I conducted an unsolicited, unscientific survey of 100 outdoorsmen and women. The two questions asked were: “What does NYSCC stand for?” and “What do they do?”
I found it disconcerting that 89 percent DID NOT know it was the New York State Conservation Council. And of the 11 that knew what it stood for, all said in one way or another that they help make the fish and game laws. Not 100 percent true, but close enough.
From their website (www.nyscc.com) their mission is to: Aid in the formulation and establishment of sound policies and practices dedicated to conserve, protect, restore and perpetuate forest, wildlife and scenic and recreational areas with especial regard to the state of New York, to the general end that the present and succeeding generations may continue to enjoy and to use these great natural resources.
The New York State Conservation Council, Inc. completes its mission through the coordination and stimulation of individuals and organizations interested in conservation in the State of New York and to interest and educate the people of the state with respect to conservation. Its volunteer membership actively work to assure the enforcement of conservation laws and educational endeavors that safeguard our resources for generations to come. The leadership of the group is comprised of volunteers.
So, it is with sadness and great hostility that I report we have lost one of the foremost volunteers of NYSCC, Fred Neff. N0, Fred did not die! In January, NYSCC President Howard Cushing relieved him of his duties as Chairman of the Habitat/Access Committee, stating, “we have had especially many complaints about the Habitat/Access committee and the fact it is not truly addressing the habitat issues and especially the access issues.”
A move that stunned many in the outdoor community. Fred volunteered countless hours and worked tirelessly promoting habitat creation for wildlife and greater accessibility for sportsmen. This through the creation of the NY Habitat/Access Stamp. His ultimate goal: to bring the stamp from a voluntary program to a mandatory purchase, increasing the monetary fund more than ten-fold.
Created in 2002 by legislation, the $5 Habitat & Access Stamp helps supply financial support towards the DEC's efforts in improving and conserving fish and wildlife habitat, as well as increasing access to public and private lands for fish and wildlife recreation. Funds from stamp purchases are deposited directly into the DEC Conservation Fund Habitat Account, and are used for ongoing and upcoming projects aimed toward conserving habitat and increasing fish and wildlife recreational access.