC to consider changing to! You can send your comments care of my e-mail address.