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News Archive 2006

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December 2006

Board of Directors Elected at the 2006 Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting of all Members of the Friends of Erie National Wildlife Refuge was held on December 13th at the Refuge Headquarters.

The terms of office for three positions on the Board of Directors expired at the end of 2006. Reelected to fill these positions for two more years were Mr. Doug Copeland, Mr. Ronald Leberman, and Ms. Janet Marvin. The remaining positions will expire at the end of 2007 and will be up for election at that time.

Also at this meeting the Board reelected the 2006 President, Vice-President and Secretary/Treasure to serve another term. The current Board of Directors of the Friends of ENWR is:

Dr. William Trout, President
Mr. William Wentworth, Vice-President
Ms. Kathleen Palmer, Secretary/Treasurer
Mr. Doug Copeland
Mr. Ronald Leberman
Ms. Janet Marvin
Ms. Bertie Tullis

All members are encouraged to attend Board of Directors Meetings held the 4th Wednesday of the month. Your ideas and comments are always welcome.

Friends Conference Call December 4, 2006

A group from the Friends of Erie National Wildlife Refuge once again participated in the latest Regional Friends Conference Call between the Region 5 office and Friends Groups throughout the region.

Tony Leger, Chief of the NWRS, Region 5 gave an update on the R5 strategic Workforce Planning Effort and budget and then took questions from participants. He explained that the region’s NWRS Leadership Team was reviewing staff comments regarding Phase 2 of the region’s draft strategic workforce plan. Phase 2 is the regional office component and is expected to be final by mid-December. It involves the elimination of 15 and the re-alignment of 11 positions and a complete re-organization. Region 5 has chosen to work toward a 30% reduction in budget.

These calls are being initiated at the request of the region’s Friends groups. They will be an opportunity for the Friends to network, exchange ideas and receive updates on regional and national activities.

The calls take place every quarter- March, June, September, December. They will occur on the first Monday of the month.

November 2006

Nominations Needed

Nominations are needed for the Board of Directors election to take place during the Annual Members Meeting of the Friends of Erie National Wildlife Refuge. The meeting is to be held December 13, 2006 at 6:30PM at the Refuge Headquarters. Your nominations can be made by email at info@friendsofenwr.org, by phone at 814-789-3585 or may be mailed to Friends of ENWR; c/o Erie National Wildlife Refuge; 11296 Wood Duck Lane; Guys Mills, PA 16327.

The current members of the Board of Directors of Friends of ENWR are:

William Trout..........President
Bill Wentworth........V. President
Kathleen Palmer.....Secretary/Treasurer
Douglas Copeland
Janet Marvin
Ron Leberman
Bertie Tullis
Renee Vrobel

And the name is...
Guys Mills Heritage Festival

Thank you to everyone who sent in suggestions for the event name!

After much discussion and deliberation at the last "Open House" meeting held on November 15th a name for the event was finally agreed upon. It was confirmed that the date for the Heritage Festival will be June 30, 2007 and it will run from 9:00 in the morning until 5:00 in the afternoon. Organizations participating in the event will be the Erie National Wildlife Refuge, Faith Builders, U. Evangelical Free Church, Randolph Vol. Fire Dept., Randolph Township Supervisors, Boy Scout Troop 215, Cub Scout Pack 215, Turkey Federation and, of course, the Friends of Erie NWR.

There will be lots to see and do that day and activities and displays for all ages and interests. There will also be a chance to win one of many great door prizes. Mark the date on your calendar today!

October 2006

Open House 2007
The Erie National Wildlife Refuge will be holding an Open House Saturday, June 30th. Activities, learning opportunities and entertainment will be held in various locations on the Refuge throughout the day beginning at 9:00 AM and continuing until 5:00 PM.

Our neighbors in Guys Mills will also be opening their doors that day. Visit the Randolph Volunteer Fire Department, see their equipment and learn about fire safety. Tour the old Randolph School that now houses the Mennonite Faith Builders complex. Eat a meal at the United Evangelical Free Church and much more. There will be activities and prizes for all ages.

Check back for more information as plans for the day are finalized.

Approved For Tax Exempt Status!
The Friends of Erie National Wildlife Refuge's application for tax exempt status under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code has been approved. That means that contributions to the Friends will now be tax deductible. We are considered to be a public charity during this advance ruling period.

The Friends will now be moving forward with filing Articles of Incorporation as a Nonprofit.

September 2006

Open House 2007
Plans have started for an Open House to be held in the summer of 2007. Board members will be contacting the leaders of other organizations in Guys Mills and inviting them to attend a special meeting on October 18th. It is our hope to make this a real community event.

Activities will need to be planned for the Refuge itself also. If you have ideas, suggestions or just want to help out, call the Refuge at 814-789-3585 or email us at info@friendsofenwr.org.

Mohawk Pool Enhancement
A delegation from the Friends of Erie NWR will be traveling to the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge in Western NY to help them celebrate thousands of acres of newly enhanced habitat. The ribbon cutting event will take place on October 12th.

The Enhancement Project involved building a new dike, nearly three miles long dividing the 1,400 acre Mohawk pool into three smaller, manageable subunits. The partners participating in this ambitious, multi-year project were Ducks Unlimited, the National Wildlife Refuge System and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Iroquois is home base for Tom Roster our Refuge Manager since Erie NWR was complexed with Iroquois some time ago. We welcome this opportunity to show our support for our "sister" refuge. The Friends of Erie NWR also hope to get a chance to talk to members of the Friends of Iroquois group who have been operating successfully for many years now.

August 2006

Strategic Downsizing Plan Conference Call
On Monday, August 28th at 6:00pm eight members of the Erie Friends Group were gathered around a table in the Refuge office listening to groups from all over the Northeast Region check in on the speaker phone. They were waiting for the official start of the conference call that would connect Refuge Managers and Friends Groups from 13 states with Region 5's NWRS Regional Office.

The topic of discussion that night would be the approved Northeast Region's Strategic Downsizing Plan. Regional Refuge Chief, Tony Leger led the call giving an overview of the plan, then for nearly two hours questions were addressed about the plan and it's repercussions for Refuges in the Region.

The Erie NWR has already been affected by the downsizing plan and will soon see the Refuge staff reduced by two and, unfortunately, the current plan is only considered phase one in a larger downsizing plan to come. There will be difficult times ahead for many of the Refuges in the Region and the Nation.

You can help. Contact your elected officials now and let them know what you think about the budget cuts to the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Mentoring Visit a Reality
The Erie National Wildlife Refuge and the Friends Group had two visitors the beginning of August. Kathy Woodward is a board member of the Friends of Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey and Robert Jesse is manager of J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. Both gave up a weekend to travel to Northwest Pennsylvania and share their experience and expertise with us.

Robert and Kathy spent Friday on the Refuge with Patty Nagel and her staff learning more about the Refuge and the challenges it faces. Friday evening found mentors, staff and Friends members all gathering for an informal dinner together, getting to know each other better.

Saturday Friends members Bertie Tullis, Kathy Palmer, Bill Trout, Ron Leberman, Doug Copeland, Bill Wentworth and Janet Marvin joined the group for a refresher course on the purpose of the Refuge System and how Friends Groups can help. Discussions where held on how to become a more effective group and a brainstorming session helped us define some future goals and projects.

Kathy and Robert did a great job of either answering our questions or pointing us in the right direction to find the answers. Our thanks go out to both of them for a very productive and enjoyable weekend.

June 2006

Volunteers Needed
Patty Nagel is looking for volunteers to help man the Erie Refuge’s display at the Crawford County Fair this August. If you can help or need more information call Patty at 814-789-3585.

Mentoring Visit Planed for August
The Friends of ENWR applied and has qualified for a visit from a Mentoring Team. The visit is scheduled to take place over two days in August and will involve the Refuge staff as well as the leadership of the Friends Group. A mentoring visit is an on-site program designed to help nurture and advise groups beyond the earliest stage of forming. A strategic planning session is included in the program.

The Friends Have a New Look

Michael Mohl of Indelible Design has created a new logo for our Friends group. We think he did a great job and you’ll be seeing much more of this design in the future.

Grant Money Approved!
Back in March the Friends of Erie NWR applied for a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The Foundation offers Start-Up money to new groups that qualify.

We plan to use the money we receive to buy display equipment, computer software, printer cartridges, stationary, postage stamps and many other office supplies needed to run an effective organization.

Thank you to Kathy Palmer and Patty Nagel for their work on writing and applying for this grant.

May 2006

Trained Leadership
In May three members of the board, Bill Trout, Bill Wentworth and Kathy Palmer, attended a three day training session at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in W. Virginia.

The course, Developing & Working with Friends Groups, covered every aspect of organizing and maintaining a friends group from defining roles and responsibilities to fundraising to ethics considerations. The instructors managed to impart important and helpful information and make it fun at the same time. Meeting and talking to other volunteers as well as Fish & Wildlife Service employees that are going through the same process we are was one of the most valuable experiences however.

As an added bonus the three were able to enjoy the beautiful faculties at NCTC. Located in a woodland setting along the Potomac River NCTC offers hiking trails and other activities as well as great meals and accommodations. It almost made going back to school seems like a vacation!

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