New York State Conservation Officers Association Honors Outdoor News Editor
(Plymouth, Minn.) — New York Outdoor News Editor Steve Piatt was honored recently as the recipient of the New York State Conservation Officers Association’s inaugural Friend in the Press Award.
Piatt, editor of New York Outdoor News since the publication’s launch in the fall of 2004, received the award at NYCOA’s annual banquet at Hope Lake Lodge in Cortland.
NYCOA President Liza Bobseine cited Piatt’s “dedication to accurate reporting of outdoor issues and conservation law enforcement through the pages of New York Outdoor News.”
An avid turkey hunter, Piatt was presented with a one-of-a-kind collectible Quaker Boy box call handmade by the late Dick Kirby, founder of Quaker Boy Calls, and donated to NYCOA by Dick’s son, Quaker Boy President Chris Kirby.
“The award alone is an honor, coming from a group of individuals for whom I have so much respect and who play such an important role in protecting our natural resources,” Piatt said. “But this box call is priceless, for many reasons. Dick Kirby was a friend and he played a role in my start in spring gobbler hunting back in the 1970s. So this is very special.”
Ms. Bobseine said it was fitting that the first Friend in the Press Award be presented to Piatt.
“Steve and his wife Paula are avid hunters and fishermen who have spent a lifetime promoting the ideals of New York’s sportsmen and women,” she said.
New York Outdoor News regularly includes stories on the activities of the state’s ECOs, and one of the most popular sections of the paper “Cuffs and Collars,” which highlights unique cases handled by environmental conservation officers and investigators.
The New York State Conservation Officers Association was formed in 1986 and is dedicated to the protection and wise use of New York’s fish and wildlife and other natural resources through youth education and public outreach. Its members participate in and give financial support to many events and programs in support of their mission.
The New York State Environmental Conservation Police is the oldest statewide law enforcement agency, having been formed in 1880 when Gov. Alonzo B. Cornell appointed several Game Protectors to halt the elimination of New York’s fish and wildlife due to habitat destruction and unregulated hunting and fishing. Today’s agency numbers include 330 sworn members when at full staffing.