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Bill De Stefano, publicity and backpack leader, Volunteer of the Month

 

Bill De Stefano is our Volunteer of the Month. Bill recently stepped up to volunteer as our new Publicity Chair. With a professional background in information technology and public relations, being an active user of social media, and having an outgoing personality, he is a great fit for the requirements of his new job.

Since joining AMC in January 2018, Bill has become very passionate about AMC and is eager to communicate this passion. He has come up with a bunch of ideas on how best to promote our organization, and he has already revamped our Facebook page and is working on setting up AMC informational tables at upcoming outdoor events.

 As with most people who volunteer to do jobs to help the club, he originally came to AMC for the outdoor activities. He is an experienced hiker and backpacker. Bill completed his leadership training last fall in Connecticut and is an active backpacking leader. He already has a number of challenging backpack trips listed for the spring.

Our Volunteer of the Month program was initiated to recognize volunteers nominated by their peers. Chapter members can nominate volunteers by e-mail to recognition@amcdv.org.The nomination should contain the nominee’s name, reason for the recognition, and name of the nominator. Each nominee name is entered into a random drawing for the Volunteer of the Month recognition. The monthly winners are entered into an annual drawing at the Annual Dinner for a grand prize of a weekend stay at an AMC facility. Nominees must be an AMC member, not a elected member of the current Executive Committee, and may serve in any volunteer capacity that benefits the Chapter mission in the Delaware Valley area. See the past Volunteers of the Month.

We did it!

Congress OKs permanent authorization of Land & Water Conservation Fund

The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted in support of a package of public lands bills including the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund on Tuesday, February 26.

This vote comes on the heels of the Senate’s passage of the identical package of bills on February 12, now sending S.47, the Natural Resources Management Act, to the president’s desk, where it was signed into law on March 12.

Thousands of AMC supporters helped make this victory a reality through letters and phone calls to their Members of Congress; leading outdoor trips to places protected by LWCF; posting on social media about LWCF; and even traveling to Washington, D.C. to bring your outdoor stories directly to decision makers.

Breakneck Ridge, New Jersey, is one of the thousands of popular hiking areas served by the LWCF.

All our elected officials in the Delaware Valley region voted in support of S.47 except for Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey. Please consider calling or e-mailing to thank them for their support. Stay tuned to AMC’s Conservation Action Network for future opportunities to speak up in support of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and other important conservation policy issues.

Sunday hunting once again proposed for Pennsylvania

A familiar issue has once again been moving through the Pennsylvania legislature – lifting the ban on Sunday hunting. PA Senator Dan Laughlin introduced Senate Bill 147 earlier this year. In addition to allowing the Game Commission to remove the ban on Sunday hunting, the bill would also make trespassing by hunters a primary offense and increase penalties. S.B. 147 was approved by the PA Senate Game and Fisheries Committee on February 5th and will next be considered by the entire Senate.

Previous proposals have failed to pass the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee, making S.B. 147 seemingly more viable than prior efforts. However, should the bill pass the Senate, it will move to the House; historically, members of the PA House have been less supportive of expanding hunting in the state than the Senate.

S.B. 147, if passed, would allow the Game Commission to remove the ban on Sunday hunting first established in 1873. As many avid hikers, birders, mountain bikers, and other recreational users know, Sunday is currently the only day during hunting season to enjoy the outdoors without the presence of hunters. Re-instituting Sunday hunting could negatively affect the experience of recreationists who currently enjoy state game lands, state parks and forests, and some county and local parks.

Allowing Sunday hunting may also affect important stewardship like maintenance of the Appalachian Trail corridor. In some cases, AT trail crews choose to arrange their work for Sundays precisely to avoid active hunting.

Past proposals to end the ban on Sunday hunting have not been successful, in some part due to a large opposition from groups such as Keystone Trails Association and the PA Farm Bureau. Keystone Trails Association and PA Farm Bureau also oppose Senate Bill 147.

To make your voice heard on this issue, please contact your PA State Senators and Representatives regarding Senate Bill 147.

 

Jeff Fritzinger, Barbara Beatrice, Phil Mulligan, Greg Bernet get awards at AMC club-wide annual meeting

DV Chapter's Jeff Fritzinger, our Leadership Chair, and Barbara Beatrice were presented with AMC's Volunteer Leadership Award at the club's annual meeting on January 26 in Norwood, Mass. Chapter Trails Chair Phil Mulligan received the Warren Hart Award at least 224 hours of trail work in 2018, and Chapter Vice Chair Greg Bernet was presented with the Marian Psychowska Award for at least 96 hours of trail work in the past year.

Since becoming leaders with the Delaware Valley Chapter in 2012, Jeff and Barbara have become energetic and committed leaders within the Chapter and in AMC club wide leadership initiatives. Their work as a team is well respected and always engaging.

They have shared their love of outdoor places, such as the Catskill Mountains, by organizing popular trips in fall, winter, and spring of each year. As the DV Chapter Hiking Chair, Jeff has developed well received workshops on Beginner Hiking Skills and Winter Hiking Skills that have attracted many novice participants to AMC’s outdoor mission. They are scheduled to teach an upcoming community college class on hiking skills. Barbara has organized and led the Chapter’s leader recognition dinner.

Jeff and Barbara participated in the first Train the Trainer (T3) Leadership Education weekend and came away inspired to train other leaders. Since that time they have used their skills as trainers for DV Chapter Leadership Training and have traveled at special request to assist several other Chapters with their Leadership Training. An area that they excel in teaching is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, no surprise given their focus on skill-building and opening the outdoors to all who want to experience it.

As a natural extension of this skill development, Jeff will become the DV Chapter Leadership Chair for 2019 and Barbara has been elected to the Club Wide Outdoor Leadership Development Committee (OLDC).

New Jersey has returned to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

NJ was a founding member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), but dropped out of the program under Governor Christie. Now under Governor Murphy’s leadership, the state is planning to rejoin. Learn more about this and show your support by submitting comments at outdoors.org/articles/blogs/conservation-blog/new-jersey-rggi

AMC leaders fill in for NPS presenter at Hopewell during government shutdown

AMC DV leaders Phil Mulligan and Larry Priori, at the request of the Friends of Hopewell Furnace, filled in for a National Park Service speaker barred from presenting due to the current government shutdown.

They spoke to a group of about 25 for about 40 minutes each. Phil gave a history if the Appalachian Trail, while Larry did a more general topic of risk management in the wilderness with some depth on the first aid material.

The Friends of Hopewell Furnace were holding their election meeting after the talk. The presentation was moved to a site in Douglassville because NPS property was unavailable.

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