Every once in a while – I try to make it down every month – I
head down the road to Albany for the Conservation Fund Advisory
Board’s monthly meeting. It’s really not a bad trip, about two
hours or more, even though I have to deal with the unfamiliar
morning rush traffic and am close enough to the legislative office
building that I feel the need for a another shower when I get
But it’s a pretty important part of my job. There’s a lot
happening at 625 Broadway, and I often head back with more stories
and story ideas just from making the rounds in the office than I
actually pluck from the CFAB meeting. Don’t get me wrong; the CFAB
sessions are important and many of the DEC fish and wildlife chiefs
are in attendance and provide updates on critical budget and
staffing issues and proposed regulations changes. And the board
itself, while sometimes losing sight of the fact that it is serving
in an advisory capacity (that is what that A stands for, after
all), does some important work in monitoring expenditures within
the Conservation Fund.
With few exceptions, New York Outdoor News is the lone media
representative in attendance. I’m proud of that, knowing we’re
there for you, serving as the eyes and ears of the state’s hunters,
anglers and trappers.
I’ve kicked around the DEC offices and interacted with enough
folks there that I can tell you there are some talented and
genuinely likeable people working within the fish and wildlife
division. Most of them are sportsmen, just like us. Working for us.
Working in a setting which, right now, is less than ideal, given
the financial constraints and staff shortages within the
So I don’t mind stepping out of my element one day a month –
dressing in something other than camo and bootliners, leaving the
remote Adirondacks, fighting my way through a bit of traffic and
driving into the city. It’s actually a bit of a comforting reminder
that the fish and wildlife folks haven’t thrown in the towel and
are still battling on our behalf.
And it’s my job. A job, I’m guessing, that’s a lot easier these
days than working for DEC.